Congratulations and Goodwill From Around The Globe …


Jan Hively, Ph.D. Cape Cod, USA

"As the U.S.A. Liaison for the Pass It On Network, I can tell you that numerous national networks in the United States are eager to extend their outreach and help you develop support for positive ageing in Africa. Our Pass It On Network partners in the United States include Coming of Age, the Encore Network, Generations United, Sage-ing International, Elders Climate Action, and the Village to Village Network. We stand ready to support your leadership as you gather the energy of elders to help themselves and their communities and our precious earth."

Cullen Hayashida, Ph.D., ACAP, Hawaii, USA

Congratulations on your exciting plans for October 2017! As a member of the Active Aging Consortium in Asia Pacific, we look forward to network with you and to learn from your experiences. You are truly pioneers raising awareness, creating new training programs and developing new policies to support older adults and to tap their wisdom. There is no path now but there will be one after we walk together!

Carole Fleischman, New Orleans, Louisiana, USA

Welcome to the world of Positive Aging! It's exciting to know Africa is engaging in this important endeavour, joining with global colleagues to make it happen!

Carol Gorelick, New York, USA

"I will be with you in spirit. You are doing important and groundbreaking work. Heartfelt thanks and many blessings."

Barbara Penn-Atkins, Pass It On Network, Phoenix, Arizona, USA

Dear David Oludare Mark-Okusanya, greetings from Phoenix Arizona, USA.

My friend Frank Ononyee from Nigeria, and I CONGRATULATE you for achieving this ambitious task of recognizing and celebrating an Ageless Generation of Seniors and Elders in Nigeria, Africa. Best wishes for your continued success.

Kari Henley - Founder, Age Without Borders, Fort Collins Colorado, USA

David, it is my honor to support promoting this conference via the website, and I would love to be in Lagos to participate fully. On behalf of my entire team, we congratulate the entire Ageing Conference Committee Members for their hard work, and to our own Moira Allan for earning the 2017 VOICE FOR THE AGED AWARD in Nigeria. Sending best wishes for success.


Gabriel Monteiro, Silver Valley, France and Pass It On Network Country Liaison Brazil/France

Dear David!

Brazil's aging community sends its best wishes for the Worlds Elders Day Conference! The ties that connect our two countries are already very strong, and we hope to grow more and more together!


Prof. Armoogum Parsuramen GOSK, Country Liaison for Mauritius (Pass It On Network) Founder-President of Global Rainbow Foundation

This is a commendable initiative that David Oludare Mark-Okusanya is taking upon. Ageing is an important social issue that must be addressed by each and every citizen of the world. Each society must ask itself this question: 'What is currently being done to smoothen this inevitable, yet remarkable process?'

By giving our time and attention to dissecting and analyzing the challenges faced during ageing, I believe we are at the same time working towards a proactive and healthy ageing process, which will have a positive impact on the newer generations to come.

Lynda Smith, CEO Refirement Network, and Pass It In Network country liaison, South Africa.

Greetings from the tip of Africa. David Oludare Mark-Okusanya attended the World Congress for Healthy Aging in Johannesburg in July 2015. I was a committee member of this event in South Arica. David, told me that this conference inspired him to plan an event in his home country. In my role as a South African liaison for The Pass it On Network I introduced David to Moira, the co-founder. I am delighted to wish you well for your event. May we all start to focus on aging as a key issue on the continent so that our elders will live with purpose and dignity.

Florence Mavis Odoom – Pass It On Network country liaison, Ghana

Greetings from Family Ark Mission (FAM)- Ghana chapter. It is my pleasure to extend my felicitations to members and executives whose contribution, support and cooperation have made it possible for FAM to attain its present status. Glory be to our God and to the president

Dr. David Oludare Mark we say Ayekoo for continuing what MAMA left.
I'm also congratulating the PASS IT ON NETWORK executives for this landmark collaboration and to our AWARD winning VOICE FOR THE AGED recipient - MOIRA ALLAN.

Hellen Ziribagwa, Founder Pass It On Trust Uganda, Uganda

For us, old comprises of wealth, wisdom and experience

If steered in the direction can bring about positive social change. Congrats David on this landmark.


Takeo Ogawa, Ph.D.: Professor Emeritus, Kyushu University, Japan, founder Active Aging Consortium of Asia Pacific, President, (NPO) Asian Aging Business Center

Celebrating World Elders Day in Africa.

