One of the presenters at Thursday’s Boiling Amsterdam urban crowdfunding night, Meike Zwaan of dog-sitting startup OOPOEH matches dog owners with elderly people who are looking for some company.
Can you tell us something about OOPOEH?
“OOPOEH was founded to give elderly people (55+) the company of a dog. We match them with a dog owner in their own neighborhood to take care of the dog while the owner is, for example, at work. Many people of a certain age don’t want to have a dog of their own any more, but they miss the company, the walks and the ‘caring’ of a dog, as well as the chats with other dog owners. OOPOEH gives them the opportunity to have a parttime dog and enjoy its company without the burden of fulltime care.”
Thursday’s Boiling Amsterdam is about ideas to turn Amsterdam’s dirtiest road into a green corridor — the so-called Knowledge Mile Park. What are you going to present?
“An Amsterdam-based foundation, OOPOEH is always looking for new opportunities to match seniors and dog owners in the city. Instead of online matchmaking, we would like to let both generations (and dogs) meet each other in this area in real life. Think of it as speed dating. The concept is very easy: we’ll organize a walk with both OOPOEH’s and dogs and their owners. We’ll start at a café with a cup of coffee to get to know each other and then start walking and see if people match during the walk. And if there’ no match: it was a nice walk together with different generations. That’s always a good idea!”
How will OOPOEH contribute to making the Knowledge Mile Park, and the city in general, more sustainable?
“We will bring different generations together. Many inhabitants of Amsterdam and other cities are in a hurry most of the time, and have less contact with each other — especially with their elderly neighbors. A walk could let them go a little slower, and get to know each other. A dog is the best conversation starter! With this simple idea, we stimulate social cohesion and intergenerational contacts and… lots of love for dogs!”
Visit Boiling Amsterdam on Thursday 29th March to hear more about OOPOEH and other inspiring ideas, and vote for the best initiative! The winner goes home with the ticket revenues of the night. Buy your ticket here!