EngAGE: A holistic project for the elderly on active ageing, volunteering and participation as vital part of the community
Retirees in Greece usually limit their social participation to the immediate family environment, while they have little room to extend their working life. Nevertheless, while they are a valuable social resource, they are marginalized, experiencing negative stereotypes and adopting a passive lifestyle that is detrimental to their health. The challenge of retirees’ social participation was depicted during the pandemic, when many doctors in retirement were called in many countries to offer their help.
The project aims to promote the active ageing of the elderly throughout voluntary work in social benefit actions. The objectives of the project are to improve health, eliminate negative stereotypes, intergenerational solidarity and justice. During a study of international practices and open consultation procedures with all parties involved (retirees, NGOs, State and Local Government), a new overall strategy for the voluntary work of retirees shall be proposed to the State. Furthermore, a nationwide campaign and environmental voluntary actions will take place to raise awareness of the target group. A mediation platform will then be created between supply (retirees) and demand (stakeholders). Also, executives of NGOs, Municipalities and Public Services will be trained in the use of the platform, while at the same time they will be trained through a webinar to improve their digital skills. Retirees will be trained experientially as multipliers. The project will be completed with a large national meeting in Athens, which will include a trail of actions (open conference, press interchange, and other).
The target groups of the project are the retirees and all the organizations that are interested in using volunteers in social action plans (e.g. Municipalities, NGOs). The coordinating body will be ELIX (project promoter and voluntary actions), who will partner with the University of Patras (studies-education), the company PROOPSIS (information campaign) and OTEAcademy (platform).