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Member Spotlight: RAFAM Argentina Foundation

The RAFAM Argentina Foundation (FundaciĆ³n RAFAM Argentina) was created 10 years ago as a network of physical education teachers who worked with senior citizens. When their members formalized the project and published it for public awareness, it was declared of interest by the Argentine Chamber of Deputies.

This recognition motivated RAFAM to strengthen their actions. RAFAM’s network started collaborating with other networks to learn how to build actions that would have an impact on society. However, they depended on resources to achieve their goals, and so they asked for support from other organizations, which told them they needed to become an NGO to fully experience their support.

Following their advice, the network became the RAFAM Argentina Foundation (Physical Activity Network for Older Adults). This development allowed them to make a much stronger impact and so, as of today, RAFAM has more than 150 members in 14 different countries in Latin America. RAFAM’s vision is to improve the quality of life of the elderly so that they can live their lives with autonomy, and their mission is to generate spaces for the practice of physical activity, sport, and recreation for the elderly completely free of charge.

 

RAFAM believes that professionals who work with elderly people from different disciplines should stay up-to-date on any developments regarding physical activity. With that aim, they made available diplomas and university postgraduate courses for healthcare professionals and the general public. They also carry out prevention and promotion actions on the importance of leading an active and healthy life. These actions are implemented through intergenerational meetings, as they believe that the best way for young people to understand older people is by getting involved. To influence the younger communities, they have agreements with universities and physical education institutes that help them to implement a model of action for the community.

RAFAM is the only Physical Activity Network for Older People in the world. As President of the Foundation Silvia Maranzano explains: “Being able to become a Member of WHF allowed us to tell the world about our work and reach out further so that other organizations would know us. Physical activity is part of all treatments for chronic non-communicable diseases (NCDs) and in some cases the first treatment. That is why we should not wait to get sick to become aware. We must generate awareness so that life is healthy in all its stages.”