HelpAge International


Mai Pheap, a 66 year old woman from Cambodia, helped by HelpAge
Mayur Paul/HelpAge International 2012, via Flickr

HelpAge International works to improve the lives of older people. Ryan Geertsma and Robin Basselin look at HelpAge International, and the needs and goals of elderly people.

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Transcript


Voice 1

Welcome to Spotlight. I’m Ryan Geertsma.

Voice 2

And I’m Robin Basselin. Spotlight uses a special English method of broadcasting. It is easier for people to understand, no matter where in the world they live.

Voice 3

“We believe older people have much to add to society. And what they offer is more valuable than we can express. Yet older people remain some of the poorest and worst cared for individuals in the world. We are devoted to helping them claim their rights, fight unfair treatment and defeat poverty.”

Voice 1

These are the words of HelpAge International. This organization’s goal is to improve the lives of older people. And their work is changing the lives of many older people all over the world. Today’s Spotlight is on HelpAge International. 

Voice 2

Many people value the dreams of children. It is easy to see why. Children have many years of life remaining. There is much hope for them to do great things. It is good to help children achieve their dreams. But they are not the only group of people that need help with their dreams. There are many older people around the world that have dreams too - dreams for a better future.

Voice 1

There are many false ideas about older people. For example, many people believe that older people are almost done with their lives. They believe that older people are weak citizens - that they have nothing to offer. Others believe that older people are no longer able to learn new skills. For these reasons, many people see no need to invest in the lives and dreams of older people.

Voice 2

HelpAge International does not believe these ideas are true. The group wants to rid the world of these false ideas. They believe older people have many skills and much to offer. But they also recognize that older people are at risk. In a 2011 report on ageing, HelpAge wrote,

Voice 3

“Our rights do not change as we grow older. What does change is that older women and men are considered to be naturally less valuable to society. At the same time, as people get older, they face increasing barriers to their involvement in society. They depend more on other people and they lose some or all of their personal independence. These issues can make them more in danger of poor care, physical harm and the breaking of their rights.”

Voice 1

The number of older people in the world is increasing quickly. HelpAge’s website says that by 2050, 20% of the world’s people will be over the age of 60. This means there will be more older people living on earth than children. Today, almost 70% of all older people live in poverty. But HelpAge believes this can change in the future.

Voice 2

HelpAge International believes that older people are survivors. They have lived long lives and they have defeated many problems. They have many ideas about how to improve their communities. HelpAge believes that everyone can learn from older people. This is why the organization includes older people in the process of creating solutions for their own problems.

Voice 1

HelpAge serves older people in five main ways. First, the organization works with older men and women to help them receive wages. Sometimes this means helping them claim wages from government programs or job pensions. Some countries require companies to save money in such pension programs. Then, they give workers this money when the workers become too old to work. In countries where these kinds of pension and programs do not exist, HelpAge prepares older individuals for new jobs.

Voice 2

Tubakwerwa is a 58-year-old woman from Uganda. Her husband died, so she now works to support seven grandchildren. She told HelpAge,

Voice 4

"Before my husband died, I used to work on the farm, growing fruit and vegetables. The produce was just for feeding the family.”

Voice 1

As she grew older, farm work became more difficult. She also needed to earn more money to support her grandchildren. HelpAge's partner in Uganda is Uganda Reach the Aged Association. They provided Tubakwerwa with a business loan. She used the money to invest in a small market store. She now sells fruit and vegetables. The work is still hard, but she is able to support her family. And Tubakwerwa’s work is helping to care for the next generation.

Voice 2

HelpAge also helps older people with health care and services. They help people find doctors. They also help them get good service for a good price. But their health services do not end there. HelpAge Asia has begun a very successful training program. They train older people in home health care and health awareness. Older individuals learn to measure blood pressure and sugar levels. They also learn how to give simple health tests. With these new skills, they can help themselves and other older people in their community.

Voice 1

A third way HelpAge supports older people is through emergency and disaster services. During disasters like war, floods, and earthquakes, older people can be especially at risk. Many have difficulty moving quickly. Others need special medicines and foods that are difficult to find in a disaster. For this reason, HelpAge supports medical care for older disaster victims. They also provide shelter and support after disasters happen.

Voice 2

Hurbain Julien is 82 and his wife Sunzanne Lucien is 62. They are from Haiti. They lived through the terrible earthquake in 2010. Now, they live in a refugee camp, like many other Haitians. They have no electricity or running water. They also care for two of their grandchildren. Life is difficult, but HelpAge is working to make it better.

Voice 1

HelpAge gave Hurbain and Suzanne a Tough Stuff Kit over a year ago. This case contained a mobile telephone charger, a light and a sun-powered radio. These supplies have helped Hurbain and Suzanne to be more independent. Hurbain told HelpAge,

Voice 5

“Before, we had to stop what we were doing early. Now we have the light. We can continue reading or even walk around the camp. Our children can also come visit us at night. We feel a lot safer…We feel less alone.”

Voice 2

The fourth way HelpAge is supporting older people is by helping them claim their human rights. HelpAge teaches older people about their rights. Once they know their rights, they can fight for equal treatment more easily. HelpAge also works with governments and local communities. They work to change unequal laws. And they educate younger people about treating older people fairly and kindly.

Voice 1

The last way HelpAge serves older people is by connecting local, national and global organizations that work to help older people. HelpAge International works with over 85 organizations in over 50 countries.

Voice 2

HelpAge International believes that a person is never too old to dream. They listen to the dreams of older people because they believe older people are resources, not problems. And because of that, older people all over the world are living their dreams! Dreams that serve them and the next generation.

Voice 1

The writers of today's programme were Rebekah Schipper and Robin Basselin. The producer was Mark Drenth. The voices you heard were from the United States. All quotes were adapted and voiced by Spotlight. You can find our programs on the internet at www.radioenglish.net. This programme is called "HelpAge International."

Voice 2

We hope you can join us again for the next Spotlight program. Goodbye!

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Question:

Do you spend time with older people? Are there organizations in your area that help elderly people?

Comments


Avatar Spotlight
layeak
said on August 07, 2011

That is good idea and now I am working for some aging society.
I can:t alone support to over the society and then we need more unity work for to do this.

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Tran Khanh Chi
said on September 06, 2012

it is an amazing iead to improve the elder better. Thanks Spotlight a lot!

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kenhieuloilam
said on September 09, 2012

Each of us is born, grows up and becomes old. We have dreams. Our dreams are about beautiful good things. We have responsibilities and duties. The life has beautiful good things. We carry out beautiful good things. Beautiful good things make the life beautiful. We have joy in beautiful good things. Dreams are beautiful. Responsibilities and duties are important. We wish to reach dreams.

Khyquer's avatar
Khyquer
said on February 27, 2020

Last year, in my birthday, I not asked gifts. I asked food for to donate to nursing home. Was amazing! Everyone helped our campaign!

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Honneur
said on February 27, 2020

I’m an older person !!! I am 82 years old, but I think I am only 60 or 65 years old ... Brazil has a great government program, the BPC, which provides cash assistance to all people over 65 and with no means to survive on their own. I know it’s a low help, but it’s a help!!! I made my life more or less and I don’t need anyone’s help, but, on the contrary, I help children, grandchildren and great-grandchildren ... Hehehe ... By distraction, I study English, and philosophy and work as a free lancer teacher… In mine free time, I practice byke and weightlifting ... Yes, I am an old man hard to crack ...