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World Refugee Day

June 20th, 2018 Comments off

World Refugee Day

Had I been born in another part of the world, I might be among the refugees of my age struggling to walk their way to freedom.

I am fortunate. I know where I will sleep tonight; that I can walk into the local neighborhood, wave to people I know, and to feel safe. No one has forced me from my home, violated me, or made it impossible to remain in my country without fear of injury or death. No, I am not one of the 68 million refugees or internally displaced people in the world today as a result of conflict or persecution. Many of them are my age, if not when they begin their journey they may be by the time they are able to return to their countries.

From 1998 to 2001 I was privileged to be part of a team of local leaders in Geneva, Switzerland brought together by Mrs. Sadako Ogata, the United Nations High Commissioner for Refugees (UNHCR). It opened my eyes to what it meant to seek refuge.

  • Most refugees want only to return to their homes. They have been forced to leave and dream of the moment when they can return. You’ve only to witness news reports of the risks they have taken and the hundreds of miles they have walked to know that they had no choice if they were to survive.
  • Many refugees have been born and raised in refugee camps waiting to enter into a safe country. The average length of displacement today is 17 years. Recently I mentored a woman who had spent her whole life in a refugee camp.
  • Many of the people we think of as the heroes of science, exploration, humanity and education in our own countries came to our countries as refugees. Geneva, Switzerland where I live, developed into the world renowned city of Global Peace Talks and the United Nations organizations largely thanks to the arrival of refugees over the centuries.

Let’s stand together with refugees and also recognize that had we been born in another part of the world we might be among them, or left behind to die.

Bonnie Fatio

KEEP UP YOUR “AGE ESTEEM”

December 22nd, 2016 Comments off

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KEEP UP YOUR “AGE ESTEEM”

Does the accumulation of years sometimes get you down?  Then have an injection of positivity from Bonnie Fatio, the Founder of AgeEsteem, an organisation which provides everyone with the vision and means to live our lives fully at every age with a positive attitude”. 

Based in Switzerland but accessible from anywhere in the world, Bonnie is a highly experienced motivational speaker and coach who decided to tackle the negative views and stereotyping about seniors that abound in society, and which we ourselves absorb to our detriment.  She envisions “a world where age and aging are celebrated and people of all ages are recognized as important, contributing members of society” and works hard to promote this.   Bonnie is a sought-after speaker around the globe, and runs workshops to help people feel good about themselves at any age, as well as contributing her advice and message to other organisations, including the United Nations.

You can read about Bonnie and AgeEsteem on her website  www.ageesteem.com  where you can sign up to receive her zesty newsletters as I do and even receive free e-gifts from this inspirational lady.   Go on, get a regular dose of Age Esteem. It’s all completely free and is equally valid for men and women.

Written by age-esteemer Debbie King, this was first published on her blog, Age With Me. Debbie lives AgeEsteem. She has attended AgeEsteem workshops and models positive aging in all she does. I encourage you to visit her site to learn more.  Thank you, Debbie King! – Bonnie Fatio

 

Adieu Alexandra Taylor

August 2nd, 2015 Comments off

Alexandra Taylor

Adieu Alexandra Taylor

Another page has turned as we say “Adieu” to Alexandra Taylor who has kept us entertained and uplifted with her poems for almost five years. AgeEsteem published her first poem, Celebrate Your Age on October 27th, 2010.

Ever since then she has been generously sharing her talents with the audience of AgeEsteem blog weekly. One of my many favorites is just four lines.

Rejoice!

Let your voice

Be the clue

To the you

Of your Choice.

 Alexandra Taylor wrote this after reading the chapter “Rejoice” in my book
 AgeEsteem: Growing A Positive Attitude Toward Aging
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Her poems developed as a genuine pastime after she attended an AgeEsteem program. I well remember our discussion that began with her explaining to me that she had no talents to share. I recalled seeing cartoon characters that she had made into drawings for her children previously and as our conversation moved forward I learned that she had designed greeting cards with both drawings and prose. This soon led to her poems and my suggestion that she might like to write for AgeEsteem.

