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Never too late: seniors in action

Active older citizens exchange knowledge with younger people in an initiatives funded by Erasmus+

´Tolerance´, ´friendship´, ´being useful´, ´I learnt a new language´, ´I feel proud and younger´. These are some of the words from the 12 senior volunteers who took part in the project Never too late: seniors in action! organised by the Spanish Asociación Agora Cultural and the Italian Uniser Soc. Coop. Onlus.

These organisations run volunteering activities in their local communities, to support elderly or sick people, or work with children. They rely on many local volunteers and in spring 2014, they organised an exchange of 6 volunteers from each organisation. These 6 went to the other organisation and participated in their activities for 3 weeks. The benefits of this exchange have exceeded expectations, both for the volunteers and for the sending and hosting organisations. For the volunteers, it was a great personal development experience, providing new skills, a sense of usefulness and a renewed motivation for volunteering. The associations involved also mention that it gave them ‘an intercultural dimension and new opportunities for debate, exchange of ideas and good practices within the field of volunteering’.

In the FYGO project, 14 partners also worked together on active citizenship and intergenerational learning, with a special focus on the use of new technologies. The project introduced active older citizens to younger people with digital and IT skills, and encouraged them to exchange knowledge. Maris, from Romania, had a life-changing experience during her Skype lesson as she could see her grandchildren, who live in the USA, for the very first time. Serena Barilaro, project coordinator explains that the project team has collected many good practices, organised study visits and created elder-friendly guidelines to approach Internet resources, which are all available on the project’s website. She believes that ‘this project showed that solidarity and sharing are part of human life’ and that ‘if younger generations help older generations to understand ICT, the older people can contribute to the younger people’s personal growth through sharing knowledge and experiences’.

These projects and many other initiatives funded by Erasmus+ are there for you to explore, get inspiration and learn from the good practices, guidelines and resources that were developed, so don't wait any longer and check them out!

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