In South Africa, HelpAge works through our partner Muthande Society for the Aged (MUSA) in a number of areas:
- We work on HIV and AIDS programs to promote an open dialogue on HIV issues within communities, encouraging older people to get tested for HIV and training people as HIV counselors and peer educators.
- We support older people to lead healthy and active lives through fitness activities, such as dance competitions.
- We work with paralegal advisors to assist older people in recieveing their identity documents, so they can access social support, such as grants.
In recent years we have focused on:
- Improving social protection by raising the voices of marginalized older people.
- Improving access to social services for older people in South Africa.
- Promoting the inclusion of the 50+ population group in the fight against HIV and AIDS.
Our accomplishments include:
- We have trained older caregivers and peer educators and distributed over 5,000 condoms to older people.
- We have produced and distributed information raising awareness of social grants available to at least 1,500 older people.
- We have trained and certified 225 traditional health practitioners in the prevention and transmission of HIV and AIDS.
- We have secured transport for over 8,000 older people so they can get to health clinics.
- We have assisted over 3,000 older people in accessing foster care grants and identity documents for their orphaned grandchildren.
- We translated the Traditional Health Practitioners Act from English to IsiZulu so it would be of greater benefit to the local people who will use it.
- We supported the construction of a recreational hall for events such as meetings and celebrations. The center is used by older people for adult education, to receive meals and is used to keep track of older people's issues in the area.
- We distributed blankets and wheelchairs to older people and people with disabilities.
- We will advocate for older people to be included in HIV prevention strategies.
- We will ensure that the supply kits from the Department of Health for older carers will be restored.
- We will engage with the Ministry of Social development on the issues affecting grandparents of orphaned children.
Age In Action, Muthande Society for the Aged