Jamaica News: The Ministry of Labour and Social Security will, once again, recognize the contributions of the elderly to national development through the annual Senior Citizens’ Week celebrations, from September 22 to October 1.
The weeklong activities, which were launched at the Spanish Court Hotel in New Kingston on Friday (September 20), are being organized by the National Council for Senior Citizens (NCSC) under the theme – ‘Older Persons: Partners in Social, Cultural and Economic Development’.
The activities will begin with a national church service on September 22 at Grace Baptist Church in Clarendon, followed by a seniors’ treat/ garden party on September 24 at the Police Officers Club in Kingston.
The Council will also be organizing islandwide tree planting exercises on September 25, and parish awards ceremonies on September 26.
National Grandparents Day will be celebrated on September 29 with an evening of entertainment at Emancipation Park in New Kingston.
The week culminates on October 1 with the observance of International Day of Older Persons.
These activities form part of those marking Senior Citizens Month, from September 1 to October 1.
Engagements throughout this period included: the inter parish Bible Quiz competition on September 5, and Caribbean Wellness Day at the Jamaica Pegasus Hotel on September 10.
The latter was staged by the NCSC in partnership with the Ministry of Health and Wellness.
Labour and Social Security Minister, Hon. Shahine Robinson, who officially launched Senior Citizens’ Week, noted that Jamaica’s elderly population is estimated at approximately 12 per cent or over 300,000.
This number, she added, is expected to double by 2050, in keeping with global trends.
“As older persons become a greater proportion of the population, they will be an even more significant force to be reckoned with. The impact of population aging on the socio- economic development of the society engenders the need for integration and empowerment of older persons to enable them to live independently with dignity and autonomy,” she said.
For her part, Permanent Secretary in the Ministry, Collette Roberts-Risden, who spoke at the launch, said the collective wisdom of Jamaica’s senior citizens adds value to the society.
“These persons… tend to be overlooked in terms of their role and contribution. Over time, the thinking has changed… but we must learn to utilize and harness the knowledge that our seniors can continue to make in our society,” she urged.
The NCSC is an agency of the Ministry of Labour and Social Security which develops programmes and activities to, among other things, promote active ageing, encourage senior citizens’ participation in nation building, and highlight the work and worth of seniors.
Source: JIS News