100 elderly people from the districts of Șoldănești, Rezina, Basarabeasca and Leova will get mobile phones and will learn how to use them with the assistance of a group of young volunteers. The initiative to develop the digital skills of elderly women and men is implemented by Help Age International in Moldova, with support from the UN Population Fund. This way, as the initiative authors said, the dialogue between generations will be stimulated and there will be created a communication bridge between the young and the elderly, especially during the pandemic, IPN reports.
“The COVID-19 pandemic transferred a large part of the activities to the online environment. While some of the persons adjusted themselves easily to the new realities, others, such as the elderly people, were affected. Owing to the limited access to digital technologies, the elderly people found themselves isolated socially and informatively. It is important to reduce the gap between generations, offering equal access to digital opportunities,” stated Nigina Abaszada, UNFPA Resident Representative in Moldova, being quoted in a press release.
The 100 elderly people were identified and selected by local NGOs together with the local public authorities and the social assistant of each locality included in the project. They will receive mobile phones with connection to the Internet and will be trained by young volunteers from their localities to use the phones, to make electronic payments and to communicate with mates and the family online.
According to the National Bureau of Statistics of July 2020, the elderly population has grown in Moldova, with the persons older than 60 representing 21.8%. The persons aged between 14 and 34 constitute 26.9% of the total population.
The elderly people in Moldova are less active from social viewpoint and are less engaged in healthy and active aging activities compared with mates in EU countries. According to the Active Aging Index, only 3% of the elderly persons in Moldova use information technology. In the EU, the figure stands at over 41%.