Erasmus is not only for young people, but also for the elderly
Erasmus+ is a program that is innovative and inclusive, allowing all age groups to join and improve their skills. As life expectancy increases, so does the need for elderly people to receive additional training and education. One area that is particularly challenging to keep up with is rapid technological progress. In order for the elderly to live harmoniously and navigate in the 21st century, they need new skills. Through the "European Senior Exchange" project, we are focused on strengthening the digital skills of the elderly.
Through this project, we are focused not only on strengthening the health and physical abilities of the elderly, but also on mental health, the development of digital and language skills.
Throughout the 3 years of the project, elderly people participated in English language training that enabled them to communicate more easily and better with consciousness in a common and universal language.
Furthermore, in Kranj and Belgium, we learned how to use tools to make traveling easier.
As the last trip and training for our seniors, we visited Ghent. From Croatia, we had a team of 6 members made up of our dear students, teacher Domagoj and me. The training took place from May 15-19, and the topic was improving digital skills. The tools we adopted during the training were: the use of Google maps, and applications for public transport, such as Belgian Lijn, and their application for tracking train schedules.
In addition to digital skills, the social skills and connections we developed throughout this project were much more important.
We became richer for 40 new acquaintances shared across Europe, which enriched our lives and paved the way for us.
This experience was best described by the participants themselves:
Ankica Budimir: "This Erasmus trip to Ghent, for me, was indescribably beautiful, easy, educational, without any stress, even cheerful considering the team I was in." I met wonderful people and cities, learned to use applications that I have never used before."
Sjajna Zemčić: "I was in my own world and I was afraid of the courage with which I agreed to this Erasmus trip. And then Kranj opened up to me, many people for learning, socializing, walking, joy to show me how life is joy and happiness. And now the magic of Belgium, how to be relaxed and enjoy with good people. Most importantly, we learned (we should learn more) how to use computers and mobile phones to make every day easier and more beautiful in the beautiful areas of Kranj and Ghent. Thanks to the people in Kranj, Gent and the team. Lots and lots of praise means that the soul is touched."
Vesna Nikšić: "It was really a great pleasure for me to participate in this project, to see and learn a lot of things. The impressions from Kranj were wonderful, I think we "matched" well as a team and I was really looking forward to Belgium, which exceeded all expectations. I met so many wonderful and interesting people and I consider that the greatest value of the project. I am glad that I had the opportunity to see Kranj and Ljubljana and all the three cities we visited in Belgium, we walked and absorbed a lot, saw how everyday life works (e.g. public transport in Belgium), learned something about characteristic dishes, and especially Belgian chocolate and beer. The opportunity to listen and speak in English is precious to me and it is a big plus of this project. All the skills we learned at the workshops were both useful and fun. I'm sorry that the project is over, but somehow I believe that as a team we will continue to stay in touch and see each other for a coffee."
Katica Budimir: "This trip meant a lot to me, because when a person learns something, he is immediately richer, more satisfied. In addition to my knowledge of English and digital skills, on this trip I was enriched by pleasant human encounters and beautiful pictures of cities. Simply put, this trip was "soul food" for me. She would be overjoyed if there was a sequel."
Domagoj Biondić: "This is my fourth Erasmus trip under Jelena's baton and, just like the previous three times, it was absolutely fantastic. Visiting the country of the best chocolate and beer in the world is a truly unique experience. Every day was filled with adventures, unreal landscapes, fairy-tale buildings, places and events. In addition to all that, I learned how to use interesting, practical and very useful applications, and as an additional precious bonus I single out cooperation, connection, and socializing with other participants of this education. However, the most valuable gift that I personally received were all those wonderful moments spent with Ankica, Zabjana, Katica, Vesna and Jelena, which additionally taught me kindness, simplicity, patience, and living in the moment, and so generously provided me with the opportunity to practice everything those virtues. You are five in 5"
At the end of this trip with our wonderful participants and partners, we are grateful that we had the opportunity to witness the change we see in people during socializing, education and travel, because every new contact and learning enriches us and makes us better. We also remember with joy the memories that were given to us by the project participants who unfortunately left us: Giancarla, Dragica and Edvard. Thank you for everything.
Special thanks to the project managers: HIHSTAS from Belgium, and partners: CDI Ljubljana, LU Kranj, Agora from Italy
Thank you all and we hope to see you again soon.