|WPC Buddies Program|
Starts January 11, 2016 with WPC 2016 Registration
What is the WPC Buddies Program?
The WPC Buddies Program is an initiative to strengthen the global Parkinson's community by introducing, or matching, WPC registrants who have signed up to attend the WPC 2016 in Portland. Started at the WPC 2013, this program had nearly 185 participants from around the world who connected before even arriving at the registration desk.
Interested WPC registrants can be matched, "buddied up" with other people from around the world who are also attending the 4th World Parkinson Congress.
The idea is to create space for global dialogue, discussion and companionship across all borders. Parkinson's is not unique to any one country. Just as North Americans struggle with Parkinson's day to day, so too do people all over the world in Africa, South Pacific, South America, Europe and Asia.
The idea of having a buddy somewhere else in the world means that people with Parkinson's and their caregivers/family can share their ideas for coping, their successes and their trials and tribulations. To have a buddy or to be a buddy IS NOT COMPULSORY. However, it is an opportunity to engage in conversation with someone on the other side of the world whose health care resources may be different but whose ideas of how to cope may be inspirational and enlightening. At the same time your ideas and your resources might assist someone on the other side of our planet and change their life for the better.
Because communication has become borderless and fast, thanks to the internet and social media, having a conversation with someone halfway around the world is easy.
We started the Buddies Program at the WPC 2013 in Montreal with the help of partner organization Parkinson Society Canada. The program was a great success that was able to give WPC registrants a sense of community leading up to, during and after the Congress.
This concept of global sharing is the very premise on which the World Parkinson Coalition was founded back in 2004. What better way to reach out to those who may be attending from all parts of the world, than by offering to be a Buddy?
How does the WPC Buddies Program work?
The WPC Buddies Program enables members of the Parkinson's community to connect with one another. Buddies will be matched based on common interests. Once you have registered for the Congress, you will be asked if you would like to participate in the Buddies program. Registration will open on January 11, 2016. WPC 2016 Registrants will be able to apply for the Buddies program until July 5, 2016.
Participants complete a short online survey to capture relevant information to help make a match, such as:
Who can apply to be a WPC Buddy?
You MUST be registered for the WPC 2016 to be a WPC Buddy. Registration opens on January 11, 2016. The Buddies Program application will close on July 5, 2016, so be sure to register for the WPC 2016 early to be part of the Buddies Program!
*WHO IS A CARE PARTNER?
A care partner is anyone, no matter what age, who is a partner, a relative or a friend traveling to Portland with a Person With Parkinson's.
How to apply to be a WPC Buddy?
Once you register for the Congress, you will be asked if you would like to participate in the WPC Buddies Program. If you indicate YES, in the registration confirmation email you will find a link to the WPC Buddies Program application page to sign up to be a buddy. Once you have completed the application form, you will be contacted by one of the three WPC Buddies Program Coordinators.
Why be a part of the WPC Buddies Program?
WPC 2016 Buddies Program Supporter