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Empowering seniors to take part in community life - qualification offers for members of seniors self-help groups and voluntary initiatives

Various factors accompanying the demographic change contribute to the increase ofrisks of social exclusion for senior citizens. Civic engagement is increasingly attractivefor seniors, offering opportunities for bottom-up democracy, social networks andpersonal fulfilment, but the decision for civic engagement is still an expression of overaverageeducation levels. The risk of isolation is especially high for seniors with lowformal education levels which are often also interconnected with poverty, bad health andthe lack of social skills and competences.The project aims at developing, testing and implementing learning materials andmethods for members of seniors self-help groups and voluntary initiatives which enablethem to work on ways and methods on how to activate and empower seniors concernedby isolation, e.g. by personal mentoring. The targets of the project are directed atvarious actors and stakeholders, ranging from seniors at risk or affected by isolation andmembers of senior self-help groups and voluntary initiatives to adult education bodies,advisors and government officials. Seniors will be empowered to actively take part incommunity life and help others in doing so.Each participating country will organise a workshop for practitioners and decisionmakers,which will be open for participants from all European countries. The learningtools and materials at the six pilot locations, will be published as and disseminated toadult education bodies and experts to foster their transfer to other locations in Europe.The procedures of developing and implementing the measures will be published asGuidelines for Actions: Empowering seniors to take part in community life in Europe,also for other interested parties, like public administration and seniors associations.These Guidelines will provide an insight into how such training curricula may bedeveloped in different local or regional settings.

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