For most of us the using Facebook, WhatsApp & co. is part of everyday life. It helps us to engage with our friends, family members and the world around us. However, many senior citizens struggle to keep up with the pace of technological progress. The lack of access to those new tools of communication contributes to isolation and loneliness, a common problem elderly face in modern society.
With Conn@ct.us, members of Enactus Maastricht founded a successful business model that tackles this problem and has a positive impact on the life of senior citizens in Maastricht. In regular tutoring classes volunteers teach elderlies how to stay on top of the multiple communication tools for a small contribution fee. The volunteers in turn can improve their Dutch, through practicing with the participants.
The project does not only help elderly to integrate into society but also, more generally, to reduce the gap between young and old, locals and students. We made the experience that certain prejudices and stigmas among students prevail concerning elderlies. The project therefore, successfully contributes to build bridges from both sides.
Currently, the team is busy perfection its business model and take the next steps towards expansion. This includes, for instance, offering classes at a second location.