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Free age: senior volunteers meeting young disabled people

"Free Age: Senior volunteers meeting young disabled people" is a social project whose main aim is to increase senior volunteers’ personal and intercultural skills. It was carried out through the cooperation of two partners both involved in the assistance and care of disadvantaged groups; in particular the project activities consisted in an exchange of senior volunteers, six for each organization, between Uniamoci Onlus and Werk Diakonisches in Bremen. The main focus of the project was the relation between the senior volunteer and the disabled people. According to the Action Plan on adult learning that suggests that is necessary to “focus on those who are disadvantaged”, the senior volunteers belonged to disadvantaged groups (migrants, older people, women or persons with disability). They had the opportunity to make an extraordinary experience abroad helping, through their work, the disabled people of another country to reach social inclusion. This process allowed a virtuous cycle of non formal learning for the senior volunteers, through the sharing of experience, knowledge and methods with the hosting organization. The volunteering activities abroad increased the senior volunteers’ personal, social, intercultural and linguistic skills and made them aware of their role as active citizens in the European Union. Thereby the project strengthened the statement in TIPS AND RESOURCES FOR A GOOD PROJECT “volunteering is increasingly recognised as a very valuable informal learning experience for people of all ages. Senior volunteering in particular has been recognised as as a way of offering new learning opportunities to senior citizens in Europe”.

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