Volunteering Possibilities to Support Senior and Socially Excluded Citizens in the European Union
This project is follow up to the projects “Care for the elderly in the EU” (2 seminars in 2008 in Hungary and Romania) and “EU senior citizens as active users of gerontechnology innovations” (2 seminars in 2009 in Finland and Germany). Partners found it essential to enlarge regional expert network, deepen knowledge of the earlier projects and share experiences of volunteering. Dementia and social exclusion are wide European challenges when population is ageing. It is important to capitalize results of the 2010 European Year for Combating Poverty and Social Exclusion. Citizens´ engagement with issues which constitute the European Union´s political priorities is a key element of civic participation. With consequences of economic and social crisis it is very important to involve citizens and organised civil society in developing locally adapted solutions and exchanging experience on these in the European context. Europe 2020 Strategy supports these priorities and targets as well.
Increase of equal opportunities in the society offer the possibility of an active and liveable life. It is important to gather personal experiences and knowledge about how different European states fulfil their obligations with the social policy of the EU. Each seminar had its own theme under given project topic producing through group work working guidelines for project partners. Olomouc region seminar focused on prevention of homelessness especially of elderly producing guidelines how to promote volunteering for solving these challenges; Zadar region seminar focused on socially excluded stressing womens´ work exercise and produced guidelines how to promote volunteering combating poverty and social exclusion of women; third closing Kaunas seminar summarized discussion of volunteering and elderly care with focus on dementia deepening the discussion through earlier two projects creating guidelines of barrier free living and environmental sustainable working methods including recycling.