Basseterre, St. Kitts, October 13, 2016 (SKNIS): A call for more persons in society to “respect and appreciate their elders” has seemingly resonated around St. Kitts and Nevis as the twin-island federation celebrates October as the Month of Older Persons.

Deputy Director in the Ministry of Social Development, Ann Wigley, appeared on Wednesday’s (October 13) edition of the government’s weekly radio and television programme. She pointed to the enormous contributions that have been made by the now retired community to develop the country, and said that much more needs to be done to help persons, particularly the young, have a greater sense of appreciation.

“From yesterday to now, my phone has been ringing nonstop. I am overwhelmed,” Mrs. Wigley said, during a follow up conversation. She said persons have been calling, congratulating her for her candid points on the topic and some have pledged to assist. A group in St. Peter’s has invited Mrs. Wigley to come to speak to its members, while another has requested an engagement with its members, Mrs. Wigley and two seniors of her choosing. Additionally, Deputy Director Wigley was invited to appear on another radio programme to promote her message.

Even school children she has encountered have been quick with a polite smile and greeting. “The word is getting out and I am grateful,” she added. However, Mrs. Wigley added that the response should not be just for the month.

“There needs to be greater education in the homes, the schools, and the churches,” the government official said, noting that young people need to have that spirit of gratitude for elders. “If we do it as parents, they will follow.”

In addition to the month long activities, including a movie night, church service, street march and gala, that were organized to commemorate the Month of Older Persons, Mrs. Wigley said the officers at Social Development will continue their outreach to individuals, groups, and agencies to promote raising the level of dignity that the senior citizens have earned.