Seniors in Albania have always enjoyed a special status in society. For instance, Albanian culture dictates that when an elderly person walks into a room, all the younger people must stand up as a show of respect. Likewise, when meeting a group of people, one must always greet the oldest person first before moving on to the others.
In recent years however, and with the advent of the technological age, seniors have been left behind; often unable to fully engage and participate in today’s modern world. They are indeed today more socially disconnected from mainstream society than ever before.
Recognizing the great value and important role that seniors play in our society, the Ivanaj Foundation has come up with a way to bridge this gap but needs your help to do so.
Our proposed solution is a Senior Technology Club (STC), the first of its kind in Albania!
The STC will be located within the Ivanaj Foundation’s premises. Just like its name implies, the STC is where seniors aged 55+ will attend trainings on a variety of “techy” things in order to help bring them back into the folds of mainstream society. More than simply teaching seniors how to use technology, the STC will aim to empower them to live successful, independent and more connected lives. The STC will do this by enabling them to:
- better connect with their loved ones within Albania and abroad,
- contribute their ideas and online social media platforms,
- remain informed of latest news and information ,
- do research and quickly find answers to their varied questions/interests,
Here are some of the topics that will be taught at the STC:
- Applications such as Skype, WhatsApp, Facebook and any other social media platforms,
- Basic computer skills,
- How to do online searches and where to find information of interest,
- How to use smart phones, take pictures and share articles and pictures with friends and family.
The STC will also provide many opportunities for our seniors to engage in a variety of activities where they will have even more chances to socialize with each other and with our volunteers and trainers. It is our hope that through these trips, seniors will be encouraged to share their know-how toward the development of youths’ creative and possibly entrepreneurial ideas, which we are also already sustaining in other ways within the scope of our mission. Activities may take the form of:
- Day trips to nature/outdoor outings
- Visits to historical sites and museums and art galleries
- Meet and greet lunches
By making seniors active participants in the digital world, by providing opportunities for them to socialize and engage with Albanian youth, we are also helping to create a bridge between generations. The STC will be a tremendous addition to the Ivanaj Foundation because we believe that although youth are key to our countries future, seniors are the key to our societies past. Seniors can help us to better understand ourselves through their invaluable experiences, stories and advice.
The amount of $20,000 that we need for this undertaking covers the purchase of laptops and equipment for the lab and other necessary components for the implementation of this project that includes some specialized collaborators, plus transports of personnel and participants to reach their premises and/or ours, and to visit places of mutual interest. Details about this entire program and future progress of it will continue to be shared on these pages, and through our blog.
The funds collected by the Ivanaj Foundation in NY, are legally allowed to be transferred to the Ivanaj Foundation Institute in Albania that will implement this program and its intended purpose. There are several easy possibilities of directly contributing online through our website donate page, in addition to our fundraising appeal currently ongoing on Facebook:
If you have a special senior in your life that you would like to dedicate your donation to, please send us a private message with a picture of them and a few words about why you donated, or why you donated in that seniors name, and will gladly feature them on our page.