Flemish government allocates 375,000 euros for tablets in residential care centers

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The Flemish government is allocating 375,000 euros to make tablets available in residential care centers. This allows residents to have visual contact with family and friends, despite the corona crisis. Citizens can also donate money for the initiative.

According to Minister of Welfare Wouter Beke, many residents of residential care centers are now longing for physical contact. The centers were placed in lockdown a few weeks ago due to the corona virus. Visit is therefore not possible. Minister of the Interior Bart Somers calls it important that sufficient attention is paid to the mental well-being of these isolated people. That is why both ministries are making a total of 375,000 euros available, with which the centers can purchase tablets.

The money will go to VirtualHugs, an initiative of Deloitte, Close the Gap and VUB, among others. These organizations collect old tablets and smartphones to make them ready for use for the new users in the residential care centers. The platform also produces manuals with frequently asked questions for users. The tablets and smartphones are distributed among residential care centers and hospitals on the basis of ‘real needs’.

At the time of writing, 320 devices have been donated. VirtualHugs will purchase new devices with the money from the Flemish government. Of the money, 250,000 euros will come from the Ministry of Welfare; 125,000 euros comes from the Ministry of the Interior. Residents and organizations can donate devices with a minimum of twenty devices or donate money through the King Baudouin Foundation.

CoronaCorona VirusFlemishGovernmentHospitalsSmartphonesTablets