“International Day of Older Persons’2020” was celebrated at YPSA Age Friendly Space (AFS-02 & 03), Camp-11 & 12, Balukhali; AFS-05, Camp-13, Burmapara, Palongkhali, Ukhiya, Cox’s Bazar and at AFS-08 & 10, Rohmoterbil, Palongkhali, Ukhiya, Cox’s Bazar on October 1, 2020 under the project “Integrated Humanitarian Response to the needs of Older Men and Women” and the project is running under the technical support of HelpAge International, Bangladesh; Funded by UK aid and Fund managed by UNOPS.
The theme of the 2020 commemoration was “Pandemics: Do They Change How We Address Age and Ageing?” .The day was celebrated and honored to respect the contributions that older individuals make to society. The events of this day were game competition, open discussion meeting and prize distribution.
Mr. Shah Mohammed Dedar, Protection and Inclusion Adviser and Mollah Saukat Hossain, Senior Technical Officer, Nutrition Intervention, Emergency Response Project, HelpAge International, Bangladesh joined very actively in the discussion meeting. Displaced Rohingya older men and women were also expressed their feelings in the open discussion. Physical distance was strictly maintained due to COVID-19 situation.
From Rohingya community Mr. Shahid ullah, Nazir Ahmad, Hossain Ali, Mahmuda Khatun, Rahima bibi, Abdun Nobi joined in the open discussion. Mr. Shahid Ullah, president of AFS management committee said, “We are very grateful to Bangladesh Government, HelpAge International, Bangladesh and YPSA to give us such type of opportunity to stay here and get a very peaceful space for us. We are getting health, mental and physiotherapeutic support from this facility uninterruptedly in the COVID-19 situation.
Nazir Ahmad said, “We are refugee here but HelpAge International, Bangladesh and YPSA doing their activities for our betterment like refugee leaving their family and friends. We are very grateful to them.” Rahima bibi said, “We were helpless but this facility is now a “peace-home” for us. We fell very happy when we come here and stay all day long.”
Hossain Ali said, “We are getting every support from this facility but the very older and older disable people cannot come here to get support. We should think about them. We need more facility in the camp”. Abdun Nobi said, “We are getting food and oil from the authority, but we need cash to do something. We want to do something to earn money so that we can stand on own foot with dignity.”
From the Host community Mr. Nazir Hossain, Mr. Bodrudduza, Nurul Islam, Noor Ahmed, Siraz Khatun, Gul Bahar, Samuda Khatun, Noor Jahan, Amena Khatun joined in the open discussion. Mr. Nazir Hossain said, “HelpAge International, Bangladesh and YPSA made this space. We come here every day and we get a space to breathe comfortably now.”
Noor Ahmed said, “This space is very helpful for us but we need more specialized services like different test facilities.” Siraz Khatun said, “We come here every day. It is a platform to raise our voice unitedly. We share our problems each other”. Amena Khatun said, “I like to come here. When I face any problem, I come here and they response sharply and cordially to solve my problem.”
Shafiul Karim, Field Supervisor (AFS-02), Nurun Nabi, Field Supervisor (AFS-03), Mohd. Jahangir Alam, Project Coordinator & Mir Sainul Bin Mannan, Field Supervisor (AFS-05), Farhad Uddin, Project Officer (AFS-08) and Dr. Md. Eaqub, Senior Medical Officer (AFS-10) were present at the day observation.