Seven Project, senior volunteering in Europe
The project consists of building an international network of 29 organisations promoting senior volunteers’ exchanges.
SEVEN’s member organisations include NGOs, local governments, universities and research centres. The idea was to set up a platform where all the organisations can easily exchange information and take part in a common project. More than 300 volunteers have taken part so far in a volunteer exchange abroad thanks to European projects but also to local governments’ programmes.
On the educational side, the partners remarked that a period of voluntary service abroad represents a relevant learning experience and this has been proven. It is a truly mutual educational process; not only are the volunteers implementing their personal and practical skills in a new situation but also the local communities who host them are learning from the volunteers. This process addresses not only active citizenship and active ageing but also social cohesion and in many cases gives rise to inter-generation experiences with a potential process of changing the mentalities of young people and senior citizens, one towards the other. The exchanges are always preceded by a training period for volunteers and organisations and developing this is another aim of this network.
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