Group organises football match, advocates social inclusion, wellness for elderly
Corporate Organisations have been urged to promote wellness and fitness of the elderly through sports and other recreational activities that will enhance their mental health.
This call was made by the Centre for Gender Economics (CGE) Africa during its second yearly football match to commemorate 2021 International Day for Older Persons.
With the theme, ‘My Football, My Therapy’, Chief Executive Officer, CGE Africa, Uchenna Idoko, said promoting the initiative would aid mental and physical health of the aged people and give them the sense of belonging in the society.
The yearly Senior Women Association Football League (SEWA FL), which started last year, was part of the programme to mark the day. In Nigeria, October 1 is celebrated as Independent Day but globally, it is the United Nations International Day for Older Persons.
“It is the time to celebrate older people for their contributions to the world and the situation they have found themselves in. Some of them are in IDP Camps, some have passed through abuse of all sorts and therefore the light is beamed on them globally for both the good and the bad times they are going through.
“It is painful that Nigerians do not respect their aged people. Some of the aged people die due to rejection by relatives. Some of them have been abandoned by their loved ones.
“This is a strategy for social inclusion. We are looking forward to 2022 for another edition.
And for us, it was a time for them to have fun and also ensure that their health is enhanced.
We urge organisations to support this tournament for the elderly. We intend to make it a bi-annual or quarterly project for more women to be involved.”
On sustainability, she said: “We have received a grant through Global Affairs, Canada, through its project called Women’s Voice and Leadership Project. We hope to attract more funding beyond next year and we call on all organisations to see the initiative as the nation’s Corporate Social Responsibility (CSR) to promote their brands.”
Also speaking, the Community Mobiliser, Mosunmola Oki, disclosed that the tournament was held between the Itedo and Maiyegun communities in Lagos.
According to her, “it was fun relating with aged women in the community. To see to their wellbeing. They were happy on the pitch as they were playing football. This is something very rare to see in the country.”
Also speaking on the programme, Captain of Itedo Community Aged Women Football, Temisan Alison, 92 years old, said, “I am so happy with the programme. It was fun and our hopes have been rekindled.”
In her reaction, 75-year-old captain of Maiyegun Community, Adenike Yilu, said: “I thank God for everything… although we did not win, but there is hope for us. We hope to see more of this programme.”