Civic engagement among the seniors of Silesia Voivodeship is relatively low. According to the Social Policy Strategy for Silesia Voivodeship in 2006-2020 only 15% of the seniors from the region are civically engaged, despite volunteering remaining a foundation of the civic engagement. According to the 2011 research from Klon/Jawor Association, the civic engagement in this region is even lower that the national average and is decreasing. According to our own observations, many seniors from Gliwicki and Tarnogórski districts want to engage but don’t know how. What is more, individuals in danger of social exclusion – the homeless – have even lower chances of being civically engaged. According to our interviews with professionals working with seniors or unhoused individuals, we have learned that there is a need to work towards more opportunities for civic engagement. These unhoused and senior individuals see the value in collaborative work for the common good.
Responding to those needs, we will conduct a series of workshops on civic engagement, volunteering, NGO sector and organizing civic initiatives. We will facilitate educational and team building retreat for seniors and unhoused individuals to meet and exchange knowledge and skills. Each of the participants will receive individual support from a mentor, or a psychologist that will pertain to the personal development and current problems of an individual. Additionally, participants will divide into five teams and each one will create its own initiatives that they will, with our help, implement in their respective communities. The project will conclude with evaluation workshops during which the participants will present recommendations for their local governments, social service agencies, and other institutions working with the involved stakeholders to make their actions more comprehensive and better meeting their needs.