Fourth-dimension of mentoring
empowerment of vulnerable groups
City (headquarters):
Voivodeship (headquarters):
01-10-2021 - 31-10-2022
Project cost:
24 970,00 EUR
24 970,00 EUR
Types of activities:
self-organization / self-help
Target groups:
elderly, children

The project addresses the problem of isolation of senior citizens and children from families at risk of social exclusion living in Ostrowiec Świętokrzyski. Among the most important challenges concerning the situation of people 65+ in Poland are low level of social, educational and cultural activity, lack of opportunities to engage in voluntary work, stereotypes about old age, direct and systemic discrimination. Meanwhile, Ostrowiec Świętokrzyski is a city largely populated by people 65+ – in 2019, as many as 21.4% of the county’s residents were people of this age. Another group at risk of exclusion are children – unfortunately, the time of the pandemic has made social stratification glaringly apparent and further excluded some children from participating in various activities. In Poland, there is a lack of initiatives to develop volunteering among senior citizens as a way of staying active, passing on experiences, using competences or bringing generations together.

As part of the project, a mentoring programme was implemented in three local primary schools. In each of the schools, 6 children and 6 mentors (persons 55+) took part in an integration meeting, and then met individually, but on a regular basis to exchange experience, share their passions and spend time together. The mentors were prepared for their work with children by attending workshops on working methods with school-age children, flexibility and creativity in action, communication and intergenerational cooperation. They also benefited from supervisions throughout the project. At the end of the project, all participants had a joint integration meeting. The project also produced various materials – radio and video – as well as a publication on mentoring.

The project involved 18 people aged 55+ and 18 children in grades 4-6 from three primary schools, including children from foster families and those with low financial status. Both groups received emotional support and motivation for self-development. Their self-esteem, social and communication competences were improved. Those 65+ additionally developed their digital skills and the children developed their motivation to learn. There is no doubt that a strong intergenerational bond was established between the two groups.

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