Some older persons in Nigeria. Photo: impactngr.com
As the world marks the Internationally Day of Charity, a day set aside to celebrate and create platforms for charitable gestures, older persons in Nigeria are advocating more attention from individuals, government, and other stakeholders.
Speaking on the day that is observed annually on September 5, President of the Coalition of Societies for the Rights of Older Persons in Nigeria (COSROPIN), Sen. Eze Ajoku has expressed sadness on the state of charity to older persons in the nation, identifying the donation of food, clothing, medication, accommodation and social inclusion as areas where there is a dire need for charity towards older persons.
“What are you doing as charity for older persons? We need to do a lot more. Hardly do people think of charity when they think of older persons”, Sen. Ajoku said.
According to the President of the coalition, one area where the government needs to step up, is the provision of Older Persons Homes or Day Care Centres to create a conducive atmosphere for social interaction and recreation among older persons which will encourage graceful aging.
Senior Pastor, Evangelical Church Winning All (ECWA) Central Area, Abuja, Reverend John Ibrahim also commenting on the day explained that it is the responsibility of all to cater for older persons noting that there is a satisfactory sense of responsibility when individuals engage in charity and divine rewards accrue for such individuals.
In a similar vein, Chief Imam, Area 10 Jummah Mosque, Garki-Abuja, Yahaya Garba described charity as key in Islam which was proof that individuals engaged in such gestures had faith in the Almighty. He also cautioned younger ones to note that as they treat older persons, the same will be done to them when they in turn get old.
The International Day of Charity was declared an international observance by the United Nations in 2012, besides honoring Mother Teresa’s tireless work assisting the poor and suffering, the day also provides a platform for charitable opportunities to take place.