BENEFITS OF OLDER PERSONS WORKING WITH OTHER SPECIAL INTEREST GROUP REPRESENTATIVIES.
Kezia Nabende is a Chairperson for Older Persons in Bulambuli District. She is 79 years old and has a passion for Older Persons, besides being one of them she loves to serve and help her fellow Older Persons.
She has served older persons for some time and has found out how beneficial it is to work with the various Special Interest Groups.(SIGs) SIGs in my community include; Persons with Disabilities (PwDs), the Youth, Women, Older Persons (OPs) and workers. As OPs, we have many issues that are cross cutting among the SIGs thus the need to collaborate for a better cause.
Working with SIGs has enhanced advocacy on issues of OPs through provision of health services to all vulnerable persons, construction of age-friendly toilets/latrines for the PWDs and Ops, listening to all their other issues. This has contributed to improved quality of life and enabled them overcome similar challenges of the vulnerable persons in the community.
“I am happy that we as PwDs are now visible at the Local Government and even hold positions that enable us to raise our issues at higher levels” Chairperson of Persons Living with Disabilities.
“Working together increases lobbing power; this is an essential aspect of influencing policy and decision making processes. SIG leaders have access to the government and are in better positions to lobby on behalf of their respective groups. This has therefore made our issues to be heard at higher levels.”Nabende Kezia
It has also led to knowledge sharing and learning this is because Special Interest Groups understand each other’s roles and have the opportunity to learn and share from each other. We were able to also learn the Older Persons Anthem from the URAA team which visited us during the Alliance Advocacy meeting and it shows that older persons hold traditions and are the custodians of cultural values.
In Conclusion, working together as special interest groups is crucial because it amplifies voices, increases lobbing power, builds coalitions, enable us share knowledge among others.
Compiled by; Martha Amoding.