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GRUNDTVIG Senior Volunteering Projects

Grundtvig Senior Volunteering Projects support bilateral partnerships and exchanges of senior volunteers between local organisations located in two countries participating in the Lifelong Learning Programme (LLP).

The Lifelong Learning Programme aims to offer various kinds of educational opportunities to people of all ages, in order to facilitate formal, non-formal or informal learning. Volunteering is increasingly recognised as a very valuable informal learning experience, for people of all ages. In particular, it has been recognised as a way of offering new learning opportunities to senior citizens in Europe, promoting the process of active ageing and emphasising the contribution of seniors to our societies. Indeed, senior citizens are a rich source of wisdom and experience from which society should derive far greater benefit than has usually been the case in the past. This Action therefore offers a new form of mobility to European senior citizens and will allow them to learn, to share knowledge and experience in a European country other than their own. The term "volunteering" refers to all forms of voluntary activity, whether formal or informal. It is undertaken of a person's own free-will, choice and motivation, and is without concern for financial gain. It benefits the individual volunteer, communities and society as a whole. It is also a vehicle for individuals and associations to address human, social or environmental needs and concerns, and is often carried out in support of a non-profit organisation or community-based initiative. Thus voluntary activities add value to society, but do not replace professional, paid employees. This form of mobility also fosters collaboration between the organisations which will send and host volunteers. It should allow new types of organisations to join the Grundtvig programme, enrich their work, through the exchange of good practice, and create sustainable European collaboration between them.

Bikes and Friends

"Bikes and Friends" is a project involving cooperation and volunteers exchanging between two organizations: the Fullness-of-Life Academy Association from Krakow, Poland and ANBO - association in the Netherlands representing older people. The main topic of the project is promoting the bike as a means of transport and recreation and as a "pretext" for education and international exchange between seniors. The general aims of the project are to enable seniors to perform volunteer work in the partner country and through this to share their knowledge and experience with their peers abroad, and to develop lasting cooperation between partner organizations. Through mutually sharing and enriching our experience we would like to develop new forms of educational, recreational (with bikes in the first place) and social activities for seniors in both organizations, and also to promote "active aging", including education, physical exercises and social contacts as well as a volunteer work for the benefit of their peers and local community. During the course of the project we are going to develop a number of activities which will help us to establish long-lasting relations between our organizations and the seniors themselves, including not only careful preparations for all visits but also educational and enjoyable events for seniors performed via Internet between visits, such as for instance presentations about our regions and countries, photo competitions, an e-mail interest group and others. During the visits in both countries volunteers will help to organize local activities for seniors, co-organize and help to run new educational and recreational activities (such as Skype-communication training, bike tours with basic English and many others) and also work for the benefit of the local communities, addressing the most urgent needs.

Both partners: ANBO and the Fullness-of-Life Academy (APZ) have a common target group - senior citizens - and organize some similar activities for them. APZ focuses on senior education both on the national and international level. ANBO has a broader range of activities including advocacy, advice and other kinds of assistance. ANBO and APZ have rich, diverse and complementary experience of working with seniors. Both partners are interested in promoting "active aging", especially through developing educational, cultural and recreational activities, and also encouraging international contacts between seniors from all European countries. APZ would like to take advantage of ANBO's considerable experience in organizing cycling tours for seniors and promoting the bike as a means of transport as well as physical exercises. ANBO would like to take advantage of APZ's wide experience in organizing various kinds of educational activities for seniors. Educational, physical and social activities are absolutely crucial for seniors' well-being and improving their quality of live. Combining the 3 kinds of activities brings the best result.

There are 3 visit planed in each country involving 6 volunteers from each country.

The volunteers will be engaged in 3 kinds of activities:
1. helping with daily office work and assisting in organizing regular training or other activity and other events for seniors in host country
2. co-organizing and co-running a special training and events for local seniors
3. carrying out work for the local community.

The project will last for 2 years.

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