For this project, Prolepsis collaborated with the French NGO, “Petits Frères des Pauvres” (Little Brothers of the Poor) whose sole mission has been to carry out such programs nationally since 1946 and internationally with partners since 1979. Volunteers are matched with lonely seniors and offer companionship and support through weekly calls (essential particularly during the COVID-19 pandemic). During the first 3 months of the program, 24 seniors were matched with volunteers. Additionally, Prolepsis operates a telephone line that provides psychological support to lonely elderly, even those who are not participating in the program. Volunteers that answer the calls Monday to Friday, are keen to listen and available to provide companionship to the elderly callers. 40% of callers are over 80 years of age and almost 70% of the elderly callers live on their own. 79% of callers have been dealing with depression and other emotional difficulties, such as anxiety due to the COVID-19 pandemic. The line operates anonymously and costs no more than a local phone call. Interested participants, both volunteers and elderly, can call 210 6255700.
Prolepsis: Friendship for All Ages Program
Prolepsis created, through a grant of the TIMA Charitable Foundation, the “Friendship for All Ages” program that targets lonely and socially secluded individuals over the age of 65.