In honor of Monique Poirier Coutansais
Losing someone who has been an integral part of your life for decades is a forced journey inward. After the initial impact, awareness sets in. Memories, sometimes in floods, sometimes in delicate drops, wipe out the mundane to reveal the quintessence of the relationship and a deepening realization of the
intrinsic value of their unstinting service, good humor and loyalty. These were the values highlighted by friends and family from around the globe who joined us to celebrate the life of my dear friend Monique Poirier Coutansais who left this world at age 96 early in May.
Monique personified the spirit of 2Young2Retire and lived it before I ever dreamed of founding 2Y2R-Europe, the home for our Pass It On Network.
Monique served as secretary general of 2Young2Retire Europe for 20 years. She was placed on “anticipated retirement” at 55 and then lived for another 41 years, a life of service that touched many around the globe.
She lost her mother when she was 12, lived in Paris during the occupation, was introduced to the Red Cross by a cousin who was a doctor and decided to volunteer as a nurse with the French army very much
against her father’s will. She sailed to Vietnam on a troop ship at age 18 where she spent 2 years in a field hospital on the front. She returned to France, confirmed her qualification, married and went with her husband to a different war front in Algeria.
Back in France, she was pondering her next steps after her early retirement when we met. She joined our work supporting active aging and was an incredible support for
me and our work over more than four decades.
We pay tribute to her and aspire to honor her legacy.
Co-Founder & International Coordinator
Pass It On
GLOBAL 50/50 ONLINE CONVERSATION
Ageing with Dignity:
Nigeria's Policy Innovations towards Enhanced
Africa as a whole has the lowest share of plus 65 adults of all world regions, but this is changing rapidly. Nigeria alone expects to triple its older population by 2050.
In June 2021 the National Senior Citizens Center (NSCC
) launched the National Plan of Action on Ageing and Project Activities 2021-2025, and since then Emem Omokaro Ph.D., the center’s Director-General, has been traveling Africa's largest country bringing this policy to life. The objective is to have a society where senior citizens are guaranteed security, independence, participation, comprehensive care, self-fulfillment and dignity.
Monday, 10 July
1pm EDT / 5pm GMT / 7pm CEST / 7pm
Find your local time. View Time Zone Converter here.
If you missed our April 50/50,
check it out on
our PION YouTube Channel!
What the World Needs Now is Economía AMABLE
Learn how "Economía AMABLE" and the power of love in action (amiabilities) may be used to build a sustainable and
inclusive society in ways that meet people's needs and respect their rights.
Every month Moira Allan, our co-founder and international coordinator, hosts an Open House for anyone who wants to find out more about our network. We offer a choice of two sessions to accommodate PION’s global outreach.
Americas, Europe, Africa
Tuesday, 11 July
1pm EDT / 5pm GMT
7pm CEST / 7pm SAST
Wednesday, 12 July
7am CEST / 10:30am IST
1pm SGT / 3pm AEST
Leading up to the 14th session in 2024
More than 110 NGOs and National Human Rights Institutions (NHRIs) met with the UN Open Ended Working Group on
Aging Co-Facilitators (Brazil and Portugal) at the June 12 Briefing. The participants called for open, transparent, and inclusive participation of older persons, NGOs, and NHRIs in all aspects of intersessional work leading up to next year, together with Member States and UN human rights agencies. During the Briefing, we received confirmation that older persons, NGOs, and NHRIs will be included in the call for inputs. We urge PIONeers to participate with our diverse national and regional
experiences, call out the human rights violations in older age that we have seen and experienced, and provide input on how best to address them through the legal process. Stay tuned. Read more...
Dis-Moi in Mauritius: World Elderly Abuse
June 15, World Elderly Abuse Awareness Day, is a red-letter day on the calendars of human rights activists around the world. It was launched in June 2006 by the International Network for the Prevention of Elder Abuse (INPEA). Our PIONeer, Naraidoo Gava Naraidoo, aka Vijay, coordinator of international relations and Steering Group Member of both the Global Alliance for the Rights of Older Persons (GAROP) and the
Stakeholder Group on Ageing for Africa, represents the Mauritian NGO named Dis-Moi.
