As the Kenyan government continues to support the elderly in the country through monthly stipends to cushion them from hardships that come with old age, a Marimanti based community-based organization is determined to help the elderly from Tharaka Nithi County have improved lives.
St.Theressa Haven for the Aged located in Marimanti town of Tharaka south that started back in 2019 to improve the lives of the aged and the vulnerable in the community has continued to provide shelter, clothing and healthcare to vulnerable elders through a partnership with various organizations in a bid to ensure the aged are living desirable and hygienic state and places.
According to the organization director Monica Mukami, the organization admits the elders according to their state of life, after visiting their places of residence to see their state.
The first category comprises of elderly and aged who are completely abandoned by their family members and relatives and thus have no one to take care of them at their places of residence.
For this category, the organization usually has their agents who visit these elderly members of the community to counsel, take care of them, and give them company so that they don’t live lonely lives.
The second category involves the elderly and the vulnerable who are under the care of their families but people who ought to be their caretakers are way at work during the daytime and return in the evening. The CBO’s agents visit them regularly during the daytime to talk to them and assess their state of health among other things.
Then there exists the third group of elders whose family members are capable of taking care of them but are away from home where these elderly live.
The CBO’s agents visit them depending on their conditions where they help them with chores like cooking, cleaning, and others besides talking to them and monitoring their health conditions and progress.
Being a young organization, it relies on volunteers; the director revealed that they have partnered with several organizations including Helpage International Kenya, AIS, and Good Shepherds while negotiations for more partners are underway.
The organization is also working closely with the national government to expand its network and impact to the community.
However, Monica said that due to diverse activities by their CBO, they still need more financial support to comfortably operate which requires more sponsors and input of even political leaders and well-wishers.
“We still need some capital injection into our operations to be able to run our operation smoothly. To achieve this, I urge willing sponsors and political leaders to help us actualize the dream we had when forming the organization to chip in and support us,” she said.
She told The Eastern Newspaper, that a total of 275 vulnerable elderly have been admitted and total admission of the elderly stand at 475 drawn from the county so far.
For proper care and dispenses of the services, the organization is seeking allocation of building field by the government at Ruau where they can admit the most vulnerable elderly in the community, and help the CBO vacate government premises at Marimanti where they are operating from.
She says her vision is to see the elderly living better lives even when she will not be in a position to help them with such an initiative for a better society.