The need to support older persons and their dependents is a worldwide issue, that is quickly becoming epidemic. Our organization focuses on addressing this crisis in the African countries of Uganda and Ethiopia; where the basic essentials for senior survival are often unavailable.
Despite the fact that the population of adults over 60 in Africa is estimated to reach 103 million in 2030 and almost double by 2050; this exorbitant growth is not being matched with support and care. Instead, older persons continue to be the most vulnerable people group on the continent.
- It is estimated that over 1 million seniors in Uganda live in poverty, loneliness, isolation, and hopelessness.
- Seniors are among the poorest in Uganda, with 64% living on less than one US dollar per day.
- Due to conflict, illness, and death of the middle generation, the elderly are left to care for their grandchildren alone.
- More than 500,000 orphans with HIV or AIDS in Uganda are under the care of their elderly grandparents.
- 56% of the elderly in Uganda suffer from physical disabilities and 39% have visual impairments with no medical system in place to aid them.
- There is no pension plan in place to provide for those entering old age.
- There is no social system in place to look after children without parents.
- Those who are close to seniors lack the education and means to provide them the support needed to thrive.
- ROTOM expanded into this region in 2017 and is registered with the Ethiopian Charities & Society Agencies.
- The seniors served here are in a heavily urban area.
- The government does not offer a formal social security program or pension; although many worked well into their elder years.
- Many have lost their children to HIV/AIDS and now are responsible to care for their grandchildren.
- Changes in the societal perception of seniors has led to a loss of social capital, resulting in a decline of respect for the elderly.
- Seniors are often alienated from their communities and desperate for connection.