On June 15, 2015, the World Day against maltreatment of the elderly, Alliance VITA launches the campaign “Messages for Life”, in the face of a growing isolation and exclusion of the elderly in society; we need to meet with our elders to receive what they have to pass on to us about life.
For the past few days the Alliance VITA team has been going out to meet elderly people: at the market place, at social evenings or in nursing homes. They offer them a time of listening and gather up their “Messages for life”. These are the principle messages that these folks would like to transmit to future generations. For instance, Simone, a hundred years old, previously a baker, met on June 8 by the teams from Lille, recommends: “Eat well, don’t drink, don’t smoke.” Mark, a woodworker of 82 years old, transmits this: “Words fly away, actions remain.”
At the issue of these meetings the folks agree to be photographed by the Alliance VITA members. Their portraits and messages are published on the Facebook campaign page (see below). In a society marked by the “age differences”, where older people are excluded from the new technologies in communication, it’s a way to allow them a place on the social network, posting their faces and giving them the opportunity to speak. “An old person sitting sees much further than a young person standing”, says a Burkinabe proverb. This is the firm conviction that drives the teams at Alliance VITA; these people who have already experienced a great deal are the wise people in our society. They have something to say to the younger generations. It’s up to us to choose whether to listen and receive their messages.
For the first visuals from the campaign, see (in French): facebook.com/messagespourlavie