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Intergenerational Proclamation


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Intergenerational Proclamation:

Appeal to the Grandparent Generation and to the youngest,
to 6 million Hungarian citizens

Let 2012 be really the year of the elderly and their grandchildren on the internet as well!

Published in: Education
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Intergenerational Proclamation

  1. 1. Budapest, Hungary T/F: +3613027211 1027. Jurányi u. 6. Intergenerational Proclamation Appeal to the Grandparent Generation and to the youngest, to 6 million Hungarian citizens Let 2012 be really the year of the elderly and their grandchildren on the internet as well! www.intergeneracio.huPrefaceThe European Union declared the year 2012 to be the European Year for Active Ageing and Solidaritybetween Generations. The Forum for Hungarian IT Organisations for Information Society (Inforum) looksfor partners in order to make actual progress in year 2012 in the area of information society inclusion of theolder generations. We would like if the image formed about the elderly, which is often a negative one,would change, and the members of the generations older than 50 (4 million people in our country) wouldnot be the outcasts of the society. We would like if more attention would be paid to their life, to their workundertaking, to the problems of their family relations. It is important that they should be able to haveaccess to those advantages that are provided for digitally competent people younger than them by theinfo-communication devices (smart phones, computers, internet services).Therefore Inforum - the organisation that launched the Grandparent-Grandchild IT Competition, whichrepresents solidarity between the generations in the world of IT – turns to the representatives of theenterprises, institutions, local governments, non governmental organisations, public administration and theParliament, inviting them to join the movement of year 2012 and to support with the aid of their ownmeans the members of the generations older than 50 (and their young partners) in having an active anduseful life filled with love. Year 2012 is the year of solidarity, the year of joining forces, the year of helpingeach other. The older people may offer values, knowledge, experience, tradition and kindness to theircounterparts, while the younger people may offer them in exchange love, mobility, the style of our era,technical knowledge and the skills of managing the devices of this era. Family co-operation is upvaluedexactly at the times of crises, and therefore the quality of co-operation between the generations willbecome important as well. It is our conviction that we have to think not only about the lives and the fatesof the pensioners of today, but we have to think about the people of the endangered age beyond 50. Weknow that the problems of the still active 50+ people and the problems of the inactive 50+ groups are notthe same. We think that with our invitation we will draw the attention to the wide scope of the issues ofaging.We will provide information about the results of this co-operation month by month through the web,through the media and personally as well. We are looking for, we will collect and we will advertise the best,the nicest, the most human solutions. If we, somewhat younger people, are able to do something formaking the members of the aging society happier, then we will do this for ourselves as well, for the dignityof our own old age.And we are also doing this, because we live and we honour our parents and our grandparents. 1
  2. 2. Budapest, Hungary T/F: +3613027211 1027. Jurányi u. 6. InvitationThe development level of a society is best reflected by the way it treats its older citizens. From this aspectwe do not see any significant difference between the North and West European states, however socialinclusion (exclusion) of the aging and elderly people is essentially different in South and Central Europecompared to the North and West European states.In the majority of the newly accessed states a significant part of potential employees older than 50 do notor hardly find workplaces for themselves and the pensioners (independently of their education) have toface the society without hope. Their income significantly decreases, their societal reputation declines. Nomatter what benefits they provided for their communities, when they leave their workplaces their socialrelation nets disappear. The spaces of their activities, the paths for utilising their knowledge are drasticallyshrunk. In the media their lives are degraded into only the issues of pension, social and health care. It isobvious that they do not represent a market for a significant part of the companies; the advertisements donot target them in this region. Many of the stakeholders of the market of modern technologies avoid thissocial group in spite of the fact that approaching them could be the simplest way of extending their market,however for involving them they should persuade the quality-oriented, prudent decision making age groupsto accept the quickly changing technologies. (According to our earlier calculations if one million of ourfellow citizens above the age of 50 would become internet users that would generate 177 billion HUFrevenue within a single year in this field.) As a consequence of the above the aging people start to feel thatthey are needless, their situation is hopeless, while they have to fight everyday by spending their incomesparingly and optimally, to preserve their activity, self-esteem, intellectual and physical condition. Abovethe age of 50 the number of invalid people, people fighting mental problems increases. Losing humancontacts leads to the development of psychosomatic diseases, and as a consequence the number and alsothe cost of medical interventions increases, and death arrives sooner, while all this could be avoidedthrough attention, inclusion, appreciation, work, activity, family assistance, doing useful activities and thefeeling of being useful. The lack of social attention leads to the loss of lives.Many thousands of our fellow citizens die only because already nobody lovesthem and because already they do not like themselves either.Researches and political directives do not answer the question what should be done to get the competingsociety to turn with more understanding towards its aging citizens. The answers have to be found byeverybody for himself/herself. For this reason our era requires us „to take into consideration the 50+ aswell”.According to our opinion the most important task is to reinstate the self-esteem of the older generations,their consciousness concerning their usefulness, and according to us it is an important step in this directionif they will become the participants of the information society. This requires the changing of our attitudetowards the way we treat our elder citizens. We cannot allow ourselves to let useful, active, clever peopleto fall out from the blood circulation of the society, of the economy. Therefore everybody – but primarilythe younger people – have unpostponable tasks in respect of the older members of his/her family. 2
