Commissioner Rolando Wilson.
SABA–Saba Commissioner of Social Affairs and Health Care Rolando Wilson pays homage to the elderly in his United Nations International Day of Older Persons (UNIDOP) address. UNIDOP is observed on October 1, recognised by the UN. The year 2020 marks the 75th anniversary of the UN and the 30th anniversary of UNIDOP.
“Our senior citizens are one of the most important groups of people in our society. Therefore, October 1 was set aside to recognise the elderly. Therefore, it gives me great joy to honour you all, not only on this day but every time I see you.”
Wilson said that as he was brought up by his grandparents, it was always instilled in him to respect the elderly. “You all have made great contributions. You all have taught, guided and protected, and fought the different fights for us when we were unable or too blind to see. You worked hard in order for what we have today.”
Our elderly men and women served in many different ways when they were younger. “They built the roads and walls we have now. Many have served to provide food as farmers, many have worked to serve others in one way or the other.
“Many have travelled to get jobs to earn money to send back in order to provide for their families. We remember those that did their lacework, made their bead chains and did other craftwork to sustain their families.”
Some of the elderly have been nurses and caregivers. “You did not give up on us and it is because of you all that we have a history and a future. A very important thing is that you also prayed for the families of this island and we trust that this continues. We need to remember each other, for we cannot do everything on our own.”
This year has seen the arrival of COVID-19, which has caused an upheaval across the world. Considering the higher risks confronted by older persons during the outbreak of pandemics such as COVID-19, governments and other stakeholders have taken steps to help safeguard all citizens.
Wilson said that as long as everyone abides by the rules we can help take care of each other. He asked people for one minute of silence to remember all the people who have passed on because of COVID-19, due to other calamities, sickness or accidents.
“Today I would like to recognise all of our senior citizens who are on-island and those abroad. It is only fitting that we thank you every chance we get for being who you are. Thank you for who you are and for what you have done.
“May God continue to guide, lead, protect and keep you safe as you continue to enjoy the different programmes that have been put in place for you and for all that are aging. On behalf of the public entity Saba, congratulations on this world Senior Citizens Day.”
In closing, Wilson acknowledged all caregivers, dedicated staff workers, community members and family members who continue to take care of the seniors.
Source: The Daily Herald https://www.thedailyherald.sx/islands/wilson-the-elderly-have-made-great-contributions