HelpAge has worked in Uganda since the early 1990s with its affiliate the Uganda Reach the Aged Association (URAA) and other partners. Our work includes:
- improving the social and economic security of vulnerable older people
- ensuring older people are included in emergency responses
- supporting the Government of Uganda on issues of social protection and developing Uganda's national policy on aging
- putting in place, as part of national consortium the Social Assistance Grant for Empowerment (SAGE), two forms of cash grants - based on a household entitlement and a universal pension for people over the age of 65.
Our past accomplishments include:
- Set up 16 older people's groups in northern Uganda. Older members use the groups to find out their rights and entitlements and then lobby local authorities to ensure they get them.
- Supported the national civil society Platform for Social Protection to work with the governent on implementing the new national poverty alleviation program (SAGE), and helped platform members participate in key events, such as the World Bank conference on Social Protection Policy and Labor Laws.
- Encouraged pre-election awareness-raising activities on older people's issues. As a result, the manifestos of the three strongest candidates include older people among the vulnerable groups that need special atention. The winning party's manifesto includes a commitment to enact a law establishing a national council of older people.
- Provided training for 22 community paralegals in northern and western Uganda to help with legal issues facing older people.
- Set up a civil society group on social protection which included older people. This has created a foundation for them to press their district authorities for social benefits.
- HelpAge distributed 300 packages of essential items and 350 goats to 300 extremely vulnerable older persons in Gulu.
- The long-awaited national policy on aging was passed by parliament. A plan of action to implement the policy is now being developed.
- We trained 90 people as paralegals to support older people's inheritance rights. These paralegals supported 414 cases of land rights, marginalisation and domestic violence.
- We formed eight older people's citizen monitoring groups and trained representatives from each group to monitor and gather evidence on the provision of services in their areas.
- We will support and strengthen health advocacy groups in their bid to ensure older people are included in HIV and AIDS programs
- We will further develop older people's citizen monitoring groups in Northern Uganda so they can keep track of how effective local government services are.
URAA, CARITAS Gulu, Health Alert Uganda