Now, we are living in a global ageing era. The population ageing is not only occurring in developed countries but also in developing countries. In accordance with this demographic transition, we human-beings should share the idea and skills and attitudes toward constructing an ideal ageing society. “Active Ageing,” which was proposed by WHO, is one policy framework. Our Japanese as a frontrunner of ageing will contribute to the Family Ark Mission’s work. Let’s meet the challenge with each other!

Prof. Teresa TSIEN, Professor of Practice (Gerontology), Department of Applied Social Sciences, and Professional Consultant, Institute of Active Ageing, Hong Kong Polytechnic University

Heartiest congratulations on organizing this first ageing conference of it's kind in Africa. Greetings from Hong Kong. We look forward to having future mutual exchange in research and best practices to improve the lives of people as they age. My very best wishes for a most enjoyable and productive World Elders Day Conference

Professor ILANGO PONNUSWAMI, Ph.D, Department of Social Work, Bharathidasan University, Khajamalai Campus, TIRUCHIRAPPALLI, Tamil Nadu State (India)

David's Family Ark Mission and the International Conference is a wonderful initiative in Africa. I find the conference programme very interesting and useful from the point of view of active / positive ageing. David and his team deserve our appreciation for organising such a wonderful event, especially for putting an excellent array of events together, particularly inclusion of some colourful African dance, lively music and food, all by older persons. I wish the event a great success. I wish I could join you all in Nigeria.


Dirk Jarré President of EURAG and Chair of the NGO Organising Committee for the NGO Forum on Ageing, Lisbon 2017

Dear Friends and Colleagues in Africa!

As European and North American civil society engaged in ageing issues is preparing for its participation in the Regional NGO Forum and in the UNECE Ministerial Conference on Ageing 2017 in Lisbon - 20 to 22 September 2017, labelled “A Sustainable Society for All Ages - Realising the Potential of Living Longer”, we learn with great pleasure that you are also organising a big gathering titled “World Elders Day - The Challenges of Ageing in Africa” to take place in Lagos, Nigeria, 26 & 27 October 2017.

This is great news indeed and goes to show that there are more and more initiatives worldwide that try to promote the full implementation of the Madrid International Plan of Action on Ageing and the Political Declaration adopted at the Second World Assembly on Ageing in April 2002 for the benefit of all older persons globally and of society at large.

On behalf of the European Federation of Older Persons, EURAG, I wish you all a lot of success with your conference and suggest that we exchange the outcomes from both events in order to learn from each other, to develop cooperation and to strongly advance our common efforts towards the realisation of a world that is a good living place for all ages.

Moira Allan, co-founder and international co-ordinator of the Pass It On Network

I am fascinated to see what seenagers are achieving through WhatsApp! I also want to say how much we like the word "seenagers" coined in Lagos, Nigeria. I believe it will steadily gain currency and become as well known and as widely adopted as the word "teenagers". Congratulations to the two professors who share the paternity and who went through Medical School together @LUTH in 1976 - Prof Etisiobi and Prof Aderounmu Adebimpe. Congratulations go to David for amplifying its impact.

Dr Ana Krajnc, professor with tenure of andragogy at the University of Ljubljana, Slovenia and Pass It On Country Liaisons for Slovenia. She co-founded he Slovene Third Age University network in 1985. Her motto is “Everyone teach one”.

Dear Dr David Oludare Mark-Okusanya,

Congratulations on your initiative and organization of CHALLENGES OF AGING IN AFRICA. Receive our big support. Humanity world-wide is confronted with big social changes. We have to stay together, support each other and find the proper solutions for better future for all people. We fight for social inclusion, education and active ageing or silver economy of old people. Greetings.

Dieter Zwicky, Pass It On Country Liaison for Switzerland

Dear David…Congratulations on your great initiative to organize the first ever “Ageing Conference Celebrating The World Elders Day ” in Nigeria. By reaching out and connecting worldwide we all can contribute to the needed intergenerational exchange to improve the quality of life of all of us in life’s third act with a new found purpose. Wishing you lots of success from Switzerland…

Best regards, Dieter

Vera Mensinga, Pass It On Network, London, UK

Sending David and Moira a very big hug and appreciation for this Conference, what an amazing line up of speakers and initiative! Love and blessings from UK.

Tom Holloway, Pass It On Network Liaison

WORLDU3A - The University of the Third Age International - sends you greetings from Oxford, UK. Your conference to be held in Lagos on the 26 & 27 October 2017 by the Center for Active Ageing and Networking will meet a long-felt need. We salute you on behalf of all those elders who have entered the Third Age and we are confident that you will accept the challenge and will triumph.