  3. 3. Budapest, Hungary T/F: +3613027211 1027. Jurányi u. 6.1. Each of us has to discover again that not only raw force and combating spirit represent values. Experience, tact, culture, wisdom, know-how, sticking to quality and durability, nurturing traditions are also important for the Hungarian and European culture. The values of the elderly and their roles in nurturing and passing over the (family) traditions – and not only folklore! - have to be demonstrated at the workplaces, in the communities, in the media, over the internet and in the families as well.2. Old people have to be taught to love themselves again. The way generations above the age of 50 approach the newer technologies and skills is not a problem of knowledge, but it is a mental problem: often they start to get acquainted with the new devices, solutions and skills only belatedly. The reason of this is defeatism: they think they are good for nothing, they say „for this small time, what for” and „I am unable to learn it”. The self-esteem, self-respect of the elderly has to be reinforced, they have to be assisted in fighting their negative life attitude, and they have to be reassured that they are needed.3. A way has to be provided and support has to be given for the self-organisation of the generations in their free time, in the area of learning and as regards work undertaking. There would be need for a group of such non profit enterprises, in the framework of which the elderly generations could get jobs. Such places are needed, where the elderly could learn from their younger counterparts, where the generation of the grandparents could learn from the youngest people attending primary or secondary schools.4. The approach between the elderly and the younger people has to be facilitated. The crisis has a sobering impact on the society: the families have to co-operate, the generations have to act together in the interest of survival. The time of intergenerational problem solving and the time of solidarity between the generations is here: the time has arrived, when younger people may assist the members of the advanced age group in navigating in the world of technology shifts, new media and new economic solutions.5. The basic skills of our era have to be acquired by everybody. People of our days have to be much better informed than ever before in order to keep their lives on the right track. Therefore the age groups learning at a slower rate have to also acquire the digital skills needed for accessing the relevant information. They should be also capable of sharing their information and even of preparing programmes for being broadcast. They have to also understand the modern forms of money management (the importance of online and offline, mobile payment, e-banking, investment, stock exchange, legacies and asset management). Middle-aged people have to be prepared for old age, for all its disadvantages and advantages, they should be assisted in learning the opportunities that are offered by self-education and formal education (car driving, language learning, acquiring business and financial knowledge, relation building, useful leisure time activities, citizenship information).6. Due to all the above it is a priority that people above the age of 50 should also possess the basic skills of the information society, in order to be able to use the e-health services being spread in Europe, to allow them the join networks, communities and to use the e-services. In the area of the digital equal opportunities of the senior citizens – even by European standards – Hungary has achieved an advantage, which should be exploited. The „Click on it Grandma” training (from 2001) 3
  4. 4. Budapest, Hungary T/F: +3613027211 1027. Jurányi u. 6. is a Hungarian model, the Grandchild-Grandparent IT competition (from 2003) that won a golden medal from the Commission of the European Union is an intellectual Hungaricum, while the digital reminiscence competition called „Competing with time” is also a Hungarian initiative. Intergenerational training of the elderly is a Hungarian method. The intergenerational training courses are not attended uneasily and alone by the overage student, rather he/she is a participant of a joint adventure with his/her younger assistant (grandchild), in the course of which the younger person helps him/her in practical utilisation. Based on this method a 30 part film series (Computers are child’s play) was prepared in year 2009, which shows in the framework of 6-8 minute episodes the way children teach their own grandparents the way computers and the internet may be used.Due to the importance of the above we initiate that  Institutions, organisations, communities and individuals should join forces in order to fill year 2012 with content it deserves and to strengthen the (information) societal inclusion of the elderly;  Each organisation should prepare its own elder-friendly activity plan and publish it on our website launched for this purpose;  Local programs, projects, actions should be started, into which younger people may involve the elderly;  Social campaigns should be started for facilitating the social inclusion of the elderly groups.  The already existing local and community senior activities, the connection of human resources and institutional opportunities (for example in the schools, libraries, community spaces) should be supported;  Media should participate increasingly in introducing the everydays and the values of the older generations, with the active co-operation of those involved;  Service providers should tune themselves better to the demands and the timetable of the elderly;  The enterprises, non governmental organisations, local governments, schools, libraries, community spaces, work places, service providers should find the way they will be able to make the lives of those people better, easier, nicer, from whom they received their own existence.November 24, 2011 Mr. Gábor Dombi Mr. Attila Lerch General Secretary President Inforum Inforum 4