Health Nest Uganda, a nonprofit organization and member of the HelpAge Global Network, has found that older people in the community, particularly during COVID-19, can experience loneliness while facing deepening poverty and health issues. Younger people have little opportunity or space to engage with older people. To bridge this generational gap, Health Nest Uganda aims to create a Wisdom Center, which will provide a space for both groups to share their knowledge with one another.
Through Health Nest Uganda's work, they've found that older people can face loneliness, deepening poverty, and health problems, particularly in the midst of COVID-19. Younger people can also experience stress and loneliness. In Uganda, older people have traditionally met with youth and shared their knowledge. This helps shape younger generations and pass on cultural traditions and narratives. But this knowledge transfer between generations is being lost.
The Wisdom Center will provide a space for intergenerational learning and growth. Older people will share their experiences and the younger generations can offer their perspectives, thereby reducing the generational divide. The Wisdom Center will also enable a valuable transfer of skills. Older people will teach tailoring to younger people while younger people will teach older people how to use a computer. Thus, both generations will benefit from the knowledge and experience of the other.
The Wisdom Center aligns with the vision of the Uganda Ministry of Health's community participation and empowerment strategy, which enables communities to take responsibility for their own health and well-being. It will be operated and maintained using an approach that depends on the strengths of the community. Through this Center, it is hoped that the well-being of both older persons and younger persons will be improved through intergenerational exchange and transfer of valuable skills.