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Thika Sub-County old persons yesterday gathered at the Thika Community Hall Grounds to commemorate the International Day for The Aged Persons Celebrations. Drawn from all the six electoral wards of Thika Town Constituency, these senior citizens came in their hundreds to mark this occasion.

Several activities were put in place by the organising committee which was drawn from the Thika Sub-County Social Development Office and the Department of Culture & Social Services, Kiambu County. 

The aged were offered some free health screening courtesy of Thika Level 5 Hospital and the Department of Health Kiambu County where they had their weight, blood sugar and blood pressure screened, given Vitamin A tabs to boost their immunity, got de-wormed and voluntary tested for HIV.

They also showcased their handicraft where they displayed, for sale, very beautiful ciondos, scarfs, jeweries soaps, charcoal etc. This women group from Kianjau, Kiang'ombe and Starehe Estates used the opportunity to appeal for anyone to help them market their works.

The gathering was also treated to a host of entertainment from various local traditional dancers and entertainers who at times left them in stitches.  

During the occasion, the organisers sensitised the need for the young to take the responsibility to care for the aged. They took the occasion to inform the audience that the fund for the aged was not meant for all persons who had attained the age of 65 years but was a fund geared to assist those who had attained that age but were too poor to afford to cater for their basic needs. 

The fund also catered for the bursaries of the children who were under the care of such old persons. It took care of the orphans and persons living in severe disability.

To ensure transparency and that only genuine cases benefitted, the exercise to identify them had been devolved to the village level where the locals identified their beneficiaries themselves. 

Since its inception in the year 2006, the fund has so far benefited over 8,100 aged persons with Ksh. 190 million, 1,000 persons living with disability (sh. 25 million) and 7,500 orphans (sh. 200m) in Kiambu County with each old person receiving an average of sh. 4,000 every two months.

The aged were called upon to use this money prudently so that it could be of benefit to them as well as their dependants. The community was also called upon to regularly inform the authorities of the demise or the shifting homes of any of these beneficiaries so that they could update their records to enable others get the money. 

Those guardians who collected the money on behalf of these aged persons for one reason or another were asked to ensure that it reached the targeted persons in full amount. The community was called upon to take advantage of the 'Nyumba Kumi' initiative to monitor these beneficiaries. In case they noted of default in the way any stage of this exercise was amiss, they were asked to report to the relevant authorities so that appropriate action could be taken.

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