Wednesday, May 24, the results of our Vital & Prepared project were presented during the Conference ‘Growing old is the future’. We are proud of these results and the great turnout at this conference! The visitors were a mix of people from international churches, care, welfare, government and other voluntary organizations.

The Vital & Prepared project, which started in 2022, trains key people from international churches in their care for the elderly: specifically physical, mental and financial health. In addition, we provide information via ‘future ambassadors’ to prepare for growing old in the Netherlands.

The evening was opened by director Karin de Schipper. Project employee Cees Ramp then spoke about the results of the “Vital” part of the project. A number of key persons took the floor to share their knowledge and experiences of the past year.

“It is important to listen carefully to the other person, in order to be able to really help the other person further! In addition, it is important to check what the other person is not yet aware of. If you are not aware of the correct information, that person can get into trouble. That is why it is important to find out a few things for yourself and for the other person.”

Then the “Prepared” part was discussed, under the guidance of project employee Bisola Olusanya. Here too, a number of ambassadors for the future took the floor to tell us more about what they have experienced in the past year.

“Many people live in the here and now, and don’t think about the future yet, it’s good to be able to start a conversation so that these people become aware and start thinking about this and know what kind of regulations there are in the Netherlands! ”

Finally, the conference concluded with a multi-generational panel discussion led by Femi Soewu from Afropeans, who also trained the future ambassadors. The conversation was started with this group about getting old is the future. What was it like before, and what is it like now?

“Many migrants came to the Netherlands with a temporary purpose, to eventually return to their own country. But now that their lives and the lives of their children take place here in the Netherlands, it is no longer self-evident to just leave that behind. As a child, it is important to talk to the parents. What are your plans when you retire?”

Alderman Ronald Buijt was also present during this interesting panel discussion. He is alderman for Care, Elderly and Youth Care and is committed to the health and good quality of life of Rotterdammers. During the conference, for example, it emerged that it is impossible for people who are not familiar with the Dutch system, and who do not have a good command of the Dutch language, to absorb the information that is available. Alderman Ronald Buijt responded:

“This is a known problem, also for people who have a good command of the Dutch language. There is a great distance between the information available to (future) elderly people and how this information reaches this target group. We are working on getting information to the people in the neighborhoods, to make help more accessible. This is a process that takes time and does not happen immediately, but which is very important and which is also strongly highlighted during this conference.”

We want to thank everyone for their commitment to this project and in this conference, and all the people who came to the conference! With the great results of the past year, we look forward to starting new groups in September!

For more information, please contact Cees Ramp at [email protected], 06-54280734 or Bisola Olusanya at [email protected], 06-84333585.

Curious about what the Conference looked like?
View the impression here with all the photos taken during the Conference ‘Growing old is the future’.