HelpAge is a Sri Lankan charity that's very serious about caring for the elderly generation.
We went over to HelpAge Sri Lanka and found a bunch of dedicated folk who provide several services that enable the elderly to be independent as possible.
On the one hand, HelpAge does not have elders homes neither do they advocate it. They thinks its best for elders to be at home with their families. HASL does encourage and advocate people to look after and care for them their own elderly while they live at home. They conduct training seminars in schools as part of their advocacy, to enable children to know and learn about the elderly and the importance of taking care of them.
Apart from advocacy, HASL provides healthcare, skill training, welfare services, development programs and a whole lot of stuff so that the elderly are able to take care of themselves, earn a living and be independent.
The HelpAge Eye Care Centre in Wellawatte carries out 22 cataract eye surgeries every day, free of charge. HASL has a mobile medical unit which has all the medical equipment required to run a check-up just like when you visit a doctor. The MMU is staffed with a host of qualified doctors, nurses and caregivers. The unit also has a pharmacy. On the bus 75 -100 people can be screened for non communicable diseases like diabetes, high or low blood pressure that the elderly are more prone to get. All free of charge. HASL also provides disability aids like wheelchairs.
HelpAge has day care centers for the elderly where they can spend time creating handcrafts, cooking, doing recreational activities, in fellowship, etc.
Senior Citizen Committees
Senior Citizen Committees provides a hangout type of place for the elderly where they are able to share, interact, have special programs and identify and address needs in these societies. 10,200 members have been helped to start up their own income generating livelihood. The elderly in these committees have also been helped to start financial service schemes.
How Are They Funded?
So do you wonder how they find money to do stuff free of charge? They are mostly funded by donors and they also have a income generating greeting card project, which is how I also bumped into them the first time. When I purchased the cards they told me how my money would be spent. The money collected from the cards would actually purchase a pair of spectacles for an elderly person. I think that is kinda super.
Buy A Card
You can find their cards at some of these better known outlets: Sarasavi Bookshop, Lake House Book Shop, Vijitha Yapa Books Shop, Union Chemist, M.D Gunasena, Premasiri Stores & Super Market, even Deen The Book Man has them. Well if you can't find a place to find their cards, you could always email them at firstname.lastname@example.org. Even Better yet, why not just donate or do your CSR projects right here? Boxing Day is right round the corner and if you are looking for places to give, think of the elderly who you will be aiding with either a pair of much needed spectacles, an eye operation or medical services.
If you need personalised greeting cards you can contact their manager or assistant manager of fund raising on 112803752-53, 114926358, and 114926948.
Where They Need Funding
The HelpAge has different programs you could fund apart from buying a card. There are medical and eye camps, the eye hospital, mobile medical clinics, ayurvedic center, distribution of disability aids, training programs and housing projects.
HelpAge Sri Lanka is a good place to give, simply because all funds go to the improvement of an elderly person. The next time you see their tills in supermarkets and their greeting cards, know that the money is used well because "to care for those who once cared for us is one of the highest honours" - Tia Walker
For more information contact HelpAge Sri Lanka on 11 2803752, 11 2803753, 11 2803754, 11 7418977 - 81 or email on email@example.com.
(pictures courtesy their website)