Volunteering and Self-help Against Exclusion
civic activity
City (headquarters):
Voivodeship (headquarters):
01-02-2021 - 31-05-2022
Project cost:
12 420,00 EUR
12 420,00 EUR
Types of activities:
activities to activate local communities (animation), educational activities, voluntary work of people at risk of exclusion
Target groups:
persons experiencing homelessness, elderly, local community, volunteers

The civic engagement of seniors in Śląskie Voivodeship remains relatively low. From the Śląskie Voivodeship Civic Policy Strategy we learn that even though volunteering is a foundation of civic engagement, only 15% of seniors from that voivodeship remains engaged. According to research by Klon/Jawor Association from 2011, civic engagement in the region is lower than the national average and has a diminishing tendency.
Our observations suggested that many seniors from Gliwicki and Tarnogórski districts wants to become civically engaged, but lack the sufficient knowledge on how to do it. Additionally, we observed that the unhoused individuals have significantly lower chances of becoming civically active citizens. From our conversations with individuals working with seniors, as well as with the unhoused population, we learned that they see the need of working together towards civic engagement and appreciate its value.
Responding to these needs, we conducted a series of workshops focused on civic engagement, volunteering, NGO sector and organizing civic initiatives. We have organized educational and integrational trips for seniors and unhoused individuals to learn and share knowledge. Participants received individual mentorship and psychological support focused on personal growth and overcoming current personal problems. Participants created five teams, each designing a local initiative and implemented it in their community with our support. Individuals prepared budgets, and even managed to even save some funds. Everyone decided that the extra funds should be dedicated for an initiative focused on the unhoused population. The ability to make those decisions on their own gave our participants a heightened sense of agency.
Evaluation workshops at the end of the project allowed the participants to create recommendations for the local government, social services and other institutions working with those groups to make their actions better adjusted to the needs of these two populations.
During the implementation of the project we noticed that participants developed knowledge and skills around volunteering, as well as an increase in their motivation. The two groups also managed to integrate with each other better.

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