On December 14th, 1990, the United Nations General Assembly declared October 1st to be the International Day of Older Persons. The 2021 theme “Digital Equity for All Ages” affirms the need for access and meaningful participation in the digital world by older persons.
Back in 2018, the M&M Ivanaj Foundation Institut of Tirana hosted its Seniors Technology Club (STC), a novelty program that aimed at connecting the Senior generation with the more technologically integrated younger one, while sharing its age wisdom with Albanian youth. The main goal of this STC program was to provide elders with the tools they needed to use basic computer and internet functions, so that they would feel more linked to the younger generation and also communicate with their many relations living abroad (Albanians have many!).
That first attempt at this type of project was able to successful educate a dozen seniors about a variety of uses of technology, both on a smartphone and a PC, including basic computer functions, email, and social media. A well-organized, one day outing trip to Shkodra splendidly brought to an end that special effort. The pictures of that time that accompany this blog need no comment and speak by themselves.
While technological advances offer great hope for accelerating progress towards the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) established by the UN, yet, one-half of the global population is still off-line.
The pandemic, unfortunately, forced a pause in the continuation of this endeavor of ours, which we plan to resume as soon as possible to enlarge the reach and scope of this worthwhile and humanly rewarding program. Most of the ‘alumni’ of our 2018 course, by the way, continue to remain faithfully in touch with all of us and are yearning for more engaging novelty programs that we may develop for them.
The objectives of #UNIDOP2021 are to bring awareness of the importance of digital inclusion of older persons, while taking into account sociocultural norms and the right to autonomy.
As we continue and carry out all sorts of work toward our goals and adapt to the new ways of operating imposed by the effect of the pandemic, we remain confident that programs, such as the above, can also be replicated in a not too distant future. Meantime, we are counting on your support to our causes and projects by clicking the link below: