Isulukati Chrysolyte meaning Crayfish River Precious Stones is the name of a new group formed in the community of Salybia in the Kalinago Territory, with the elderly in mind.
On Wednesday June 24th an official ceremony was held to inaugurate the new group whose motto is ‘Helping the Elderly, Caring for the Needy’.
The Dominica Council on Ageing (DCOA) is the umbrella organisation for all senior citizens groups on the island.
President of the DCOA, Zetma Toussaint reiterated the Council’s drive to raise awareness about the abuse of the elderly.
She presented President of Chrysolyte, Linda Auguiste with a Certificate of Affiliation from the DCOA and words of encouragement for the new group.
“As a newly-founded group in your community, you must endeavour to embrace all seniors whether or not they belong to your group. You must welcome all older persons regardless of age, sex, political or religious affiliations,” Toussaint began. “You must demonstrate a caring attitude to all who you encounter. You have to be the advocate for all the elders especially the poor, needy and neglected ones.”
Parliamentary Representative for the Kalinago Territory, Casius Darroux also witnessed the inauguration ceremony.
The Hon. Parliamentary Representative listed a number of projects initiated by Government which benefit the elderly in the Territory.
These include housing, care, sanitation programme and the recently initiated $200 monthly stipend for pensioners.
Hon. Darroux said between the Yes We Care and the National Employment Programmes, 41 senior citizens are being cared for in the territory.
He encouraged members of the group to identify additional needy senior citizens to include in Yes We Care Programme.
He spoke of other areas that need tending as it relates seniors.
“It is our intention in the Ministry to work closely with all groups but most importantly with our local leader the Kalinago Chief and Council to ensure that our senior citizens are well taken care of. We need to ensure that they all have access to pipe-borne water, electricity and cooking gas.”
Minister Darroux referenced a Dominica/Guadeloupe Associating which is being engaged to provide technical support to persons whose calling is to care for the elderly. He named physiotherapy as part of that support.
Permanent Secretary in the Ministry of Social Services, Family and Gender Affairs and also of Carib Affairs, Sylvanie Burton also spoke to the group at the ceremony.
She said, “Training for your members is of paramount importance to the success of the work you will do. Avail yourselves to every opportunity for training.”
The group is 21 members strong and is the fifth group organised to care for the elderly in the Kalinago Territory.