As part of our new chapter of Reaching the Unreachable: Joining Forces, we donated practical support in the form of tablets adapted to be used by seniors.

On one of the coldest days of the year, when Amsterdam was hiding under a blanket of snow, a diverse group of people gathered outside the Huis van de Wijk in De Pijp in Amsterdam. Consisting of refugees as well as staff and volunteers working for United Way the Netherlands and local partner Combiwel, they were united in their enthusiasm to take part in our project Joining Forces. On this occasion, they met for the presentation of the second batch of easy-to-use tablets, for distribution to seniors who are feeling lonely and isolated as a result of the corona-related restrictions. This day also consisted of a socially distanced introduction of the volunteering refugees and their assigned elderly. Additionally, they scheduled their first video call for the following week and the project is set to begin.

Most elderly citizens have limited understanding of electronic devices. Selected refugees, among them the Syrian brothers Mohammed and Abdelkader, solved this problem by providing instruction in the use of the tablets. They remain available for technical support where needed as well as video calls once a week. The video calls are not designated technical support, but a chance for the elderly and refugee to share stories with each other. UW-NL director Machiel Salomons, who presented the tablets, commented: “This is one of the ways we connect vulnerable groups, which helps to create an inclusive society.”

For additional information please contact Julie Barikmo: julie.barikmo@unitedway.nl

 

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