There is so much bad news across the world at present. The Islamic war continues which seems to affect so many different people, both in the areas where they have taken over and in other countries where their rule doesn’t exist. Now we have the added devastation in Nepal, a country which is never regarded as wealthy at the best of times. This can only increase the poverty. In the midst of all this it is the very young and older people who suffer the most because both groups lack the physical strength and capabilities to cope with the situation.

When I first heard about the grannies in Canada connecting with their counterparts in Africa who have to struggle to bring up their grandchildren after their parents die of AIDS, I hoped that this was to be the start of something bigger. This connection is not just fundraising but also the one-to-one contact, and friendships, between the two groups of grandparents. I eagerly joined, only to find that it wasn’t an idea that was spreading but an extension of the fund-raising part of their work. The personal contact didn’t exist beyond the original members.

When my children were little we subscribed to an organisation which raised money for children in poor countries. We were allocated to a family, I think in India, with a child the same age as my son. I wanted my children to know that not all children were as lucky as they were. We enjoyed getting the monthly letters from the child, written with the help of a worker with the family. The agency’s policy was use part of our donation to help the rest of the village to reduce any jealousy there may have been. In this case I think they set up a silk worm farm to provide an income for all the villagers.

Wouldn’t it be great if we could set up something similar to connect older people across the world, including sharing our stories and hopes and dreams for our families. It would be good if the small start in Africa mentioned above could spread to more countries. The trouble is that doing something like that has more appeal if children are involved, with their futures ahead of them.

The incentive would have to come from us but where could we start? If we could manage it we would really prove our worth and finally put all the negative comments about us to rest. I don’t think it has been done before apart from the small group mentioned above. It wouldn’t just be donations but the very important personal contact between us too. We would probably need help from one of the charity’s to start with but there is no reason why we shouldn’t run it ourselves after the initial start. Any suggestions?