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Rome Reports

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Young people join forces to accompany elderly during pandemic


The elderly are one of the populations most impacted by the coronavirus. They were perhaps the first to isolate themselves to care for their health. For many, isolation has evolved into desperate loneliness.

STEFANIA MURARI
“Long Live the Elderly!” Community of Sant'Egidio
“The elderly are those who most suffer. In Europe, we could say they suffer from the 'sickness of solitude.' Those who live in nursing homes feel especially abandoned. They are the ones who suffer most from this loneliness.”

In response to this drama, “Giovani per la Pace,” “Youth for Peace,” launched the #SaveOurElderly initiative. The goal is to accompany, from a distance, seniors who feel alone.

GAIA MARTINI JIMÉNEZ
Volunteer
“The seniors I talk to these days tell me they're alright, but that they feel more lonely. Contacting them through video calls makes them feel less alone.”

Let's take a picture...

GAIA MARTINI JIMÉNEZ
Volunteer
“He's a Roman, and he makes me laugh every time we talk. We usually talk about simple things. I tell him I'm cooking pasta with eggplant, and he gives me cooking tips. 'You have to slice them like this.'”

At the end of a long day, they say they don't really know who is helping whom.

STEFANO ORLANDO
Coordinator, Youth for Peace
“These young people have become the voice of the elderly, who risk their lives and suffer without being heard. These young people are sending them all a message. It's a message for the future of our country and of each one of us.”

The campaign can be followed in other countries through the Sant'Egidio website. To raise awareness, they invite people to join by going to giovaniperlapace.it

Daniel Díaz Vizzi

Translation: Claudia Torres