In 2011 in the extreme suburbs of Rome, a unique social project was born in the Lazio Region, which saw some young people and residents of the neighborhood engaged in combating digital divides by transmitting computer knowledge to the over 50, at the old center of Settecamini

A project, L’Angolo Del Computer, which volunteers who animated him from the beginning have considered very important for active ageing and to reduce inequalities with an active contrast to digital divide.

Covid-19 is a major emergency, but today courses are still active in a minor and limited form.

For example, for participants in the Villa Leopardi old town centre, who are now familiar with e-mail, the lessons and activities are sent by email. An internal mailing, where the teacher sends the lesson to all students and where everyone will carry it out independently at home, also given the time available.

As for the courses at the Settecamini Senior Centre, some teachers wanted to continue the lessons through the video conference with the Skype program, with which the teacher explains the topic and people can interact. This also gives you the possibility to ask questions and requests in real time.

A project to overcome digital divides

When the first two computer courses began, Emanuele and Sergio, the project’s creators, discovered in turn how much enthusiasm and desire was there by the participants, classes of about 20 people and all with the desire to learn.

To compensate for the smaller number of computers in that first course, volunteers decided to ask public bodies, such as the Court of Auditors, and private companies to receive in donation computers used at the end of their lives.

Behind the emotional drive of the president of the old town, the project manager Emanuele Mattei, also added technological events on topics such as security, safe navigation and Skype use.

Issues that are not illustrated by volunteers but by employees of companies like Microsoft for Skype’s program, email and office automation, and Kaspersky for cybersecurity.

Several months pass and the project receives more and more used computers, which once settled become perfectly functional for the basic activities, just for the courses for overcoming the digital divide.

From this situation comes the idea of giving computers to other old centres of the IV City Hall. It turns out that almost all the old towns in the capital ( 156) require computer stations, rooms and free computer courses.

As computers and volunteers increase, it is decided to go to the various old centres of the same number of municipalities (II, III, IV, V, VIII, XIV) in the production of zero-cost computer rooms, safeguarding the environment and at the same time giving a new life to

Over 40 free courses were held in Rome over ten years, and 26 computer rooms were created in the same old centres of the various Municipalities, which formed over 700 people, mostly over 50, and have been set up over 280 computers.

• A very important project for the community with many human and environmental aspects • says the project manager, Emanuele Mattei -. Human because it is the courses that give rise to the sense of community, the desire to get back in the game, new friendships and above all as seen in different courses true friendship among participants and in some cases even new loves, because this feeling is not of age Another important aspect is the environmental impact, if many companies and public bodies have to renew their park for more powerful computers or new furniture, with this initiative as well as save the cost of disposal, giving the possibility to the elderly centers to equip themselves and at the same time safeguard the environment Finally, another aspect that we would like to mention is the healthy aspect, because the computer is an excellent method for active ageing, precisely for the activity of memory and attention it requires, contrasting in turn Alzheimer’s and all those pathologies of dementia senile.

A typical open source project, which receives no subsidies and generates no economic revenue, free and open to all, without distinction.

Any company or public body can donate material to the project: they also need video projectors for the return to classrooms after Step 2. For information, contact the project manager at this address: [email protected]

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