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Spain is taking part in the European project generations@school with an intergenerational initiative held in Coslada (Madrid) on the 6th of June, which brought together senior citizens and 14 -15 year old secondary education children.
During the event, senior citizens shared their experiences with the students about what it means to grow older, how to foster a better understanding between young and older people and how they could shape a better future together.
The result of this initiative, held at the IES (Institute of Secondary Education) La Cañada and promoted by the European Year, was to come together to draft an “Intergenerational Decalogue”.
The students got involved exchanging views with older people, participating actively and voicing their opinions. In the same vein, senior citizens suggested different points of view on several issues that were raised until both reached a final agreement.
The event was attended by several key speakers. Manuel Montero, from de department of international relations of IMSERSO (Senior Citizen's and Social Services Institute), stressed the importance of developing a healthy way of life as you grow older. pointed out that there are certain rules people must follow to stay healthy as they get older. “We must raise public awareness so that, following certain routines, people reach their senior years in the best condition.”
María Teresa García, Coslada Town Hall councilor, stressed how necessary intergenerational debates are in order to harness different points of view. "There is no senior citizen stereotype. Ageing does not mean dependence, everything must be based on a positive attitude that allows us to look at things from different perspectives."
Raúl López, mayor of Coslada, closed the inauguration. He praised the value of having older people in society and requested that we help each other. “More than ever, our older people may advise younger generations, to help them deal with the current context. We should not take senior citizens for granted”, he said.
Once the final draft complete, a copy of the “Intergenerational Decalogue” will be available online.