The British Society, through Fundação Britânica de Beneficência, has developed a project called Extended Program to give support to Elderly Long Permanence Institutions (ELPI). It offers financial, human, and material resources for these organisations that help the elderly who are in a situation of extreme vulnerability.
These institutions are chosen by a discerning trusteeship to ensure their professionalism and responsibility. We also carry out a periodic follow-up in order to guarantee the correct purpose and use of the donated resources as well as to re-evaluate the needs of the ELPIs that are benefitted.
Thanks to the Extended Program, we have already assisted more than 250 elderly people while also improving the situation of the acceptable institutions that shelter them. One such institution is the Casa Madre Teodora dos Idosos, a care home for the elderly.
As part of the Extended Program, we sought to unite organisations that are Fundação Britânica partners to the public (ELPI) that we assist. In this manner our action can offer more humane experiences to the partners and to those who reside in these homes.
Thinking on how to connect people and to promote an inter-generation integration, we joined St. Paul’s School, a long-time partner of ours, with Casa Madre Teodora dos Idosos through a volunteer work program in which about 15 pupils from Elementary School made a morning visit to interact with the elderly for the second time this school year. It was a sunny Wednesday and, outside the home in a green garden with a long table, we could see happiness in the eyes of the elderly and the good and contagious energy of the students.
To begin with, there was interaction among them at a bingo game. Besides organising the game, the girls called out the numbers loud and clear, and helped them with their bingo cards, carrying on conversation and laughing, alternating themselves among them in order to get to know a bit about each resident.
After the game, some of the students went up to the second floor of the home, to the living and TV rooms where they chatted and painted the nails of some of the lady residents. At the end of the morning, there was yet a singular moment: one of the girls, sitting within a circle close to the garden, played her guitar and sang to those who were present.
The British Society tirelessly seeks to better the lives of our community. Through this project we attempt to reach and improve, with everyone’s help, an ever greater number of hearts, be they of those assisted or those of our supporters. With the volunteer work of St. Paul’s pupils we have been able to provide them with some enchanting hours of generosity and benevolence. As a result, they experience another world, different from their daily realities, enriching their perspectives and values, in accordance with the mission proposed by us and by the school itself.
We have also arranged for the elderly to have a moment of affection and attention, which makes a great difference in their lives. As well, as enjoying as an unusual life experience in their routines, they interact and exchange viewpoints with younger generations.
It is programs such as these that are so essential; that make a difference in people’s lives. Here the relevance of the voluntary work is understood and the virtue of love of one’s neighbour is the motivating principle. In this manner, the Extended Program reaches its objective, offering several benefits to all.