Against the backdrop of the current situation and the associated increasing danger of loneliness, especially among older Kiel residents, "digital media" are also gaining in importance among senior citizens.

Most recently, in August 2020, the BAgSO demanded in a position paper - analogous to the "DigitalPakt Schule" - to set up a "Digitalpakt Alter". Older people in all municipalities must have access to low-threshold offers for acquiring digital skills.

At the same time, however, it is also apparent that many older people, whose lives, unlike those of young people, have not always been digitally shaped, have a greater need for explanation and practice in the use of their digital devices. In August last year, the industry association Bitkom called for the deployment and training of digital street workers to support the broad digital participation of senior citizens.

This is the background to the project "Patenenkel*", with which the nettekieler Ehrenamtsbüro, together with the Howe-Fiedler-Stiftung, the M38 Netzwerk ▪ Treff für KielMitte, some Anlaufstellen Nachbarschaft (Annas), as well as the association SeniorenNet Kiel, now want to get started. Young people or young adults are being sought who would like to provide individual support to older people in handling their personal digital devices. There will be fixed consultation hours at M38 in Muhliusstraße and at the participating Annas, of course under the strictest hygiene and safety conditions. The aim of the project is to promote encounters between young and old and to use different competences together in a meaningful way.

"The idea for the project actually came up in the family," says Alexandra Hebestreit, head of the nettekieler Ehrenamtsbüro. "My children often and very patiently gave their grandparents telephone coaching on their digital devices. This often led to very nice and interesting conversations at the same time. Many older people either have no grandchildren or no relationship with them. The project wants to make a small contribution there in particular."

"The Howe-Fiedler-Stiftung," adds its coordinator and project manager Gesa Rogowski, "believes that digital participation for senior citizens is right & important. Therefore, we are happy to implement a creative idea with the cooperation partners and thus contribute to social and digital participation.

"Our wonderful experience with our own inclusive smartphone course, which was also attended by numerous senior citizens, made us not hesitate for a second to support the project," said Frank Rimkus, coordinator of the M38 Netzwerk ▪ Treffs für Kiel-Mitte.

Interested young people and young adults who would like to become a godchild* can contact the nettekieler Ehrenamtsbüro at A prerequisite would of course be a good knowledge of how to use digital devices, as well as fun in intergenerational commitment and individual contact. A contact person from the participating institution will be close by during the counselling sessions. There will be a detailed preliminary discussion and a certificate for the counselling hours completed.

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