The Community of Sant Egidio under Lira Cathedral Parish is offering care to about 470 elderly persons and other persons with different body impairments among others.
The coordinator of Sant Egidio Lira Diocese Mr. Okwir Moses disclosed that the activities being undertaken include giving relief food and other essential household items to the elderly facing starvation.
He said that so far they have reached to a total of 115 people in 10 chapels under Lira Cathedral Parish although they intend to reach all the people who are currently in dire need.
According to Okwir, the Community is using resources generated locally among its members and other contributions from the friends of Sant Egidio.
He went on to note that Sant Egidio has also been able to construct affordable housing facilities for the elderly living without any close relative to offer them care.
Okwir further said that one of the Community’s activities is being directed towards facilitating the well fare of children and orphans in Lira Babies Home which is located in Ngetta.
Similar activities, according to Okwir, are taking place in the parishes of Aduku, Agwata and Omoro and they have plans to launch more operations in the parishes of Alito, Agweng, Teboke and Bala respectively.
Meanwhile, the Assistant Coordinator of St Egidio Lira Diocese Ms. Janet Akite revealed that apart from giving Christmas lunch prepared for the elderly persons annually, they are currently distributing face masks to protect them from contracting Coronavirus since they are the among the most vulnerable members in society.
Akite particularly said, paying the medical expenditures in hospitals for some few older persons who fall sick and have no one to take responsibility is one of the key obligations being taken by the Community of Sant Egidio, using the little resources contributed by the members.
She appealed to members of the public in the region to stand in solidarity with Sant Egidio in a move to give support to the elderly in Lango sub-region.
Although the initiative to support the elderly is progressing successfully, she disclosed that the activity is being hampered by the partial lockdown and other Covid-19 restrictions including limited resources hence their call to the public to join hands in supporting the elderly in the region.
The activities of Sant Egidio have come at the time when several leaders in the region are concerned about the plight of the elderly persons especially during the pandemic which is in line with the call made by Pope Francis to young people to be present in the lives of the elderly.
On 31 January 2021, His Holiness Pope Francis announced World Day for Grand Parents and the Elderly to be celebrated on fourth Sunday of July, coinciding with the feasts of blessed virgin Mary’s parents and Jesus’ grandparents Saints Joachim and Anne.
The celebration of the first World Day for the Grand Parents and Elderly this year will be on 25th July 2021 under the theme; “I am with you always”, as drawn from the Gospel of Matthew 28:20, with the central message to the young stars to be close always to the elderly people within their communities.