Brilliant Idea: Free Housing for Student Volunteers in Senior Home (w/ Video)

Brilliant Idea: Free Housing for Student Volunteers in Senior Home (w/ Video)

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Senior learns computer skills-AFPvideo

Talk about a win-win situation.

A special program at a Netherlands retirement home is offering young people free apartments on site, in exchange for spending 30 hours a month helping its residents with computers, email, shopping, and other chores.

The initiative was designed two years ago after the facility’s director, Gea Sijpkes, after a college student complained to him about his school’s poor housing conditions.

In exchange for a nicer place to rest his head, rent-free, that student now participates in numerous activities with the grateful residents, including celebrating birthdays, and offers the seniors companionship when they are sick. He is currently joined by five other program participants, who are also students.

“The students bring the outside world in, there is lots of warmth in the contact,” Sijpkes told PBS NewsHour.

With similar inter-generational initiatives springing up in Cleveland, Ohio and Lyons, France, we’re hoping this brilliant new trend soon becomes an international classic.

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