Today is Universal Children's Day and we'd like to highlight the amazing work being done in Costa Rica, the first country in Latin America to implement Dementia Friends. 13 year old Dementia Friend Champion Jose Pablo Roman is leading the youth and intergenerational approach in his country and has created Dementia Friends in schools around the Central American nation. We caught up with Jose who told us about his motivations to lead a youth approach through Dementia Friends:

'I have always been interested in social initiatives, I discovered Dementia Friends through my father who was already a volunteer and helped me realise the long term importance of the project. Dementia Friends helps create understanding about dementia. It is also important to bear in mind that for change to be delivered it is important to work with communities and actively engage with the youth. Jose thinks children are the future of a country and by teaching younger generations we can achieve long term impact.

It is important to raise awareness of dementia among the youth because they will continue the work started by older generations and from an early age they can become sensitive to the condition and situations they themselves may face in the future.'

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The President of the National Alzheimer Association in Costa Rica Dr Norbel Roman also told us about their plans for a Dementia Friends youth approach:

'We are using the platform of Dementia Friends to influence the national educational system. With a message of sensitisation we plan to reach all educational systems and plan for school children to visit care homes as part of the curriculum.'

You can learn more about the Costa Rican Alzheimer Association here: