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Farewell Linking Lives: Thank you for putting older people on the EU agenda

24 Jul 2013

Linking Lives participant Mama Rhoda, KenyaFor three years we have been proud to have been part of the Linking Lives campaign that has joined older people across Europe with those in developing countries.

This project, funded by the European Commission, was designed to raise awareness in Europe and among Members of the European Parliament (MEPs), about the active contribution older people in developing countries make to their communities and society.

As part of the project, older people in Slovenia, Netherlands, Czech Republic exchanged video messages with older people in Kenya in which they asked each other questions about their lives, their living conditions and their involvement in the global Age Demands Action (ADA) campaign.

In addition other older people from Philippines, South Africa, Kyrgyzstan, Mozambique, Ireland and Sri Lanka spoke about their experience of the ADA campaign.

Putting older people on the EU agenda

The project touched the hearts of people of all ages, including thousands of young people in Europe.

More than 3 million people worldwide were made aware of the project through the campaign's online and offline activities.

Thanks to the wonderful efforts by many of you, we managed to collect more than 9,200 signatures for our EU petition.

The petition called on Herman Van Rompuy, President of the European Council for the EU - the world's biggest aid donor - to be more age-friendly.

The petition was popular with politicians and 15 Members of European Parliaments who pledged their support.

Thanks to all those who took part in Linking Lives, when the European Commission made its resolution for the post -2015 framework, it made reference to ageing and its implications, particularly in developing countries.

The post-2015 development framework will succeed the current UN Millennium Development Goals when they run out in 2015.

In addition, the European Parliament adopted a resolution in June 2013 and included explicit references to the need to measure and include the well-being and protection of older people.

So the Linking Lives project saw friendships made, lives understood and some good steps towards getting older people included in development discussions.

A huge THANK YOU to all who took part.

What next?

Now the project has come to an end but our campaigning for older people certainly has not.

We still have a lot of work to do before we get what we want!

Our next step is to use our Age Demands Action global movement to build momentum for a UN convention on the rights of older people.

On 1 October older people across 60 countries will be campaigning for their rights in their countries and ultimately support our call for a UN convention on the rights of older people.

We hope you will join us!

Did you take part in Linking Lives at all?

We'd love to hear from you so please leave us a comment below.

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Author profile

Barbara Dockalova
Country: Czech Republic
Job title: Campaigns Coordinator

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These blogs are personal reflections and do not necessarily reflect the views of HelpAge International.