Working with the local community has shown us that every generation has something to offer others, and that their knowledge and competences are mutually complementary. During cross-generation activities, the participants said they were interested in permanent activities for people of various ages to assist each other in learning new skills. A commissioned survey showed that people in the target groups are in need of this initiative – support for action in this form was as high as 90%.
To address this need, we conducted integration measures for 24 people in vulnerable groups – from three generations: senior citizens 50+ (8 people), people unemployed or not professionally active (8 people aged up to 35) and children and young people of school age having difficulties studying (8 people).
We held 193 hours of educational and integration activities in which people of the particular age groups shared knowledge and skills with teachers’ assistance: seniors shared with young people skills and knowledge learned in life (history learned through their life experience, practical skills – DIY, locksmith skills, tailoring skills, cooking). Young people not in work assisted schoolchildren in selected subjects using knowledge gained in their own school education (mathematics, physics, Polish language). Both groups were involved in activities for the seniors, concerning English and computer skills. During 32 hours of integration and learning workshops, the participants summarized their role in the activities and formed conclusions about further measures.
Participants not only improved their knowledge and practical skills in certain fields (confirmed by tests of skills, end-of-term grades); they also became more confident due to successfully assisting and sharing skills with others. The sharing of their own experiences and knowledge enabled the groups to integrate and become empowered.