A very nice celebration of the International Day of Older Persons - October 1st

Every 1st of October, the different organizations members of the International Federation les petits frères des Pauvres, celebrate in their country the International Day of Older Persons.

This year, hundreds of volunteers in 10 countries participated in different actions in public spaces to alert general public of the increase of social isolation and loneliness of the elderly in our societies. 

The aim is to arouse interest and to have always more people committed to alleviate isolation of the elderly, especially those most in need, so that they can find a role in our society again. One of the main challenges is to reinforce the links between generations. 


A brief insight:


In Romania, with the campaign Flori Pentru Suflet 2016, few hundreds of volunteers have offered flowers to elders in 21 regions of the country. 





In Madrid, the concept of AUTHENTIC TOURS is a good occasion to change perceptions: workshops are organized in which the guides are the elderly served by the organization; they can share their knowledge with the general public (as guide in a museum, by teaching how to grow vegetables in an urban environment or how to kneet).




In Mexico, Facebook was used to raise awareness at a large scale. Everyday of this week, a new picture was posted. 


In Poland, the youth got organized in order to offer 3000 flowers to the elderly of Warsaw, Poznan and Lublin.

In France, 90 000 flowers have been offered to passers in 220 cities and 350 locations.


In Catalunia, a huge festive march called LAS FLORES DE LA AMISTAD has been organized to raise awareness.



And also:

o Ireland: organisation of Olympics for elderly.

o Germany: participation in a big flashmob.
o Canada : mobilisation in several regions of Quebec and organisation of an intergenerational walk.
o USA: raising awareness actions, intergenerational meetings, visits and distribution of small gifts to elderly served. 




In France, the results of an opinion pool about intergenerational relationships show an interesting perception gap: 

45 % of the elderly are mostyl expecting signs of affection from the young generation, while the young generation (<35 years old) thinks the old generation needs primarily their help for tiring daily tasks.

Even though more than 50% of the French consider that the young and the old generations help each other, 2/3 think they don’t quite understand each other.

When the young generation meets with the old generation, both perception are changed. Marthe, a 19 years old volunteer for les petits frères des Pauvres in France, can tell: « Before, I saw eldery as persons... maybe not from an other world, but from an other time anyway. While now, I’ve realized that what’s important is the person as such, what she says, who she is (…). One of the old ladies I’m visiting told me the other day: « Me, I’m not an age, I’m a body and a soul ».

To read more about it (in French).



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