Minister Meriton’s message on the International Day of Older Persons-‘Elderly citizens an asset for development’


Minister MeritonThis comes in a message from the Minister for Social Affairs, Community Development and Sports Vincent Meriton on the occasion of the International Day of Older Persons being celebrated today.
The full text of Minister Meriton’s message reads: 

“Seychelles joins the rest of the world today to celebrate the contribution of older persons in national development.

“The International Day of Older Persons this year is being celebrated under the theme: 'Older people - a new power for development', a vibrant recognition of their major contributions to society and in achieving the Millennium Development Goals (MDGs).

“It is forecasted that the number of older persons will reach virtually two billion by 2050 - the vast majority of them in developing countries such as Seychelles.

“Seychelles, through its national philosophy of putting people at the centre of development, has paved the way for senior citizens to increasingly play a critical role in the country’s advancement through transmission of experience and knowledge, helping their families with caring responsibilities and increasing their participation in the labour force.

“Our senior citizens are a great resource for our country. They have made tremendous contributions to national development especially in regards to social and community development, and the upkeep of moral and ethical values which bind us as a nation. They are a pillar of strength in the national drive of stamping out social ills affecting our youth and families. We commend and highly appreciate their invaluable support and commitment in the realisation of the objectives of the social renaissance programme. Their mentorship, responsibility, resourcefulness and determination for the betterment of our beloved country are now more than ever called for in charting the way forward.

“The Seychellois society prides itself on the fact that we continually honour our elders, and pay them tribute. Government continues to care and create opportunities for more active engagement of our senior citizens at both community and national levels.

“Provisions are made for all our senior citizens reaching retirement age to benefit from a monthly pension so that they can cater for their basic needs, and where necessary, provide them with appropriate shelter to ensure that they live in a family-friendly environment.  At the same time, for those who are incapable and need assistance with daily living, government ensures that appropriate institutions and programmes are available.

“I salute all the senior citizens; they have contributed to the achievements of our country. As a small island state, Seychelles proudly stands high for the accomplishments and for the way we treat our senior citizens.

“We, in Seychelles, the government, the private sector, the National Council for the Elderly and the Association of Senior Citizens of Seychelles need to intensify our efforts in preparing citizens approaching their golden age for active retirement. Relevant programmes have to be developed to meet this end.

“The International Day of Older Persons gives us the opportunity not only to celebrate the contribution and achievements of senior citizens but to also continue planning for the future as they become this new power in development.

“Dear senior citizens, You have earned our respect today and every day. I salute you all on your special day.”