Let’s bring sunshine to our elders: A day at the seaside

30 Mar

At the beginning of 2012, all members gathered to define our objectives for the year and it was decided that we at JCI Curepipe would need to organise an event entailing community development but that it would be much appreciated if we could positively impact Curepipe itself. Under the guidance of Veenandi Luximon, our 2012 Local Vice-President (Community Development), Project Director Vida Ramkoosalsing and her team initiated the project “Let’s bring sunshine to our elders: A day at the seaside”.

At “Sainte Coeur de Marie Residential Care Home”, old people tend to live a monotonous life which once used to be colourful and filled with happiness. Everyone needs to be outdoors and this is a crucial need for the elders too. It becomes more vital for the elders who are confined to their rooms in a home. The only environment they see for days on end is within the four walls of the room in which they have set up their new world; and this can be frustrating enough to drive them crazy. There could be no better therapy than a breath of fresh air! With proper planning, such an outing could be fun and a welcome change from their mundane lives.

The organising team had to first go over the activity for its suitability to the elders’ condition of physical and mental health. For instance, a person confined to a wheelchair would need special attention and care for mobility. Special care should be given to those who are need assistance to move around due to impaired hearing or sight. After organising for transport for the whole crew from “Sainte Coeur de Marie Residential Care Home”, we had to organise for the lunch and general logistics to Flic-en-Flac and ensure that we were ready for any unforeseen circumstances. It was quite a scene to witness the JCI Crew trying to set up the marquise which had been lent to us for the occasion. After much trial and error, the marquise was finally set up and we were ready to welcome our stars.

The van which had been sponsored to us through the Aspiring Member Avinash Takoory arrived with our guests bearing smiles like they were celebrating Christmas all over again in March. We felt so privileged to be part of this gathering. We had a lady who was celebrating her birthday with one day’s delay and others who declared that “C’est la première fois que je viens à Flic-en-Flac” or “Elle n’est pas sortie du home depuis plus de trois années, ses seules deplacements étant de sa chambre aux toilettes, et salle à manger et vice-versa”. Two JCI Curepipe members helped one of the Grannies to move from the van to the seating space which had been set up for them, by carrying her in her chair, this reminding her of the special transport facilities she used in France while she visited the country about 10 years ago. The day started with a welcoming speech from Project Director Vida which was followed by some chats between the grannies and JCI Curepipe members.

A first helping to snacks and beverages accompanied the chit-chats of the oldies and our members. Soon the Head-Carer of the home requested lunch to be served due to medical requirements of some grannies. Lunch which consisted of fried rice was much appreciated by the assistance since they were used to more traditional food at the home and dessert was even served since we celebrated the birthday of one of our grannies. Musical games were organised by Yannick Commarmond and it was welcomed by the grannies since it was more entertaining than their usual television series they were used to after lunch or supper.



This took us aback in thinking how lonely and secluded these old ladies were and how; we, at JCI Curepipe, were bringing about a positive change to the lives of our elders and this made us so proud to be part of this whole new experience.



The Stars of the day were even more surprised when they were each given a rose and a surprise gift bag. We were showered blessings of these elders and thanked immensely for taking out time to spend with them, bringing sunshine to our elders through a day at the seaside. Long live JCI Curepipe and may the blessings bestowed by the grannies from “Sainte Coeur de Marie Residential Care Home” always be with us.

Bhavna Ramdenee
Project Team Member


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