Young and older meet for a video chat


A student takes part in a Face to Faith event A student takes part in a Face to Faith event By Caroline Graham

Students across the globe are to take part in a live video conference with some of HelpAge's Age Demands Action (ADA) campaigners.

The event has been organised in partnership with the Tony Blair Faith Foundation as part of its Face to Faith education project.

The students will question guest speakers - Mr Abed Errahman Shehada from Gaza, Mr Sawang Kaewkantha from Thailand and Mr Walter Woods from the US - on issues affecting older people and knowledge of their faiths and beliefs at a live video conference on Friday, 30 September.

The 90-minute video conference will include students from six schools across the globe.

Promoting respect and understanding

The Tony Blair Faith Foundation aims to promote respect and understanding about the world's major religions and show how faith is a powerful force for good in the modern world.

During the video conference each guest speaker will present for ten minutes then students will have 20-30 minutes to ask the speakers any questions.

Afterwards, the speakers will write blogs about their experience and students will be asked to add their comments.

Students will also be asked to get involved with our Age Demands Action campaign by signing our petition, or show support for older people by writing a message on an ADA placard and sending us their photos, like these supporters in the photogallery below:

HelpAge International's Campaigns Co-ordinator Barbara Dockalova said: "We are so excited that young people from around the world will get to talk to these experts about the issues older people face and about the importance of older people in the society.

"Two of the speakers, Mr Kaewkantha and Mr Shehada, take part in our Age Demands Action campaign which culminates on 1 October - the International Day of Older People.

"Because this is the first time for many of the young people to have the opportunity to link with generations of older people not directly related to them, we hope it will inspire them to support older people and take action to build a fairer society and future for people of ALL ages."

What is Age Demands Action?

Age Demands Action is a grassroots movement allows older people the chance to meet their politicians face-to-face, on a national and local stage, and campaign for change and protection that will help those who need it most.

Since 2007, the movement has grown from 26 to the 59 countries on board and ready to demand real action and change in their communities this year.

The need is real and growing. Older people remain amongst one of the poorest and most vulnerable groups in society, with 100 million older people living on less than $1 a day.

Find out what is going on this year on our Age Demands Action map.

The Tony Blair Faith Foundation and Face to Faith

The Tony Blair Faith Foundation's Face to Faith initiative takes place in 16 countries around the world.

It is a school curriculum that engages students, aged 12 to 17, of different faiths in meaningful inter and intra-faith dialogue across a range of cultures, containing diverse and sometimes conflicting views.

Mr Sawang Kaewkantha

Mr Sawang Kaewkantha

Occupation: Executive Director, Foundation for Older Persons’ Development (FOPDEV)

Location:  Chiang Mai, Thailand

Faith: Buddhist

Bio: Sawang Kaewkantha is in his early 60’s and has worked with and for older people in Thailand since 1993 when he joined HelpAge International in Thailand. He is married with two  children and a three-year-old granddaughter.

Mr Abed Errahman Shehada

Mr. Abed Errahman ShehadaOccupation: Writer and poet

Location: El Shate refugee camp, Gaza

Faith: Muslim

Bio: A BSc Global Literature History and a member of the Arab Union of Writers.  He came to support HelpAge through a project in El Shate camp. He believes in the rights of older people and would like to do more for them. He participated in a play called ‘I want to live as other people’.  He has 13 children.

Mr Walter Woods

Mr Walter D Woods, AARPOccupation: Vice President, AARP Foundation Impact Programs (Isolation)

Location: Washington, USA

Faith: Christian (Baptist)

Bio: Walter Woods is in his late 40s and has more than 20 years of social development experience working both with and for young and senior people in the Greater Washington Region.

Read Walter's blog about the video conference