What few people know is that she wrote her poems while waiting for the bus, walking home from town, or sitting on a park bench. She wrote these rhymes on scraps of paper or envelopes that she found in the trash next to the bus stop or on the program from a concert she had attended. On the rare occasions that they were actually on writing paper, they were often stuck in an envelope already addressed and sent through the mail to someone else before she salvaged it to enclose her latest rhyme. She was a scavenger at heart! I hope to make a book of her many poems, handwritten and on “recycled” paper as she gave them to me.

Alexandra thwarted Google because she never wanted to be interviewed or to have her photo published. She was happy to simply share her talents with no acclaim. It was enough to know that others enjoyed her poems.

Alexandra’s latest poems remain to be published, two of which she wrote during her last days.

Alexandra Taylor left us in much the same way that she lived, quietly and with dignity. Death is, after all, a natural ending to this life as we know it. She leaves us with the precious gift of her wealth of poems and memories of moments shared, both of which are life continued.

Bonnie Fatio

An Experience In Age Esteem

April 23rd, 2015 Comments off

Dr. Heli Bathija

An Experience In Age Esteem

Age Esteem abounded last night at an annual event in Grand-Saconnex, one of municipalities of Geneva, Switzerland when they awarded the “Mérite saconnésien”. It is a ceremony to award local citizens for the outstanding contribution they have made to the local community or to the world.

My dear friend Heli Bathija received this award for her work to save babies in Afghanistan. Heli is a medical doctor who retired from her career at the World Health Organization several years ago. Retirement gave her the opportunity to redirect her energies and experience to new areas of interest. One of these interests led her to found Hope For The Babies (HOBI).

The idea is simple, yet life changing and life saving. The mortality rate of newborn babies in Afghanistan is extremely high. This is for two reasons: 1) Mothers usually give birth at home in disastrous hygienic conditions. 2) Hypothermia. The babies die from the cold.

Dr. Bathija’s prevention was simple. Offer warm sweaters for the babies of mothers who come to the local health centers to give birth. It results in the mother giving birth in more sanitary conditions and the baby is kept warm.

Since Dr. Heli Bathija had lived and worked in Afghanistan, she had good contacts to make this happen. But where would all those sweaters come from? – From knitters, of course! So she set out to find women and men who knit, beginning with the knitting club in her own community. Today she has knitters in many parts of the world, including France, Canada, U.K., Finland…as well as many people contributing wool and money to help it happen.

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Heli Bathija is a living example of age esteem, proving it is never too late to launch a new idea or to make a lasting difference. Through her age esteem she is enhancing the course of lives, not only of mothers and babies, but also of people who knit with a purpose – to give a fair chance to a newborn.

At this same ceremony, the knitting group of Grand-Saconnex also received the “Mérite saconnésien” for their outstanding contribution through the knitting of countless sweaters, blankets and bonnets for the newborns in Afghanistan. Without these dedicated women using their creative talents, Hope For The Babies may not have taken off in such a dynamic way, stimulating interest from other like groups.

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Here, too, Age Esteem was evident since the knitters were elders in the community. Their leader, in light green in the above photograph, is 92 years old. She, and the other women in this group, are beautiful models of age esteem. It showed through their energy, relationships to others in the community and their commitment to making a difference.

Bonnie Fatio

 

International Day of Older Persons

October 1st, 2014 Comments off

Int. Day of Older PersonsHappy International Day of Older Persons

The United Nations’ (UN) International Day of Older Persons is celebrated annually on October 1 to recognize the contributions of older persons and to examine issues that affect their lives.

This year, the 24th International Day of Older Persons carries the theme Leaving No One Behind: Promoting a Society for All

Over the next 50 years, the number of older persons in the world will grow from about 600 million to almost 2 billion. Today, one person in ten is aged 60 or over – by 2050, this will be one person in five, and by 2150, one in three.

International Day of Older Persons offers AgeEsteem a prime opportunity to recognise the contributions of older persons as they continue in the paid the labor force, volunteer in numerous areas, share knowledge and experience, care for family and community, invent new technology and blaze new trails.

