As we celebrate the International Day of Older Persons, we trace Saada’s daily activities to see how Amel is empowering a whole generation across Lebanon. Her story is about perseverance and growing confidence in a society that is increasingly ageist, in other words, that has a tendency to discriminate based on someone’s age.
Older people, 60+ year olds who have committed their lives to their society, can suddenly find themselves alienated and dismissed. This is particularly problematic given the demographic group is growing globally, with the UN predicting that around 20% of the world’s population will fall within this age group by 2050. It is Amel’s conviction that older people’s contributions to their families and local communities should be celebrated and seen as an integral and necessary part of a healthy and developed society. In 2017, Amel provided gardening and cooking classes, psycho-social support and healthcare to combat non-communicable diseases, to 750 beneficiaries nationwide.
Saada’s story showcases the extent of older people’s commitment to societal contribution and re-integration, as well as the personal benefits that follow.