Old people in Burundi need more help

Some old people from Hospice Sainte Bernadette.

Some old people from Hospice Sainte Bernadette.

«We do not have enough means to nourish old people. These days, people do not help us as they used to do in the past. Because of limited means, we only care for thirty eight old people though we could shelter fifty,” says Mother Colette Murimbane, Head of Saint Elizabeth Old people’s home (Hospice Sainte Elizabethe).

Mother Colette says old people need much attention and care. She says it is difficult these days to satisfy all their needs.”There are many old people in our country who are helpless. We urge people to think about them and assist them”, she says.

The congregation of Bene Mukama to which Sainte Elizabeth Old people’s home belongs has the mission to take care of old people. “We are thankful to people who think about old aged people and come to visit them. Some bring them food, clothes, soaps and other things that they need. There are also some who come and help us to wash their clothes or cook their food”, says Mother Colette.

“There are very few houses that help old people in our country whereas many old aged people are helpless. Some come to ask for help. We, unfortunately, cannot help them as we are short of means. Unless one of those we already have dies, we cannot take another.” she says.

Mother Theresa says among the thirty eight old people they take care of, only five have families that support the house. “Others have nobody to support them and we charge them nothing”, she says.

Every 15th of June is a World Elder Abuse Awareness Day. In Burundi, houses which take care of old people are not many.