HAIRE Exchange Day

Although the HAIRE project is finished, we are, of course not quite finished with it yet. The project is just too huge for that. We are still in touch with the people from ’s-Heerenhoek who were involved in HAIRE, for instance. And we are also still in touch with our international project partners. That is one of the reasons why there was a great exchange day at the end of June. We welcomed a large delegation from Belgium. In our neighbouring country, a HAIRE project was set up in the municipality of Laakdal.

It was a good day. 16 representatives of the municipality and welfare organisation Welzijnszorg Kempen acquainted themselves with our work. What definitely stood out was how many similarities there are between the projects. In both regions the elderly are worried about loneliness. Journalist Annelies Frederickx reported on the day and you can find her article (in Dutch) in de Gazet van Antwerpen (after you have logged in for single use). See: this link tot the Gazet van Antwerpen.

It became clear during the visit that especially the similarities between Laakdal and the village of ’s-Heerenhoek are striking. Both places have a village-like feel and there are a lot of new neighbours that not everyone is familiar with. That is why both here in the Netherlands, and in Belgium, initiatives have been set up that should result in more connection, such as the garden project in ’s-Heerenhoek. Elderly people involved in the garden project, will come and do garden maintenance for you (against a small compensation). That is (of course) good for the garden, but also a good way to make and maintain contacts. 82 year old Lisa Van de Waart said about this project to the Gazet van Antwerpen newspaper: “Thanks to the garden project, I can keep living in my own house for a longer time.”