Bank Uses Mandela Day to Garner Support and Care for the Elderly

18 July 2022

All too often South Africa’s elderly and infirm are cast aside, ignored and their roles in our existence forgotten as we go about our busy lives.

A leading South African bank is set to utilise Mandela Day, on 18 July, to cast the spotlight on South Africa’s senior citizens as worthy and deserving members of communities, ensuring their continued relevance in society today.

Nelson Mandela is quoted as saying: “A society that does not value its older people denies its roots and endangers its future. Let us strive to enhance their capacity to support themselves for as long as possible and, when they cannot do so anymore, to care for them.”

Showing that support and care is Al Baraka Bank’s intent this Mandela Day.

Al Baraka Bank's Sustainability and Social Responsibility Officer, Ms Fathima Mohamed, said: “The sad reality is that very often our country’s elderly and infirm are viewed as a burden and are relegated to old age homes and forgotten, as we get on with our busy lives. Such a situation is untenable and we all – families and business enterprises – have a responsibility to reverse the status quo, restoring dignity to and understanding of the frail in our society. Care and support for people, especially the disadvantaged and vulnerable, in their twilight years is critical.”

Heeding its own Mandela Day call to action, the Bank is set to indulge hundreds of elderly residents of identified care homes in Durban, Cape Town and Gauteng, with toiletry hampers and teas and treats, as well as special meals. Bank staff also intend taking time to chat with residents during the course of this year’s Mandela Day.

“Our small, though important, gesture is to ensure that at least some of our country’s elderly citizens are made to feel special and included this Mandela Day. We would encourage families and businesses to also use this annual opportunity to visit homes and treat their residents. It costs so little to brighten the day of another human being, simply by showing a bit of support, spending a bit of time talking and sharing a treat or two,” said Ms Mohamed. 

“Our intent is simple; to make a contribution towards a more caring and inclusive society in South Africa, making an impact for the greater good, without expectation of reward,” she added.

The bank is accordingly set to distribute hundreds of hampers, treats and meals to residents of Clare Estate Senior Citizen Association and Natal Settlers Memorial Homes, both in Durban, Lotus Park – assisted by The Garden Social Services – in Gauteng, and Beitul Amaan – assisted by the Fusion Inyameko Foundation – in Cape Town."

"Spending time with and treating the elderly is designed to assure our older citizens we do care about them. The gesture may be insignificant when viewed against the huge numbers of older people in care in South Africa, but we hope this will provide a springboard for greater and sustained interactions by the people of South Africa with those who came before them and who deserve their consideration, support and assistance,” Ms Mohamed said.