National Day of the Elderly in Indonesia: Sant'Egidio connects elderly people of 5 institutions in different cities and islands for a virtual celebration

The isolation and 'confinement' of elderly people living in institutions or care homes during the pandemic is a global phenomenon. Even in Asia, measures to control contagion have made it impossible for the elderly to receive visits and meet relatives and friends for months.

As in other parts of the world, Sant'Egidio has tried to find all possible solutions to alleviate the situation: video calls, weekly deliveries of sweets, tasty food and greetings cards.

In Indonesia, 29 May is the National Elderly Day. It is a legacy of the country's independence process, and in 1945 this date was chosen to honour the contribution of the elderly to the creation of the Republic.
On this Day, Sant'Egidio was able to get volunteers into 5 institutions for elderly people all over the archipelago to celebrate in presence - once the swabs had been done and prevention and distancing protocols observed. The different events were webcast so that elderly in each of the institutes could follow the others online. It was a virtual meeting attended by about 150 elderly people, their friends and volunteers.

A video of the Youth for Peace emphasising the importance of elderly people for them, the exchange of greetings from the islands of Java to Sumatra, from Timor and Rome, created an atmosphere that broke the isolation, rekindled enthusiasm and hope that the end of the pandemic is drawing near.