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​Since 2013, South Hills Library has been transforming the lives of elderly residents. Under the leadership of Nontyileko Tinise-Masakaza, the Senior Librarian working within the Community Development, Library, and Informati​on Services of Region F, the library offers a unique programme aimed at empowering senior citizens: the Senior Citizen Book Club and Basic Computer Classes.​

In today's digital world, many elderly individuals often feel left out or isolated. Recognising this, Tinise-Masakaza and her team saw an opportunity to provide practical computer skills to those who had never had the chance to learn. These classes extend beyond technical training, enhancing seniors' confidence and sense of self-worth.

In recent basic computer classes, participants learned essential skills such as mouse navigation, internet browsing, and how to watch YouTube videos. For many seniors, these seemingly simple tasks represent a significant step towards embracing technology and its benefits.

"For many seniors, these classes have opened up a whole new world for them," shared Tinise-Masakaza. "They can now write down cherished family recipes, share stories from their lives, and even connect with family and friends through email or social media. These newfound abilities help them manage their own affairs more independently."

The impact of these classes extends beyond individual learning. They have become a social gathering point where friendships blossom and a sense of community flourishes. Seniors look forward to these sessions as a highlight of their week, enjoying the camaraderie and support of their peers.

Tinise-Masakaza emphasises the importance of teamwork in this effort. It’s a collaborative endeavour involving dedicated individuals and library departments working together to support the aspirations of our elderly community members. Through this initiative, South Hills Library demonstrates the power of community-driven programmes. By combining technology with compassion, they are breaking down barriers and helping seniors rediscover a sense of purpose and belonging.

The success of these classes underscores the value of supporting our elderly population, ensuring they remain engaged and connected in our rapidly changing world. Let's continue to celebrate and promote initiatives like these that uplift and empower our senior citizens.

When you visit South Hills Library, take a moment to witness the joy on the faces of our senior citizens as they navigate the digital world with newfound confidence. It’s a reminder that with the right support and encouragement, everyone can thrive and contribute, regardless of age.

Written by Mpho Mokwena

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