January 7, 2010 - International Grassroots Activities in Support of Older Persons

Summary: “International Grassroots Activities in Support of Older Persons”.

The program, organized by Stuart Wilson, UN Representative of HelpAge International, utilized a group discussion format to address three questions:

1.  What are some of the most effective ways to implement the Mission of the NGO Committee on Ageing, New York (CoA, NY)?

  • Develop a one page “message” on current ageing issues that can be used, in conjunction with the mission, by committee members, as an aide memoir, when meeting member state missions to the UN, UN secretariat, and at other appropriate interactions.
  • Meet delegates of UN missions, but consider focusing on the top 20 at the beginning and try to include those who are not generally in favor of ageing issues (avoid “singing to the choir”).
  • Provide some training on activism.
  • Invite/reach out to organizations outside the NGO community, particularly the academic community in New York and UN Agencies.

2.  How, if at all, does the work of CoA, NY influence or have an impact on local/national grassroots organizations and vice versa?

The groups’ response to this question tended to focus on how the Committee meetings could incorporate grassroots activities. Suggestions were:

  • Find space on the monthly agenda for education on grassroots activities (specifically – hold an information session on the WHO project – Age Friendly Cities)
  • Ask members who have been traveling to other countries to report on their experiences.
  • Invite younger people involved in support of older persons to describe their work.
  • Find and show video clips of grassroots activities.

3.  How could CoA, NY better promote or utilize grassroots activities?

  • Build relationships with organizations working with older persons external to the NGO community.
  • Include grassroots activities on the Committee’s website.
  • Develop a strategy to increase the use of all forms of media, particularly social media online.

For more information on this program contact the NGO Committee on Ageing:

Jessica Frank, Chair
Tel: 212-407-3710 or Email: JEFrank@aarp.org

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NGO Committee on Ageing • PO Box 1854 • New York, NY • 10163-1854