Some initiatives to mark the EU Day of Solidarity between Generations in 2014
AGE member organisations organised various events or intiatives across the EU to promote more intergenerational solidarity and cooperation and celebrate the European Day of Solidairty between generations on 29th April.
How to better prepare one’s later live and stimulate cross generational debate on the issue? This is the objective the Belgian campaign “Think Sooner About Later” ("Pensez plus tôt à plus tard"), launched on 2 April 2014 by the Belgian King Baudouin Foundation. This campaign is aimed to change people’s attitudes towards the preparation of their retirement life relying on a game box ‘50+, à vos projets!’ (meaning something like ‘50+, let’s make projets!’), which addresses, in a funny way, the 6 main themes of the campaign: planning the one’s later career, ensuring one’s financial resources, managing one’s health, thinking about later life, remaining active and interactive, and adapting housing conditions. This box contains cards with questions and proposals of answer to support reflection and dialogue. It and can be used within families, and within or across generations. It can be ordered at: www.avosprojets.be/command
In addition, a publication (in French) with practical advice to prepare one’s later life has been issued, which can be downloaded here.
A number of partners are involved in the campaign in order to reach a wider audience through various channels: the Belgians Social Security Ministry and the pension national office and the Belgian Royal Notary Federation, as well as a coalition of 32 associations (including AGE and AGE members Enéo and Respect Seniors).
This campaign is based on the outcome of a project launched in March 2013, which mapped examples of good practices on the preparation of retirement life and ‘second life’ projects and of which AGE was a partner. For this project AGE cooperated with several of its members to have an overview throughout Europe of current projects and initiatives which help prepare or actively live retirement life. The dissemination of good practice examples shall raise awareness of different stakeholders on local, national and European level, including older persons’ organisations. It will also highlight the benefits these projects have not only for individuals but for the whole society, showing that “thinking sooner about later” will save resources and help people to start actively plan their later life and age in a dignified way.
Read more in French on the King Foundation website.
To access/order the campaign’s document and tools, you may go to www.avosprojets.be
Carrefour des Générations
For the Sixth year, the Belgian event ‘Carrefour des Générations’ will take place on 26 and 27 April 2014. Initiated by the King Baudouin Foundation, the event is coordinated by AGE Belgian member Courants d’Ages. More than 4 communities throughout South Belgium (Wallonia) and Brussels are getting mobilized and associations, citizens’groups or private and public institutions are organising various local activities (concerts, exhibitions, shows, visits, meetings…) to celebrate solidarity between generations.
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Revamping older socks
In Ghent on 29th April 2014, intergenerational connections between schools and senior citizens are organised in about 15 quarters in Ghent.
In duo’s young and old will create new pairs of socks out of lonely lost socks. Result will be over 15 big flags made out of ‘pimped’ socks. They will also be presented at the children’s festival in October 2014 in Ghent. This initiative is supported by the older people’s organisation OCMW Gent.
More info in Dutch at www.ocmwgent.be/OCMW/Senioren/Jong-en-oud.html
Courants d’Ages Memorandum calls for greater intergenerational dimension in policy debates
The Belgian intergenerational platform, Courants d’Ages, has gathered recommendations to political representatives on various topics such as perception of ageing, politics and citizenship, housing, mobility, territory planning, volunteering, education and training or employment and pensions. These recommendations were collected during the network reflection on active ageing for the EY2012.
The current economic and social context is largely influenced by the subject of ageing population and by the impact this demographic change implies. The challenges are many, in terms of employment, housing, social relations or territory planning and mobility. In this time of crisis where the sustainability of pension systems and social protection is increasingly questioned, some may fear tensions between generations. Intergenerational relationships help to defuse and prevent these tensions by encouraging a collective approach to address these issues. The recommendations of Courants d’Ages aim at a better consideration and improvement of the realities of the intergenerational sector. It is crucial to support this sector through public policies placing people at the center of its concerns for a social pact supportive and attentive to all generations.
Download the memorandum here (in French only).
Download the brochure on active ageing here (in French only).
Courants d’Ages’ recommendations have been positively responded to by the Belgian ecologist party Ecolo:http://intergeneration.be/actu-europe.php
Local Students’ survey
The Verbond Van Senioren (VsS) in Mechelen sent a 4-page questionnaire to the students of the higher school institutes as well as to commercial and technical schools in Mechelen, local and provincial ones, in regard to solidarity and cooperation between generations.
The questions concerned not only grandchildren and grandparents, but also other older persons living in their home, building or elsewhere; how many contacts the students had with older persons, visited them, helped them; if in the past they had already activities with older persons and which ones : sport, playing, hobbies, new technologies, shopping, going on restaurant together, on holidays, working together, creating something together.
