Helping each other: an intergenerational project

Problems of loneliness and accommodation

Problems of loneliness and accommodation Photo: Porto Town Hall

“Those who study have a home. Those who have a home have company”.

This is the motto of the ‘Aconchego’ programme, which is aimed at people over the age of 60, living in the municipality of Porto, who live alone or with their spouse and have the accommodation to host students. It’s a partnership with the Academic Federation of Porto (FAP) and is now in its 20th year.

Through ‘Aconchego’, the Municipality and the FAP are trying to achieve two objectives: to house university students in the homes of seniors living in the city and to promote the well-being of seniors and their families, alleviating the feeling of loneliness and reducing the level of worry that many children feel because their parents live alone, especially at night.

This intergenerational project has already won international awards and provides participants with an exchange of experiences between generations, companionship for the seniors and reduced accommodation costs for the student. The students make a symbolic contribution in kind, which can be food, to help cover additional expenses such as water, electricity and gas.

‘Aconchego’ takes seniors out of loneliness and helps students get accommodation: win-win. The programme lasts for one academic year and can be renewed until the end of the course.

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Written by

Kevin Fraser Park

Kevin was born in Scotland and worked in marketing, running his own businesses in UK, Italy and, for the last 8 years, here in Spain. He moved to the Costa del Sol in 2016 working initially in real estate. He has a passion for literature and particularly the English language which is how he got into writing.

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