”Take care of our own aged parents first and then extend the same care to aged people in general,’’ states a Chinese proverb. This year, Dis-Moi decided to strike at the roots of the human rights problem for older persons and build awareness among younger people by organizing an essay and photographic competition.
Rewarding results from the strong participation that Dis-Moi experienced were reported this month, as shown here in its June publication and reflected in the GAROP statement.
GAROP’s statement: “Governments must address gaps and limitations in the international human rights framework to
tackle elder abuse worldwide.”
Violence against older persons is an unacceptable
but persistent global phenomenon. It takes many different forms, occurs in all types of settings, and is perpetrated by a wide range of different actors. These forms of violence and abuse often go unnoticed, unrecorded, and remain a taboo subject in many societies. Read more...
Zimbabwe: Civil Society Steps in to Improve the Lives of Older People
The Association of Senior Citizens Organizations (ASCO) is a philanthropic Trust Fund in Zimbabwe that was launched in 2021 in Harare. One of the primary movers was our PIONeer, Beatrice Sithole, founder of the Power of Touch. ASCO’s primary aim as an umbrella
organization is to consolidate the views of senior citizen organizations in Zimbabwe so they can speak with one voice. “We’re committed to providing effective and responsive social protection to senior citizens,” says Mr. F. Dembetembe, the current national Chairman.
ASCO strives to ensure that all senior citizens are aware of their rights all the time, and periodically appears on radio talk shows to spread the word to
all senior citizens to organize themselves into structured organizations and call on service providers to improve living conditions/standards and provide discounts for older persons wherever possible.
Advocating for cost-of-living reductions
To this end ASCO approached the Harare City Council and the Zimbabwe Electricity Supply Authority (ZESA) in January this year to
request the unconditional privilege of 50% reduction on attaining the age of 65 and to pay any outstanding arrears/debt in installments as was done by ZESA when prepaid meters were introduced. Discussions are ongoing.
ASCO’s agenda with the Department of Social Welfare covers 9 major issues including:
- Creation of the Ministry of Senior Citizens and Disability
- Reduction of the retirement age to 55 - Zimbabwe Census Life expectancy is 62. Government retirement age is 65.
- Meeting with the
Consumer Protection Commission on unfair/uncontrolled skyrocketing goods prices.
- Responses from City Council and electricity utility to urgent requests.
ASCO encourages communities to hold regular meetings to raise and discuss all issues affecting senior citizens and advocates for organizational structures to spearhead their programs.
The message is clear:
“Life is too short. Let’s enjoy it. Be happy, care, love and regularly visit one another. Avoid the silent killer disease of “loneliness”. Above all let’s guard our health jealously. Keep fit, exercise, walk, stay in good shape and spirits. Let’s go for periodic/ regular medical check-ups”.
NOTE: because of budgetary constraints all ASCO operations are currently funded from Trustees’ personal resources.
PION Click-Ons to Pass-On
The Pioneer Network
supports models where elders live in open, diverse, caring communities, working for a culture of aging that is life-affirming, satisfying, humane and meaningful.
Stimulate your journey to revolutionizing all aspects of your retirement transition by listening to a monthly podcast led by Dr. Dorian Mintzer, a top retirement guide and M.S.W., Ph.D., Board Certified Coach, and Certified Professional Retirement and her guests. Listen to Elizabeth Isele, a
leading advocate for the experienced economy. She is currently rolling out a pilot project for her (and PION’s) Experience Incubator in Durban, South Africa with TAFTA. Listen here.
AARP’s ARC 4.0 Report shows how we can work
to make a better life for older people everywhere.
The world's population is getting older, especially in poorer countries. Older people in these countries and elsewhere face unfair differences based on factors such as gender, ethnicity, ability, where they live, and how much money they have. We can make things fairer for older people by working together as a global community. AARP's ARC 4.0 Report
(published 2022), made with help from Economist Impact, gives us real examples of ways to do this. It shows how different groups and individuals can help make sure everyone has equal access to good health as the world ages.
Johannesburg, South Africa. Afrolongevity Summit on Improving Geroprotective Policy and Technology.
Israel, EURAG Council on Financial Security in Later Years
Singapore and South Korea. PION/ACAP sponsored International Study Tour on Active Ageing – Leading-Edge
Strategies for an Ageing Society
Advocating for the Rights of Older People
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