Connection through technology
The pandemic has created more isolation and loneliness than ever and many have relied on technology to stay in touch with loved ones.
Moldova ranks the 3rd country in the world on the Internet access speed yet older people have the lowest access to mobile communication (44.9%) of all demographic groups and only 2.9% of older people can use computers, compared to the 40.8% average for EU countries, creating even more barriers to communication.
In 2020, together with the UNFPA and Moldcell Foundation, we donated 200 mobile phones and held training sessions for young volunteers on how to share their digital skills with older people.
50 young volunteers showed older people how to make phone calls, send sms messages, use communication apps (Viber, FB Messenger, WhatsApp, etc), and refill credit, etc. Older people who had mobility difficulties or disability were given training in their own homes.
500 older people also received Personal Protective Equipment - PPE (facial masks, hand sanitizers, soaps) and food packages delivered at home by young volunteers to further support throughout the pandemic.
Stories from the project
"After the second training for the older persons on how to use the use mobile phones, I had hardly reached home when I received a friend request on Facebook from Mrs. Ecaterina, 61 years of age. I was very happy because it meant the training was a success! ”
Mrs. Olga Ababii, Volunteer Coordinator from Abaclia village.
"For me, this phone is like a friend, because I'm not alone anymore. Since I received it, I talk online more often with former co-workers, friends and relatives. I called the family doctor to find out some information about my medicines, and sometimes I call the local store to find out if they have any products I need."
"During the holidays, I was able to see my two sisters who live in the USA and Russia. I live alone here in Moldova and communicating with my sisters and grandchildren makes me feel that we are together, that we are a still a big family together! Since I received a smart phone, I can't get enough talking to them on Viber!”
Mrs Daria, 70
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