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Windows journey captures lives of the elderly

A year ago, IT specialist Corne du Preez spent a week in intensive care after a horror motorcycle accident. Recently though, Du Preez embarked on a countrywide bike ride aimed at highlighting the plight of the elderly.

The technology is no problem. Thanks to Du Preez’s employer, Microsoft South Africa, he will be recording and sharing his 6 700km journey across some of the most remote areas of South Africa, from Musina to Alexander Bay. Along the way, he will be meeting with Age-in-Action members and local biker communities to hand out food parcels.

Du Preez says his close shave with death made him realise he should do more with his passion, and make a difference in the lives of an often forgotten sector of the community. According to the Global AgeWatch rank, South Africa has one of the most rapidly aging populations in Africa, despite the demographic impact of the AIDS epidemic.

‚”In Africa, the processes of modernisation, urbanisation and migration and the impact of HIV and AIDS have eroded traditional systems of family and community support. Many people living with HIV have become dependent on their parents for care rather than supporting their parents in older age, as would have happened in past years,‚” said Du Preez. ‚”We shouldn’t forget our old people. In fact, we should do everything we can to keep them close to our hearts and lives.‚”

Du Preez will be using a state-of-the-art Nokia Lumia 1020 phone to capture glimpses of the lives of the elderly, and sharing them on social platforms like Twitter as he wends his way across the country, starting at the East Rand’s Gold Rand Harley Davidson centre on 15 November.

The Nokia Lumia 1020 has set a new benchmark in imaging. Boasting a 41 megapixel sensor, it is unlike any smartphone in the market today, and is able to produce images just as sharp as those produced by any digital camera. Sharing these images and capturing his journey will be a breeze, thanks to the Windows ecosystem, which connects all his devices and places where he connects with friends and family whether he’s in Hazyview, Port Nolloth or Johannesburg.

Microsoft SA’s Anthony Doherty says Du Preez’s journey is not just a great advertisement for the ability of its Windows devices to keep people in touch wherever they are, but talks directly to the company’s Employee Volunteer programme, which opens a window for Microsoft staff to contribute to underprivileged groups in the society.

‚”By giving their time and resources, our employees are able to share their unique passions and skills through personal involvement with disadvantaged communities,‚” said Doherty.

You can follow Corne’s journey on Microsoft South Africa’s Facebook page, and share pictures of him if you spot him in your town on Twitter using the #WindowsJourney hashtag.


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