Seniors (in nursing homes) meet Juniors (in children’s homes) – and there is so much to share!
The new “Hand in Hand” initiative, started by C4C’s Goodwill Ambassador Marketa Szabova, exploring synergies and bringing together Seniors in nursing home and Juniors in local orphanages, is gaining traction and is starting to make a world of difference in the lives of participants – young and old alike.
Marketa and her friend and colleague Monika Kavarnova, chose the Zatec Orphanage and the Zatec nursing home, located conveniently on the same street, for their pilot project.
“In these two institutions we found two social groups, both somewhat neglected by society at large, orphans and seniors, and by bringing them together – we created a fresh momentum and a new source of joy in their lives”, explains Marketa. “Actually, the concept is nothing new. In traditional societies and families, seniors always adopted the role of mentors to the younger generation. And in return, youngsters were always a source of joy, amazement and inspiration for the elders“, continues Marketa.
There were four visits so far and one of the goals of the initiative is to create natural, enduring and mutually beneficial friendships between the residents of both institutions, exchanging skills and information.
Some of the highlights so far have been playing table games together, young ladies learning skills like needlework and the younger generation sharing the power of the Internet with the older generation.
“We taught them how easy it is to find long forgotten songs they like on YouTube and how to research the Internet for any given thing or question”, comments teen Jirka (14). For him navigating the Internet is already second nature and it gives him a sense of accomplishment and satisfaction, sharing his knowledge with his older audience.
Here’s what Petr Antoni, manager of the Zatec nursing home had to say about Marketa’s and Monika’s project:
“Wonderful! I am so excited because of this new cooperation, bringing together our seniors with the kids next door. You know, sharing quality time with another person, taking an active interest in them and making genuine eye-contact – this means so much to our seniors!”
All participants are brimming with new ideas on what to do next and how to fill their times together in a fun and meaningful way. Expect to hear lots more about their common forays and adventures soon.