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Supporting and Associated Projects

Associated Projects

The Netherlands
The ComputerPlusBus is one of the projects of the National Foundation for the Elderly. Examples of other projects are the GroceryPlusBus, the arrangement of Christmas dinners, and a helpline for the elderly. The most important goal of the foundation is to combat isolation. The foundation does not receive any subsidy, but is paid for by individual donors. The ComputerPlusBus is a twelve meters long bus, which travels to different locations in the Netherlands from March until November, four days a week. Eighty percent of these locations are care homes. In the bus, there are a couple of computers (all with big screens) and a laptop; three to five volunteers are present to help guest to use them. The target group of the bus are the absolute beginners; people who have never touched a computer before. The bus provides one session to motivate people, they do not offer a course. The bus started in 2008 and has already received 10.000 guests. The biggest group consists of people between the ages of 65 and 85. The bus is promoted through the distribution of flyers and posters at care homes, a weekly press release in local media (radio interviews, TV interviews), and advertisements in free local newspapers. When people come in, they first get coffee and cake. This proves to be a good way to "lure people into the bus". Then the guest is invited to sit behind the computer, together with a volunteer. The volunteer explains the components of the computer (no technical things) and gets the guest to do a mouse training. Than, often one or more of the following activities are done, depending on the interests of the guest: looking for the guest's house on Google Earth, tracing grandchildren on Hyves, or sending e-mails to other guests in the bus. At the end, the guest is asked to fill in an evaluation form