Photography contest captures the spirit of active ageing

Publié: 10 février 2014 10:51 CET

How can you combine the beauty of active ageing with modern social media? The Red Cross of Bosnia and Herzegovina did just that, when they launched a photo competition on their Facebook site.

The society’s Facebook page got a huge boost when one message started an avalanche of likes, new friends and contributions. The update read: “Golden years are years of unselfish experience and knowledge sharing, helping families, composed of moments of joy, companionship, active work and acquirement of news skills. Capture these moments, send us your photos and win valuable prize. Be a part of the Red Cross active aging campaign 'Joyful moments of Golden Years'.

Immediately photos began to arrive from across the country depicting themes of intergenerational solidarity, life-long education, promotion of health and vitality. After a couple of days the Red Cross had acquired thousands of new Facebook friends submitting, voting and liking their favorite photos, and adding comments or experiences about active ageing.

The contest came to an end on 27 January 2014, and the winners were announced. One winner photo chosen by the Facebook users was Emina Mesic´s 'Best friends', while a Red Cross Jury awarded another photo – 'Grandpa and grandson jigsaw' by Maja Jugo – a special prize for best capturing the concept of active ageing.

The awards were presented by Dusan Kulusic Secretary General of the Red Cross of Bosnia and Herzegovina; “The photo contest promoted active aging concept in an innovative way, removed stereotypes and started a good debate,” he said. “We were surprised to receive so many photos and are grateful to all that contributed to promoting of better life quality of older people.”

The Facebook contest managed to attract both local and national media and soon enough you could hear at the markets, buses and restaurants people talking about active ageing.

Best Friends - by Emina Mesic

Best friends - by Emina Mesic.

The Country Representative for the International Federation of Red Cross and Red Crescent Societies, Michele Rezza Sanchez, was happy to witness the campaign outreach in the country and the work done by the Red Cross. “The Red Cross is one of the few organizations currently promoting this kind of activity in Bosnia and Herzegovina,” he said. “We were used to the traditional way of providing support to the elderly, provision of food parcels or other kind of material support, but in most cases this support did not address one of the main problems that is isolation of older persons or the fact that older people are not anymore able to feel useful for those they love.”

The Red Cross in Bosnia and Herzegovina will continue to support older people actively involving communities in projects, campaigns or activities at the same time changing existing attitudes of the communities towards older persons.