Intergenerational bridges

Project Summary

The project connected RIC Novo mesto and the Polish institution Bytomski Ośrodek Edukacji (BOE) from Bytom. The project promoted and facilitated intergenerational and intercultural integration with the voluntary work of older people. The project participants improved their personal, linguistic, social, intercultural and intergenerational skills and acquired knowledge in the fields of ethnology, cuisine, geography and history of the two participating countries. The project also tried to contribute to changing the mindset about the abilities of older adults and the importance of their voluntary work and overwhelming stereotypes about age and ageing.

Project results

In spring 2013, four older adults (over 50) from Poland were hosted in Novo Mesto for three weeks. They participated in the RIC Novo mesto programmes for young people and the elderly and presented their country to them in numerous workshops with ethnological (cuisine), geographical and historical content. The programme was also enriched with an intercultural evening, at which Slovenian and Polish volunteers presented the poetry of both nations in Slovenian, Polish, English and Russian. The days in Slovenia passed in a varied and pleasant atmosphere, the members of the study club were constantly cared for by volunteers on the road. Slovenia and Dolenjska were presented to them in a video posted on YouTube:

In May 2014, four members of the University for the Elderly, which work in the institute, also went on voluntary work at the University of the Elderly to a Polish partner for three weeks, where they exchanged skills from the treasury of Slovenian and especially Dolenjska heritage. At the end of the project, we also published an e-booklet of recipes in three languages (Slovenian, Polish and English), which is on display on the website.

Participation in the project affected not only volunteers (improving language skills, meeting new people, new culture and history, raising self-esteem, etc.), but also both participating organisations. During the period of volunteer stay, both organisations organised events that were open to the public and cooperated with other institutions in the local and wider environment, which enabled the exchange of different experiences (e.g. cooperation with the Polish Embassy in Slovenia in the preparation of a presentation film on Slovenia in Polish; performances by pupils of the New Metiška music school in the performance of an intercultural evening, where Slovenian and Polish volunteers presented the poetry of the two nations in Slovenian, Polish, English and Russian; participation in the communal event Age-friendly city; inclusion in the Learning Parade; leading with other organisations and institutions through visits to different local attractions, etc.). Participants, both participants and visitors, had the opportunity to learn about the similarities and differences of the two European countries. Connecting participating organisations and visiting volunteers with the wider local environment (by carrying out culinary, creative, ethnological workshops, geographical and historical presentations) was an opportunity for other generations to learn about the importance and value of the knowledge and experience of older people (intergenerational cooperation). The added value of the project was certainly in the importance of RIC Novo mesto consolidating its bond with a partner abroad, thus continuing to cooperate in the future.

Target group

Older adults

The project manager was a mag. Gabi Ogulin Počrvina. For more information about the project write to

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