For several years we have been collaborating with a Ukrainian Center for the Civic Advocacy on projects relating to civic engagement of the youth and the civic education. We believe there is a great need for inter-generational initiatives. According to the data from the United Nations, societies of Europe are getting older, with around 18% and 16% of Polish and Ukrainian citizens currently 65 years of age or older, respectively. We know from public consultations we have conducted in Lublin that very few seniors engage in civic activities. Similar problem can be noticed among the youth. According to our studies, only 15% of the young people in Lublin engages in volunteering. Our partners from Lviv point to a similar problem in their region. In our previous projects, seniors were eager to engage with young people and both groups saw it as beneficiary, naming the exchange of experiences, learning new perspectives, or developing openness for different needs among the benefits.
We will engage seniors and the youth in organizing civic initiatives in Lublin, where we are currently based, as well as in western districts of Ukraine, where our partner operates – Lviv, Volhynia, and Ternopil. We will conduct two series of workshops focused on collaborating, diagnosing social needs of local communities, and conducting animating initiatives. The participants will be divided into groups, and then design and implement civic initiatives in their communities. We will also organize two exchanges – one in Przemyśl in 2021, a town on the border between Poland and Ukraine – and one in Lviv in 2022. The participants will get to know each other, exchange their experiences, and plan and implement their final projects. The collaboration between people living next to the border, often with a difficult history, will help develop and strengthen the neighborly relationship between the Poland and Ukraine.