A project to promote intergenerational cooperation and volunteering between Austria and Slovakia
Due to arising demographic imbalance and aging population, Europe is facing great economic and social challenges for the coming decades. The most obvious consequence is of financial nature – expenses of pensions, health and long-term care will not be able to be covered by the contribution of later generations under current policies, for example. But behind financial challenges Europe needs to combat also the damages on social cohesion. What are the socio-economic circumstances in which elderly people live? What is the nature of the social network they are embedded in? How can we support a better understanding and solidarity between generations?
From this aspect, the motto of the European Year 2012, “Active aging and solidarity between generations” has obtained a more serious meaning in the last years and inspired us to develop the concept of Co-Age Volunteers in order to improve intergenerational cooperation in the border region of the Slovak Republic and Austria.
Our project´s vision is to establish a cross-border network of regional actors in order to support the commitment of young volunteers and to promote intergenerational solidarity and transnational volunteering of youngsters in the border region, as an answer for the above described challenges and in accordance with the EU Youth Strategy.
In addition, volunteering is an excellent example of non-formal learning for young people and plays an important role to develop social skills and other labor market relevant soft skills. Further important aspect of the project is to show how young people can utilize all personal, social and labor market relevant advantages of the voluntary work.
The aims and outcomes of the project are:
- To intensify cooperation with a focus on youth education, voluntary coordination and intergenerational solidarity.
- To connect people of different generations
- Initiation of a cross-border network and development of a knowledge platform for voluntary education and training
- Creation of a bilateral model for intergenerational volunteering and a handbook for intergenerational volunteering
- Training and mentoring of volunteers
- Establishment of a network with partner organisations
- Austria (Coordinator), Slovakia
- January 2021 until October 2022
- Project budget in EUR: 717.099,95
- ERDF funding in EUR: 609.534,95