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December 15 2013

Sant'Egidio donates house

Minister for Disability and Elderly affairs, Rachel Kachaje On Thursday revealed that older persons in the country are suffering from all sorts of untold abuses, including sexual harassment.

 
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Kachaje said this at Machinjiri in Blantyre when she presided over the handover ceremony of an K8.5 million houses to two sisters, 88 year old Dorothy Manyesa and 84 year old Esme Manyesa built by the community of Sant’Egidio.“ it’s high time our youth started respecting  the elders, it’s high time the country stopped mistreating the elderly. It is said really because as a minister, we have received reports of some of the elder persons being sexually abused or raped by young members of their communities”, she said.She also said that many of the elderly people, just by being old are accused or verbally abused without any basis of being witchcraft or sorcery.“When someone is old that does not necessarily mean that he or she is useless and being an elderly person does not  mean you are a witch. These people took care of us and why should they be witches now?. The elderly people are belittled, degraded and humiliated,” she said.Kachaje hailed community of St.Egidio for devoting part of its work assisting elderly people. She said the house built for the two sisters which has partly been furnished, would go a long way in giving them a better life and urged other well  wishers  to emulate such causes and assist the government.The minister said it is the government’s wish to it that older people’s  rights are protected and promoted through provision of basis needs, citing the mudzi (village) transformation trust, which she said that providing housing to needy  older persons.Kachaje then said the government is in process of coming up with an national policy for elder persons and that this might in turn lead to the drafting of a law on the promotion and protection of elder persons rights.The founder of the community of St.Egidio, Andrea Riccardi said his community will continue to embark on different projects aimed at uplifting people’ lives.“Societies are difficult to accept elderly people and I would like to commend the Malawi  government for putting in place a minister responsible for the elderly. Old people are the riches of any country. Civilization of any country is seen on how old people are treated and abandoning old people means losing civilization,” said Riccardi.On their part, the beneficiaries hailed the community of Sant’Egidio for the house, adding their house in Ndirande where they used to stay, was small and in a poor state.“ We are thankful to God and the community of Sant’Egidio for this gesture. We are now in a better house and we would like to thank the group that identified us,” said the sisters.

 

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