“Everything is easy when you know how, and I don’t – that’s why I came to learn,” said 75-year-old Budimir, one of the first 60 participants of the digital literacy training for senior citizens conducted by the Delegation of the European Union in Serbia, as part of the “Everything is easy when you know how” campaign.

His peer, Olga, already communicates a lot with her friends via Viber and Facebook, but she decided to sign up for this workshop so that she could make doctor appointment via E-health platform.

“These wonderful young people really helped me learn how to use the smart phone. My children and grandchildren don’t have time, and even when they do, they lack the patience to explain,” said Nikola Rašić from Novi Sad.

In order for them not to be left out of the current trends that the digital age brings every day, the EU Delegation in Serbia decided to organize free digital literacy workshops for senior citizens – in 10 cities in Serbia: Belgrade, Niš, Novi Sad, Novi Pazar, Kraljevo, Leskovac, Zaječar, Vršac, Sombor, and Šabac.

“It is important for me to tell you this – the people who invented the Internet, the computer, the mobile phone, who invented the satellites that made our planet a ‘global village’ – were not digitally literate. They wrote their doctorates, technical calculations, and those ingenious ideas – by hand on paper, or typed them on typewriters, just like you. And they used indigo paper, which we all remember,” said Plamena Halačeva, deputy head of the EU Delegation in Serbia.

She stated that statistics show that most European countries are becoming an “older society,” and that the number of citizens over 60 is significantly higher, and the speed at which technology, especially the Internet, is being used to digitize everyday life is unfathomable.

“For years now, we keep our mobile phones in our pockets – but they are serious computers, powerful machines that can significantly improve our lives. You already know – ordering medicines from the pharmacy, groceries from the supermarket, checking ownership in the cadastre, paying bills without going to the post office or the bank, getting results from the laboratory, registering the car… this no longer means hours of waiting in lines and at counters – it’s now a thing a few clicks on your mobile phone. And you will master that in this training,” added Halačeva.

In addition to Belgrade, the workshop was held in Novi Sad, and training in Niš is planned to be held at the end of February.

The training is conducted by the Digital Communications Institute, and everyone who registers by February 14 will have the opportunity to master digital skills and to communicate by email and Viber, as well as to use some of the E-Government services.

About the campaign:

The Delegation of the European Union in Serbia launched a campaign to raise awareness on the topic of improving the digital skills of older citizens of Serbia, with the aim of mastering the basic knowledge that will facilitate their communication and use of digital services, communications, and other digital resources.

The campaign consists of two parallel activities – raising public awareness (through TV spots and billboards) and the organization of educational workshops, intended for older fellow citizens. The workshops will be held in Belgrade, Niš, and Novi Sad, as well as several other cities throughout Serbia, from February to June 2024.

Applications for the workshops endure until the 14th of February.


More Information:

European Union Agency for Fundamental Rights

European Commission (Shaping Europe’s digital future)