The Generations@school project event took place in Belgium on May 14th, in the context of the European Year for Active Ageing and Solidarity between Generations 2012. Koos Richelle, Director-General of the Directorate General Employment, Social Affairs and Inclusion, and Jimmy Jamar, Head of the Representation of the European Commission in Belgium, visited the Woonzorgcentrum Zoniën, a retirement home, and the Gemeentelijke Basisschool in Tervuren.
Both participated in the project Wheelchair Carwash, in which pupils washed the wheelchairs of the older persons in the retirement home. "This is where the interaction between generations really takes place" declared Mr. Richelle to the 10 year old children of the school in Tervuren. The school has been seriously involved in various intergenerational projects. Two classes of youngsters spent the afternoon in the garden of the Woonzorgcentrum Zoniën with the senior citizens.
Afterwards, Mr. Richelle and Mr. Jamar visited the school, where pupils and three grandparents talked about the meaning of old age. "It is very nice to be involved with the children; they are so lively and curious", declared one of the senior citizens. The school is particularly active in bringing the generations together, involving the grandparents in teaching the children about the history of the town by strolling down the streets with them. Furthermore, the children help cultivate a garden at the local care home. As one of the children said: "Gardening is not only fun, I learned a lot about plants and insects!"
At the end of event, Mr. Richelle thanked the children and the seniors and declared that he hoped they would continue being involved and working together for the rest of their lives.