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The population of Poland is aging. According to the forecast of the Central Statistical Office, in 2040 for each 100 people in the productive age category there will be as many as 83 persons in an unproductive age category, of whom 2/3 will be pensioners. In view of the growing rate of seniors in our society, prevention of their social exclusion is becoming an urgent need.

Competition: How to prevent social exclusion of elderly persons

In December 2018, Santander Bank Polska launched a competition for ideas on how to prevent social exclusion of elderly persons. The  proposed ideas referred to initiatives in such areas as technologies, social and cultural dimensions and finance. The bank awarded two projects: ”Senior-Junior development workshop” and ”Job for a senior available now”. The authors of the two most interesting proposals were awarded with Ricoh Theta 360° cameras, in addition to words of gratitude for taking part and an invitation to participate in the development and implementation of the submitted idea.

Development and integration workshops for seniors and children from primary schools

The original idea was to promote education and integration in basic hard skills taught by seniors to children e.g. grandfathers teaching the children how to use a hammer and a screwdriver to build a birdhouse. On the other hand, children from grades 3 to 6 would teach seniors how to use computer and mobile applications. Ultimately, we opted for joint education of both age groups learning how to program robots using Lego® blocks. Additionally, lectures were prepared for both groups  on finance, financial security and the related threats and delivered by volunteers from the bank. The first workshop was held at the end of March 2019 in Jarocin. Another  nine workshops are planned in various Polish cities with a population below 50,000. Registration of participants in the workshops is now in progress.