We are working towards increasing the participation rates among citizens 60+ years old from Krapowicki and Strzelecki Districts (Opolskie Voivodeship). According to the results of the “RS-partnersips with local governments” conference and the National Gathering of the Senior Councils, only 16% of seniors engages in civic life, while 73% believes they don’t have any influence over what’s happening in their municipalities. According to our research and observations, it is a result of the lack of knowledge on civic participation methods and techniques, as well as an insufficient number of initiatives targeting older individuals, who constitute the largest population group in those districts.
As part of our project, we are encouraging seniors to begin volunteering and participating in public consultations. We will prepare tools for collaborating with local governments and implementing the grassroots ideas of our seniors. It will be accomplished through a series of educational workshops and partner visits, as well as creation of a map of local issues relevant to our seniors (the map will be created through a series of research walks and panels with seniors). As part of the workshops, the seniors will learn about certain legal aspects and good practices of volunteering, forms of participation and public consultations, as well as methods of establishing contact and collaboration with the local government. Finally, we will conduct evaluation workshops, during which the seniors will develop recommendations for the local government to help with activating and including seniors in local development and consultations. We plan on involving 48 seniors over 60 years old, who live in Krapkowicki and Strzelecki Districts.