The students were also asked if they would like to have more contacts with older persons, help them, be together with them, cooperate.On
30 April, the outcome of the questionnaires will be discussed and on 15th May 2014 a meeting will be held between youngsters and older persons in Mechelen to discuss intergenerational relations and cooperation.
4ème biennale de l’intergénération le 29 et 30 Avril 2014 – ACLAP
Since 2008, the 'Réseau Intergénération en région Provence Alpes Côte d'Azur' has been organising every second year regional intergenerational gatherings of professional, public, accademic and research actors, as well as volunteers and committed citizens. The two-day event proposes debates, exhibitions, games, songs and exchanges between young and older participants.
Follow this link to read the agenda: www.cgd13.fr/media/new_fichiers/aclap_Programme_Biennale.pdf
Senior and youth organisations jointly call for participation in EU elections
German older people’s organisation BAGSO (Bundesarbeitsgemeinschaft der Senioren-Organisationen) is this year joining forces with the German Youth organisation ‘Deutsche Bundesjugendring (DBJR)’ to mobilize older and younger citizens to take part in the European elections in May 2014. They remind that Europe is not only an economic project, but also a peace project and that a strong European Parliament is needed to meet current major challenges such as youth unemployment. A joint press release is planned to be issued on the occasion of the EU Day of Solidarity between Generations.
Read more in German: www.bagso.de/aktuelle-mitteilung-auf-der-bagso-homepage/news/jugend-und-...
Intergeneration and environment
ANS and the Municipality of Nogara (Northern Italy) are the promoter of the GE.A. project, funded by the Italian Ministry of Families. The project aims to implement inter-generational environmental education workshops, under the idea that older persons used to live in a sustainable, ecologically friendly and “zero-km” way long before these concepts became popular and mainstreamed. In this stage of the project, ANS is specifically organising events targeting children (5 years old) and older persons from the local nursing home who are working together in creating a small vegetable garden. The idea is to let older persons teach children how vegetables actually grow from land and do not come plastic-sealed from the supermarket!
Next activities will target students from the elementary and grammar schools, teen-agers from informal groups and active older persons.
More info: www.generazioniambiente.it
Generation Games, the sporting event connecting people of all ages
On 24 May 2014, a second edition of the Generation Games will take place in Rotterdam, The Netherlands. The Generation Games is an intergenerational event making connections between people of all ages through sport. In all activities of the sporting event (logo design, hospitality during the event, volunteers, communication, design of relay batons, event management, et cetera), generations work closely together.
It is a fun grassroots sporting event in the city: teams of generations (children, parents, grandparents, and also teams of students and alumni and other generation-combinations) participate in various sports. One element is the Generation Games Decathlon: teams of at least 2 generations get the opportunity to participate in sports like in football, (wheelchair)tennis, basketball, chess, judo, rowing, fitness, etc. Another element are clinics by athletes of all ages, including Olympians.
Next to making these important generation-connections, another major objective of this sporting event is to stimulate people of all ages to have an active and healthy lifestyle. Research have indeed shown that sport-minded and active parents are more likely to have active children and sportive kids are likely to inspire parents and grandparents to be active as well.
The conceptis shared with cities around the world, with the relay baton as symbol. The creative concept is very flexible, cities can decide how many sports are offered during the event, size of the event, etc. Partners can contribute in kind (for instance sports material), with commitment and enthusiasm. There is much co-creation involved, and the event can be organised with very limited budget. Generation Games for instance works closely together with UNICEF. The symbol of positive legacy, passing on to next generations, addressing important topics related to the work of UNICEF will be part of the edition in Rotterdam on 24 May.
The EU Day on Solidarity between generations 29 April is celebrated in Slovenia with the Third Age Festival in Maribor from 25th to 27th April linked to the Children's Bazaar. Background both Third Age festival and Children's Bazaar were in recent years traditionally held in Ljubljana, the former end of September, usually for three days, and last year more than 20.000 visitors came to participate. The Cildren's Bazzar was (and will be again) held at the beginning of the schoolyear (first days of September) in Ljubljana. This year the organisers decided to extend it to Maribor as well, the second largest town in Slovenia, and both the EU day of intergenerational solidarity shall be celebrated and EU shall be presented (»At Home in EU«). Slovene versions of AGE's publication 'Senior Citizens for Europe: An EU Guide' shall be distributed on the occasion. Several thousand visitors are expected.
Intergenerational academic workshop
The Turkey Retired Persons Organisation is organısıng on 29th April a workshop at the University of MALİKŞAH, near ANKARA which will bring together unıversity students and older people (mainly older professors) to talk on socıal security, ageing issues and older people’s rights.