Community Update

Digital Empowerment Toolkit Now Available!

At World Pulse, we recognize the need for ongoing learning—for you and for your community! Our toolkits aim to provide the resources you need to advance your social change work.

We are excited to introduce our Digital Empowerment Trainers’ Toolkit, a dynamic resource to help you bring the benefits of connecting online to women in your community. Check it out today! »

Extremes of life in old age

‘I know I will die soon but I had to join this group because of my grandchild. Maybe I might find help!


As I sat in a group of old widows ages ranging from 50 to about 80, I realized how vulnerable old widows are, they do not only have to deal with the loss of their spouses but also how to take care of their grandchildren.

We are looking after our children’s children, our son’s and daughters passed on due to HIV” says agogo one of the women attending a gathering in chansaga compound north of the capital

Life for old widows is becoming more and more difficulty as the day passes, with a life span estimated at 39 years for both men and women here. More and more old people have become the bread winners for their grandchildren. This is not because they want to but because most of their own children have died due to HIV and AIDS.

“I am too old to work, I really don’t know how to take care of my grandchildren, and I need help ‘said another old woman with few teeth in her mouth….

The purpose of joining the group, most of them gave was to seek help; the group which is coordinated by old women under shoulin home based care was established to assist old women. But due to lack of funding the group is slowly collapsing as the hope of many old women have been lost. As I stared at these old women, I wondered what our leaders are doing in supporting the old women in society especially widows who are literate and have no capital to start a business. Though some NGOs are doing their best, not every sector of society or every one is catered for. I envied countries which had implemented policy for old people; at least in such countries old people are given an allowance every month as given shelter. I kept on imaging what sort of life these women, who with the hope of finding a livelihood live their impoverished homes, yet go back empty handed.

Our legs ache, our waist is worse; yes our whole body pains and most of us can not walk a long distance or do hard work. We are really suffering; no one seems to care for us.


Nobody will understand....But i pray that the world would understand is more than words can express...our world is different from that of others, they cannot see what we are seeing...they cannot read minds, they cannot feel feelings....they cannot and they choose not to read the faces of these women...
It is our job...welldone my love.....

Olutosin Oladosu Adebowale
Founder/Project Coordinator
Star of Hope Transformation Centre
512 Road
F Close
Festac Town


Nusrat Ara's picture

That is a real bad situation.

That is a real bad situation. We need to stop the disease and awareness is the key.


Dando's picture


is really sad and bad Nusrat, for sure we need to continue sensitization. The other thing is to work toward changing people mindsets, there are those who refuse to use protection giving their uncoth reasons.

thanks and God bless
with love

Tripti's picture

That is so heartbreaking

that is so heartbreaking to know. Even when i look at my grandparents, i feel so helpless. I know thats old age but i wish that they could be physically strong. and hearing your story it is so heartbreaking to know at that age, what must have they been going through. I so hope you will find help soon.

Dando's picture


its so sad to see our grandmothers striving to make a living. Instead of enjoying the rest of their years, they are busy making ends meet for their grandchildren.

I hope we will find help soon.


with love

JaniceW's picture


Thank you for reminding us of the vulnerability of the elderly. As we have found through PulseWire, it is so important and of great help to have a support system; perhaps other relatives, grown children/grandchildren and/or maybe a nurse or another part-time caretaker.

When seniors can no longer care for themselves, they can become frustrated, develop low self-esteem, diminished self worth, and lose their sense of identity. Loneliness and the loss of friends and family of their generation can be difficult to handle and often they are plagued with poor health, that can lead to depression.

Sometimes a change of pace can help relieve some of the loneliness. It sounds as if you have brought them together already, and perhaps some outings and regular meetings can help as they reminisce together about pleasant times, share their thoughts and ideas, or participate in some light activity. If nothing else, bringing them together and creating a support system for them through this group will be a great start.

Dando's picture


Janice, think its a great idea.I will try to create a support system for our elderly women.

Thanks for the comment

Love you


Magazine »

Read global coverage through women's eyes

Inside Congo's Growing Sisterhood

Inside Congo's Growing Sisterhood

Community »

Connect with women on the ground worldwide

Face to Face with the U.S. Special Envoy to DRC

Face to Face with the U.S. Special Envoy to DRC

Campaigns »

Be heard at influential forums

WWW: Women Weave the Web

WWW: Women Weave the Web

Programs »

Help us train women citizen journalists

World Pulse Voices of Our Future

World Pulse Voices of Our Future

Blog »

Read the latest from World Pulse headquarters

Highlights of the 2014 World Pulse LIVE Tour

Highlights of the 2014 World Pulse LIVE Tour

Partners »

Join forces with our wide network of partners

Nobel Women's Initiative

Nobel Women's Initiative