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Speech by SHWF


Following is a speech by the Secretary for Health, Welfare and Food, Dr E K Yeoh at the Award Presentation Ceremony cum Carnival of Young-Old Partnership Intergenerational Communication Project today (July 13):

Professor Chen, Distinguished Guests, Ladies and Gentlemen,

It is my great pleasure to be here today to officiate at the Award Presentation Ceremony cum Carnival of the "Young-Old Partnership Intergenerational Communication Project".

Intergenerational learning bridges age differences, enhances the transmission of cultural values and promotes the worth of all ages. Studies have shown that young people who learn from older persons have more positive and realistic attitudes about the older generation. The "Young-Old Partnership Intergenerational Communication Project" conducted by the Asia Pacific Institute of Ageing Studies puts the above tenets into practice. The project promotes intergenerational communication between the young and old generations, through learning from each other. By teaching elders computer skills, the students have acquainted the elders with knowledge of the latest information technology, enabling them to keep abreast with the ever changing world. On the other hand, the elder participants have also enlightened the minds of the students with their life experiences, establishing a positive image of ageing in the younger generation. I am delighted to learn that through this project, more than 200 students and 100 elders have taken part. Our society needs more intergenerational interaction and positive perception of ageing to build up a positive social environment to support active ageing.

As many of the elders sitting here today can attest, many of our elders can continue to contribute to families and the community even though they may have retired from active work. The limitations put on older persons to pursue an active role in the family and the community arise not so much from physical limitations in age, but more from the social and public institutions we have inherited over time. The World Health Organization (WHO) has stated that one of the determinants to active ageing is the social environment in which we age. A social environment which provides adequate social support, opportunities for education and lifelong learning, peace, and protection from violence and abuse would enable older persons to age with enhanced health, participation and security in the community.

Finally, I would like to congratulate today's award winners and hope that they will bring the experiences they have learned from each other back to their friends and relatives, and spread the message of active ageing. Last but not least, I would also like to wish today's event every success.

Thank you.

End/Saturday, July 13, 2002


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