Marie Carroll, Pass It On Liaison for Ireland, and Peter Magnan, co-founder of the Freebird Club.

On behalf of the Freebird Club team, I send hearty congratulations and best wishes to David and the Family Ark Mission for organizing this great event. It promises to be a fascinating conference, covering the most pressing and pertinent aspects of modern ageing, and an international milestone in our global awareness and adaptation for an ageing society. Enjoy the conference, and I look forward to hearing the many highlights.

Hans Kristján Guðmundsson, Chairman, University of the Third Age, U3A Reykjavik and Pass It On country liaison for Iceland

My sincere congratulations on your achievement in organizing this very interesting and important World Elders Day conference in Nigeria. The challenge of aging is diverse and many-faceted all over the world. One of the most important issue is the awareness raising on the resources that lie in the ever increasing group of active, experienced older citizens. The messages are clear. Prepare in time. Be active through lifelong learning. It is never too late to change, to reinvent yourself, to dream new dreams, to follow your interests. The role of society is to make this possible. I wish you great success in meeting and dealing with the Challenges of Aging in Africa.

Gulnara Minnegaleeva, co-founder of Wisdom Ripening and Pass It On Network liaison for Russia

I am sending words of support for the organizers of the "World Elders Day - The Challenges of Aging in Africa" in Lagos, Nigeria, 26 & 27 October 2017, on behalf of the Russian members of the organization Wisdom Ripening. Our motto is "My years are my treasure". In our organization we appreciate all the contributions, experience and wisdom of people that comes with years of life. We believe that it is important for every person in every country to enjoy and cherish old age as much as other periods of life.


Nan Bosler, President of the Australian Senior Computer Clubs Association and Pass It On Network’s country liaison for Australia

Congratulations to David Oludare Mark-Okusanya for the planning and organising that has gone into a two-day feast where outstanding speakers will address the Challenges of Aging in Africa. I wish the conference great success and applaud the initiative and those who support it.

Jean Walker, President U3A Glenorchy, President U3A Online and Pass It On Network liaison for Tasmania

I send my very best wishes for a successful conference on the Challenges of Aging in Africa and hope that the outcomes will benefit all senior citizens in Africa.

Meg Evans, Pass It On Network liaison for New Zealand

I wish to send my heart-felt, warmest wishes to you for your Challenges of Ageing in Africa even. What an achievement to have organised such a thought-proving programme offered by your many and various speakers.

I love the combination of dancing, cultural foundations and the new ideas woven into each day ... to energise, ground and inspire your participants. I look forward to hearing about the collaborations, surprises and ideas for action that come from your initiative ...that will inspire us to bring about necessary change to have elders play a vital role in our societies.


At the World Elders’ Day Conference – Nigeria The Challenges of Aging in Africa Lagos

26 &27 October 2017

Jan Hively, Ph.D.

Co-founder and Country Liaison for the US, based on Cape Cod, Massachusettes, USA

Moira Allan

Co-founder and International Coordinator, based in Paris,France

Kari Henley

Community Coordinator,
based in Colorado, USA

The Pass It On Network is in total harmony with the 2017 theme of International Day of Older Persons 2017 - “Stepping into the Future: Tapping the Talents, Contributions and Participation of Older Persons in Society.”

The UN explains: This year’s day is about enabling and expanding the contributions of older people to their families, communities and society at large. It focuses on the pathways that support full and effective participation in old age, in accordance with old persons’ basic rights, needs and preferences.

This is an exact expression of what the Pass It On network considers its mission to be.

The Pass It On Network believes the work of elders is to “pass it on”, to share our know-how with others, to capitalize on what works, and to shape positive expectations for lifelong working, learning and sharing.

We created our network in November 2013, drawing heavily on the experience of our Co-founder, Dr. Jan Hively, who, after a career in city planning and administration, earned her PhD in 2001 at age 69 with a survey revealing the productivity of older adults in rural communities. Since then, she has co-founded several thriving networks that support positive aging, including: the Vital Aging Network,, the SHIFT Network,, and a global exchange, the Pass It On Network, As a Purpose Prize Fellow, Dr. Hively is a nationally and internationally recognized presenter and consultant for programs that engage older adult leadership, Jan’s academic degrees were earned at Harvard University and the University of Minnesota.