I am proud to be an older person! What about you?

Bonnie Fatio

Age Esteem – at Any Age!

September 30th, 2014 Comments off

Int. Day for Older Persons Age Esteem – at Any Age!

Age Esteem – at Any Age! will be the theme of the lunchtime seminar by Bonnie Fatio, founder of AgeEsteem, sponsored by the WHO (World Health Organisation) HQ Staff Association on Wednesday 1 October to mark the International Day of Older Persons. Bonnie will be giving tips and facts to help you to feel good about yourself, whatever your age. Whether you are preparing for retirement with two or three more years with the Organisation, or younger in your mid-forties, it is time to start now to build for a meaningful future.

Age Esteem’s vision of a world where people of all ages are respected as contributing members of society aligns well with the International Day of Older Persons.

Loving Your Age – Loving You!

March 26th, 2014 Comments off

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Loving Your Age, Loving You!

Creating the vision of what you want your life to be

Too often we get caught up in all that has to be done. We are concerned about our success in our jobs, relationships, physical appearance, and just keeping up.

 Does your life seem like just more of the same?

           Are you concerned about what the rest of your life will be like?

                 Has your confidence and energy lessened or even left you?

                        Do you want to revitalize your life?

This workshop is for you!

  • Be excited about this stage in your life!
  • Gain renewed energy and joy! – Love who you are!
  • Learn practical tips and techniques you can use immediately to move your life forward!
  • Gain confidence to actually take on your dreams!
  • Appreciate the value of your life up until now in order to pave the way for a bright future!
Join us on
Fri. April 4th 18:30 – 21:30 & Sat. April 5th 9:30 – 16:30
Old Town Geneva, Switzerland
(Address will be communicated when you register.)
Chf 250.- (includes materials & refreshments)
For Information & To Reserve: bonnie.fatio@AgeEsteem.com
Bonnie Fatio, AgeEsteem, guides and challenges people to think differently about themselves in order to set their inner-self free to shine, to share their unique talents and to act on their dreams at every age.
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International Women’s Day

March 8th, 2014 Comments off

DreifussRuth Dreifuss

Happy International Women’s Day 2014

On this International Women’s Day, I would like to celebrate all of the women, and men, who have forged the path for women today. Without the courage and persistence of those who have gone before us, we would not have the opportunities that we do.

One of the most moving moments for me as a member of the Geneva City Council was in 1999. That was the year that Ruth Dreifuss was elected as the first woman President of Switzerland.

Tradition called for her first stop as President to be a visit to her home canton (state), which is Geneva, and to parade through the town with the local politicians so the citizens could welcome her.  It was already special to accompany the first woman president of the country, but what truly moved me were the masses of women lining the streets. Many were waving white handkerchiefs and had tears in their eyes or were openly sobbing with joy as they welcomed her.

President Ruth Dreifuss represented a major step in what these women had fought for both covertly and overtly over the years. These suffragettes were women who had succeeded in having their voices count as votes and to be elected to government! This was a day of rejoicing.

Bonnie Fatio

Can Money Buy Good Health?

February 27th, 2014 Comments off

Money

Can Money Buy Good Health?

They say that money cannot buy good health.  However, some research shows that rich people are in better health than poor people.  This is based on the result of a study that indicates that people with lower incomes go less often to the doctor because of the expense involved.  Let’s face it. Healthcare can be very expensive.

Yet, in today’s world, there is so much about nutrition and good health that one just needs to read and to research to know what should be eaten and what lifestyle to lead.

Pharmacies, too, can be a great aid in helping people manage their health.

 Grandma Nature

Your Authentic Voice

November 18th, 2013 Comments off

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Your Authentic Voice

Are you speaking with your authentic voice through your writing?

Bonnie Fatio will be guest speaker at the Writing from Your Heart on-line gathering on November 19th at 11am PT. She will be interviewed by Eileen Parr on Age Esteem and “Transforming the world with your authentic voice”, the theme of this week.

Sign up for this Free series here and tune into Bonnie Fatio and other well-known, dynamic speakers.