A question of generation

More people now reach the upper living age. Today e.g. in Germany five per cent of population are above 80 years. In contrast to the big amount of older people stands an amount of less younger people. The situation of churches maintain difficult and challenging - challenges, the UEM helps to solve.



Photo of Matthias  Börner
Matthias Börner
Head of Training Centre Bethel and responsible for International Diaconia Program
Grete-Reich-Weg 9 33617 Bielefeld Germany
Tel.: +49 (0)521-144-4524
Fax: +49 (0)202 89004-805

Aging in different cultures

Not "Calm-Setting" - as the germans like to call their retirement: It is lovely that most people living in Germany stay health even the high aged and that they can be active in social life events. But co-occuring the demographic change challenges the society, i.e. at pension and healthcare system. Even the churches sense this trend. Young people to move up and live in context of church are not casual.

Concepts of Family crumble

The demographic change does certainly not stop at countryborders. Even the UEM-member churches in Africa and Asia are facing the challenge of "Ageing". Many people live in financial poverty. In most of the southern Asian countries the amount of old people increases rapidly. But a managed care for people of high age are almost not evolved. In the African member churches the problem is different. Namely in comparison to old people, more children are born and the youth is raising. But because of social changes and not least because of HIV/Aids traditional and cultural family concepts are crumbling, which were previously ensured by the generation of parents or grandparents.

New Ways through Exchange

There is much to do. In the program of international diaconia "Ageing" is a main topic since 2009. Former projects i.e a pastoral meeting in Hongkong in the end of 2011 or a workshop in Tanzania 2010 showed us directions to go due to relational contact. In Tanzania a small group of former UEM-contributers met with same-aged volunteers to communicate experiences. A documentation about this workshop in German and English is available as a download.

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