Project name: Intergenerational bridges
Project duration period: 1. 8. 2012–31. 7. 2014
Funding value: 11,368.00 eur
Funding sources: European Union with the Lifelong Learning Programme
- Development and Education Centre Novo mesto, Slovenia (lead partner)
- Bytomski Ośrodek Edukacji, Poland
Target group: older adults
Summary (project goals and purpose)
The project brought together the Development and Education Centre Novo mesto (RIC Novo mesto) and the Polish institution Bytomski Ośrodek Edukacji (BOE) from the town of Bytom. The project promoted and facilitated intergenerational and intercultural networking with the voluntary work of the elderly. The participants of the project have improved personal, linguistic, social, intercultural and intergenerational skills and gained knowledge in the field of folklore, cuisine, geography and history of the two participating countries. With this project we tried to contribute to changing the mentality about the capabilities of older adults and to the importance of their volunteering and overcoming stereotypes about old age and aging.
In the spring of 2013, we were hosting four older adults from Poland (aged over 50) in Novo mesto for three weeks. They participated in the programmes of the Development and Education Centre Novo mesto (RIC Novo mesto) for the youth and the elderly, and they presented their countries in numerous workshops with ethnological (cuisine), geographical and historical contents. The programme was also enriched by the intercultural evening, at which Slovenian and Polish volunteers presented the poetry of both nations in the Slovenian, Polish, English and Russian languages. Furthermore, the members of the study circle Going on a journey by volunteering (S prostovoljstvom na pot) were constantly taking care that the participants’ days went by in the dynamic and pleasant atmosphere. They presented Slovenia and Dolenjska in a video recording, which is posted on YouTube:
- Presentation of Slovenia - within the creation of the presentation, we also connected with the Polish Embassy,
- three weeks of socializing, which we will all cherish in fond memory, have also been recorded with photographs and recordings titled Reportage film about the mobility of Polish volunteers.
In May 2014, four members of the University for the elderly, which operates within the institution, also went to volunteer at the University for the elderly of the Polish partner for three weeks, where they exchanged knowledge and skills from the treasury of Slovenian and especially Dolenjska’s heritage. At the end of the project, we published an e-book of recipes in three languages (Slovenian, Polish and English), which is available on the website.
Participation in the project did not only affect the volunteers (improving language skills, meeting new people, new culture and history, increasing self-esteem, etc.), but also the two cooperating organizations. Both organizations organized events during the volunteers’ stay period, which were open to public, and they cooperated with other institutions in the local and wider environment, allowing for the exchange of various experiences (e.g. cooperation with the Polish Embassy in Slovenia while preparing the presentation film about Slovenia in the Polish language; performances by the pupils of Novo Mesto Music School at the intercultural evening, at which Slovenian and Polish volunteers presented the poetry of both nations in the Slovenian, Polish, English and Russian languages, cooperation at the municipal event Age-friendly City; inclusion in the Parade of Learning, networking with other organizations and institutions through visits to various local attractions, etc.).
Participants - both the partiicipants and visitors - had the opportunity to learn about the similarities and differences between the two European countries. The integration of the participating organizations and visiting volunteers to the wider local community (with the implementation of culinary, creative, ethnological, geographical workshops and historical presentations) was an opportunity for other generations to also learn about the importance and the value of knowledge as well as the experience of the elderly (intergenerational cooperation).
Another added value of the project was certainly in the fact that the Development and Education Centre Novo mesto (RIC Novo mesto) has strengthened the bond with our partners abroad, so we expect a permanent cooperation in the future.
The project manager was M.A. Gabi Ogulin Počrvina. Further information about the project is available at firstname.lastname@example.org.