Global network

Over the last four years, we have built a network of positive/active aging advocates and like-minded networks around the world stretching from New Zealand and Australia through the Americas, across Europe and now into Africa. We are, up until now, self-funded, and are striving toward sustainability. We meet quarterly via virtual conferences on the Zoom platform, maintain a web site, foster international exchanges and provide support for each other. In addition, we find that the single most important benefit of belonging to our network is the energy and stimulation it generates for each one of us.

The conference organized in Nigeria by our Pass It On Country liaison and Director of Family Ark Mission, Dr David Oludare Mark-Okusanya in Collaboration with Christ Living Spring Apostolic Ministry (CLAM) and House of Oduduwa provides a perfect example. You can make reference to and also see the goodwill messages received and specific opportunities that have opened up to Nigeria through the network.

What made us start the network?

First and foremost, because we ourselves are seniors, or “seenagers” if we adopt the brilliant new word that has emerged in Nigeria to describe this new extended life stage of active living. We are curious to find out how seniors in other parts of the world are coping and what we could learn from each as the ageing phenomenon is not evenly spread across the world and we have much to learn from older nations.

As the International Institute of Aging says: The world is in the midst of a unique and irreversible process of demographic transition that will result in older populations everywhere. As fertility rates decline, the proportion of persons aged 60 and over is expected to double between 2007 and 2050, and their actual number will more than triple, reaching 2 billion by 2050. In most countries, the number of those over 80 is likely to quadruple to nearly 400 million.

All of us are living this demographic revolution in real time. We are both witnesses and trail blazers shaping a new paradigm that associates ageing with a life span of 100 years and rewrites the roles of people in terms of their functionality and not their chronological age.

Our inspiration comes from a Hopi Indian leader who advised his people not to be afraid of the future but to grasp the fact that, “We are the ones we have been waiting for”. In other words, there is nobody above us in the age hierarchy. We’re at the top of the ladder and how we live through this new situation is as much up to us as up to any other factor. We must build on our strengths and experiences, act with resilience, and guide the way to positive ageing.

We are the ones we have been waiting for

Many factors make it vital that we play an active role in inventing how to live this new phase of life beginning at age 50+. The second half of life, so rich in promises and challenges, calls for us to be bold, imaginative and caring and to realize that we are the ones who need to self-organize in order to be in a position to help ourselves, others and our communities.

We are ageing in a world faced with planet-wide challenges including global warming, food scarcity, gender inequality, and the rapid rate of culture change generated by the digitization of our lives, artificial intelligence, and the Internet of Things.

It is an exciting time to be alive to these changes and to adapt to them.

Senior Social Entrepreneurs – aka Change Brokers

It is also a time when we are starting to see in the USA, in Europe, in Asia, Africa and elsewhere a growing realization that seniors are not the burden they were predicted to be but instead, as Marc Freedman, founder of says, the only growing natural resource on earth. We are seeing nations and regions recognizing seniors as a valuable resource. Many examples of this can be seen in the European Union that is moving to cope with emerging social needs including needs generated by the globalized economy, cutbacks in public spending and services, and demographic shifts in the European population. One specific example is a current Erasmus Plus project that recognizes Seniors as Social Entrepreneurs and has even coined the term “change broker” to describe this growing force. Meeting these challenges calls for the participation of all of us.

EU planning expresses the specific need to:

· Re-engage seniors of all ages and backgrounds in the production of economic and social value

· Find new solutions to existing and emerging social challenges not addressed by the open market and not sufficiently addressed by public services

· Engage users, clients and citizens in creating these solutions

· Create dynamic social change mechanisms to respond flexibly to the fast changing global and local economies, social infrastructures and labour markets.

This plan fits with what’s leader, Marc Freedman, quoted earlier, says about work: “Seniors are at the intersection of two major trends of our time: 1) much longer working lives; and 2) the desire and recognition that we need to change the world. If the old dream was freedom FROM work, the new one could be the freedom TO work on new terms and often for more rewarding and important ends”.

Next step – An Active Aging Network growing out of Africa

Our Pass It On Network is now collaborating with numerous regional and functional networks, all focused on support for active/positive aging, and we all feel the benefits. We have learnt much from ACAP - the Active Ageing Consortium of Asia Pacific - and are delighted that the founder of the network, Professor Takeo Ogawa of Japan, has addressed a goodwill message to this conference. It is our vision to help in any way possible with the structuring of regional active ageing networks.

What is happening here in Nigeria with this conference is a major step forward to creating an African Active Ageing Consortium.

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