I am glad you have chosen to visit us online. Do allow me to introduce this wonderful organization to you… I sometimes get asked why someone who is not yet fifty years old is thinking about the elderly. Well, the reason for setting up AGE is quite simple. We all look forward to a long, healthy and happy life, and we shouldn’t wait till we get ‘there’ and then start planning for it. We have to start planning for that now, and also invest in other people’s latter years.
Two specific events triggered the desire to set up AGE. First, my maternal grandmother passed away at the age of 97, in 2011, and I had the opportunity to observe the challenges of ageing first-hand. Second, during the 2012 presidential election campaigns and debates in Ghana (as also seen in many social causes in civil society), the elderly received very little attention, if any at all. These had me thinking more and more about issues concerning the elderly, and the need to act; to do something to change the status quo.
As a Fellow of the Aspen Global Leadership Network (specifically, the Africa Leadership Initiative West Africa – ALIWA), I needed to identify and work on a Leadership Project/Venture. I felt burdened to do something about this issue, and as the conviction grew stronger over time, I took this on as my project. It has evolved in purpose from a project to a registered organization; I look forward to seeing it grow into a movement.
Our aim is very simple. We want to spearhead a MOVEMENT – a comprehensive shared journey to build awareness and action, meaningful conversations and engagements around the issues of ageing in Ghana and Africa at large. We will mobilize all the resources we have to design creative solutions that make ageing enjoyable. The end game is simple – dignified healthy, happy lives, as we grow older.
When we refer to the “elderly”, or to “senior citizens”, we refer to people who are sixty years or older. In Ghana right now, life expectancy is pegged at 60 years for men, and 63 years for women. Over time, we will contribute to increasing the life expectancy through our various initiatives and improving the quality of life of the elderly.
Two key issues that provide the foundation for all our work are
(1) The ‘benign’ social exclusion of the elderly, and
(2) The loss of independence.
In our very dynamic world, we erroneously presume that the [extended] family still serves as a primary support system, while that reality has changed. The social exclusion of the elderly is ‘benign’ in that everyone assumes someone else (especially the family) is taking care of the needs of senior citizens, while in reality, they are left on the fringes to cater for themselves.
Secondly, at a personal level, the loss of independence is a very scary experience for many people as they grow older – loss of financial independence and reliance on paltry pension benefits or family support, and a loss of physical independence because of health challenges and transportation constraints, to name a few.
To address these very fundamental challenges, we are committed to working in eight key areas that ultimately begin to transform how we conceptualize and manage issues concerning the elderly. Explore the site to learn more about our work – what we are currently doing and what we hope to do.
We cannot do everything at a go, and so we have started where we are, with what we have, and will continue building up our capacity to drive positive change.
Many thanks to our Advisory Board and all those who have supported us in one way or the other so far, financially, or in-kind, giving their time and energy to help us build and drive this movement.
You can get involved in many exciting ways! Register to become a MEMBER, or register people you know who are 60 and older; VOLUNTEER your time, energy, knowledge and experience to help in any of our initiatives; become a PROGRAM PARTNER and share your platform with us so we can collaborate in some creative ways; become a FUNDING PARTNER and contribute to making life better for senior citizens. Financial contributions give us the flexibility to apply funds where we need it most, and we will keep very open and transparent books and share our financial reports on our website.
Thanks again for visiting!
Contact us, and let’s join hands in this wonderful initiative!