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Old is bold! | Civic Europe
Community development, Social inclusion

Old is bold!

Creating a platform for mutual intergenerational cooperation, self - advocacy and social dialogue of the senior communities of rural areas.


Who is behind this?

Sylwester Borkowski

Fundacja Nasz Świat


Who is joining forces?

The Municipial Office of Marciszów



Idea pitch

The project addresses serious problem of very low social participation of seniors, the inability to use their potential and experience, especially in the field of self-organization and self-advocacy, and to influence the shaping and implementation of regional social policies. The main goal is to strengthen the senior community of poor rural South – West of Poland in terms of various forms of social participation and cross-sectoral and intergenerational cooperation on important common issues

Where will your project idea take place?

Rural parts of Lower Silesia, South West of Poland

What is the specific societal challenge faced by this region?

The population of today`s adults was influxed from various parts after the II World War. Torn from their own enviroment and culture, speaking in various dialects, they lost continuity of their message and intergenerational ties. The lack of a sense of stabilization, the uncertainty of tomorrow and the ignorance of the neighbors were not conducive to the development of social awareness and self-organization. Demanding attitudes, a sense of inability and a lack of knowledge about the mechanisms of democracy dominates. There are not many NGOs working in the field of stimulating civic activity of the silver generation. Administrative centers are far away and seldom collaborate voluntarily with elders, what is not conducive to involving them in shaping local policies.

Who are you doing it for?

The target group will be 60 seniors from so called “The Recovered Territories”. This part of Poland is considered to be one of the most socially neglected areas in the EU, where seniors are particularly vulnerable to exclusion (from the 2019 Council of Europe declaration). They will be working people, farmers, unemployed or pensioners, both men and women. They will usually be poorer and less educated people with low civic awareness. Such persons remain on the margins of social life and need special attention in order to bring them back to the civil society. Their families and surroundings will be a broad indirect group of participants.

How do you plan to get there?

The long-term aim of this project is to help older inhabitants gain knowledge, raise the level of awareness and civic activity, unite them in their communities in order to encourage self-help and self – advovcacy,influence local policies concerning their quality of life by using democratic means of participation.Our vision is a simple, but locally innovative model: listening the community, documenting the problems, transfering knowledge, building local power which advocates for change, select and educate leaders with a prominent role to gradually transfer the leadership to the local silver community. One of the important elements of changes will be a voluntary Trouble Catching Network (TCF) started by 10 most active and involved leaders and gradually expanding. In regular contacts with residents, both personal and by telephone rosters, they will systematically collect information about acute social problems and discuss their solutions with local governments and social advisory bodies. This network, combined with the activity of other 50 participants and their involvement in the candidacy for local authorities and advisory bodies, will become a permanent catalyst for major and important social changes. The products of the project will be: innovative workshops, independent inter-workshop classes, project booklet, educational study trip, job shadowing, thematic competition.

What are the expected results?

The project will bring significant positive social changes. The level of civic participation and social awareness of 60 seniors will increase. As a result, senior communities will begin to actively participate in the shaping and implementation of social policies. They will learn and use their strengths: experience, life wisdom, free time. They will make personal involvement in senior councils, with success run for local authorities, acquire the ability to self-organize in order to help each other. Break common negative stereotypes by undertaking long-term volunteering as members of the TC Network. This will launch innovative mechanisms of support and activation of older residents. Due to the "bottom-up" nature of the changes the resultts will last for long time.

How does your idea strengthen active citizenship at a local and community level?

Thoughtful activation and knowledge transfer give best results to form effective leaders and unlock creativity. It has active citizenship on its core, being focused on getting people organized to get engaged with the decision-makers. Step by step, the project will build up self-esteem, self confidence and the ability to effectively identify and communicate common needs. Will create awareness about democratic mechanisms and will support older communities to get engaged in, undertake self advocacy efforts, go wolunteering. Working with experienced trainers older people will learn how to gain their place at the decision-making table and how to efficiently address the most severe problems of their communities

Why is this idea important to you?

We all are part of the local communities, we know the local needs and problems and care for it. Their problems are our problems too and our children will also be affected soon. This is common couse and we have duty to act
Project Core Team
Project coordinator - a person with attention to detail, an excellent organizer, great time management skills
Coach 1: a person with excellent interpersonal skills, natural born lider. Experienced animator of local communities. Author of many publications on the issues of civil society, participations and inclusion, expert of cooperation with public administration
Coach 2: Communication specialist, educator with a doctoral degree, great empathy and kindness, knowing perfectly the problems and needs of seniors, recognized and respected locally

€ 38400,-

Total budget

€ 33600,-

Funding requested from Civic Europe

Major expenses

promotion costs (adverts, posters, t-shirts for participants): 1600 EUR
project booklet (development, printing): 2500 EUR
workshops - 6 groups of 10 total 72h/person (coaches fees, refreshments): 12300 EUR
workshops for 10 leaders total 60h/person (meals, accomodation, coaches fees): 11200 EUR
study trip: 1500EUR
other design costs (awards in the competition, picnic etc): 1700EUR
travel: 2000EUR
office suppl,communication costs : 800EUR
Coordination: 4800EUR

What do you need from the Civic Europe community?

Inspirational examples, ideas exchange
Positive criticism
Kindness, because we have a little problem with a limited number of characters in the application form.



Idea created on April 23, 2021
Last edit on April 26, 2021

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