International Aid Network

Silver surfers 2012

About project

For about 100 of our senior citizens from 10 towns across Serbia, access to the vast digital spaces and resources offered by the Internet has been opened up, thanks to Project Silver Surfers. This project has been designed and implemented by the International Aid Network (IAN), with financial support from the Digital Agenda Administration within the Ministry of Culture, Media and Information Society.

In cooperation with partners across Serbia, including libraries, civil society organizations and schools, basic IT courses were organized in eight towns, attended by more than 100 seniors ages 55 or over. With courage and lots of enthusiasm they  acquired skills for basic computer and internet use. Many participants were especially interested in learning to communicate via Skype and transferring photos from a camera to a PC.

Wishing to get familiar with the thing that has fascinated their grandchildren so much, many of them were also interested in grasping the world of social networks, especially Facebook, and therefore social networking became an unavoidable part of the course. Silver surfers in Belgrade, Novi Sad, Hrtkovci, Cuprija, Ljig, Niš, Kragujevac, and Raca completed the course with smiles on their faces. The y were proud of themselves and pleased to have obtained modern skills that enabled them to find information faster and easier, to be in contact with friends and relatives who live abroad, and to have a more fulfilled and richer life in the third age.

In order to show that grandchildren can be of great support to their grandparents in mastering computer use and to stress the importance of intergenerational support in bringing digital literacy to seniors, the second part of the project includes an IT grandchildren-grandparents competition. Qualifications were held in all towns after the courses, and the competing pairs consisted of a grandparent over age 55 and a grandchild younger than 13. The best 15 pairs will participate in the big finals, organised for the second year in a row on the 15 th of September in Belgrade.

The year 2012 has been named the European Year for Active Aging and Solidarity Among Generations . Active aging means aging in good health with greater independence and continued participation in civic and community life. Active aging may provides opportunities for seniors to stay in full working strength and to share their experiences, to continue to play active roles in society, as well as to have longer and a more fulfilled lives.

The quality of life of our older citizens should be the concern of all of us, regardless of our age. It is important to foster solidarity among generations, especially in societies such as ours where the number of seniors is increasing. The average age of the citizens of Serbia is 41.2 years. According to some estimations, until 2030 every fourth citizen will be older than 65. This chunk of the population represents huge capital in terms of experience and knowledge, and seniors in this category often have the free time to participate in activities that contribute to the enrichment and development of social life, that even the richest country cannot renounce. The challenge before us is to improve the possibilities for maintaining and encouraging an active attitude towards life among seniors as well as their psychophysical health.

Silver surfers participating in this project have shown that age is not an obstacle to inclusion in the information society. The seniors recognise the values of lifelong learning that empower them to continuously build up their skills and stay included in modern trends in the society.

 

Final competition

For the second year in a row, on the 15th of September, a competition for grandparents and grandchildren using computers to search the internet was held in Belgrade. Teams consisted of a grandparent older than 55 and a grandchild younger than 13. The competition was organized by the International Aid Network (IAN) as a part of the project Silver Surfers. The project was supported by the Digital Agenda Administration with the aim to promote the importance of digital literacy and bring modern information-communication technologies closer to seniors.

The competition was preceded by a series of technolog y classes, in which 115 seniors from Novi Sad, Niš, Ljig, Belgrade, Hrtkovci, Kragujevac, Raca and Cuprija learned to navigate and conquer the vast digital spaces offered by the Internet, and to access resources and opportunities available to the digitally literate.

Fifteen pairs competed in the final competition after successfully meeting the qualifications in their hometowns. Their task was to be quick and provide accurate answers to 30 interesting questions from various fields in an online quiz, using the internet to search for necessary information. The most successful team, the winners of the finals, were Tomislav Popovic and his grandson Aleksa from Belgrade. The pair won a laptop, after which the grandson said, “From now on I will help my grandpa even more to find what he wants on the Internet and to start using a computer completely independently.”

The second prize, a desktop computer, went into the hands of Radovan and Matija Ðordevic from Ljig, and a special prize was awarded to the oldest contestant, 76-year old Momcilo Ivanovic. Mr. Ivanovic impressed the audience and other competitors with his skills, demonstrating that the golden period of life can really be such if one has an active attitude towards life in the third age.


For any further information and/ applications, please do not hesitate to contact Mr. Ivan Stojilovic. Email address: e-mail

Telephone number: +38111 3229 732

Address: International Aid Network (IAN)
Đure Daničića 5
11000 Belgrade
Republic of Serbia

IAN Telecentar
Djure Danicica 5 Street
11000 Belgrade, Serbia

tel. +38111 3229 732
fax. +38111 3225 993
e-mail: edu@ian.org.rs

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