Let's build a bridge between generations - GENERATIONS
SUMMARY OF THE PROJECT
The Erasmus + project entitled "Let's build a bridge between generations" is realised by five partner schools from Poland, Bulgaria, Cyprus, Portugal and Turkey. They represent different types of schools: general, vocational and special. The diverse nature of each specific type will contribute to a comprehensive exchange of experience between people representing various backgrounds.'
We decided to take part in this project, because we believe that cooperation between the young and the older generation can bring many benefits to both parties. Young people have ideas, and older people have experience and wisdom of life. Mutual learning gives the chance for continuous development of people of all ages, with different physical and intellectual skills and different needs. It also counteracts the social exclusion of older people, creating the opportunity to include them in various activities. We have noticed that seniors are absent during the events, celebrations, festivities or meetings organized by our school or the city , if they are not dedicated specially to them. This prompted us to reflect that negative stereotypes about the way citizens perceive seniors are getting stronger and stronger. Students, on the other hand, prefer virtual contact, losing interpersonal skills in real life. This increases the reluctance towards seniors, as they do not often function in the social media. The reason for this is also the fact that they do not have computers or the ability to use the Internet. Our activities, resulting from the project, are to help students see the problem of exclusion of seniors and inspire them to take action to build an intergenerational bridge. While helping them, they may acquire many useful skills themselves. The teachers came to the conclusion that the most effective form of creating relationships and combating stereotypes will be learning through experience.
The main reason for the project is to build an intergenerational bridge, which will become a platform for exchange of experience and mutual education. Other reasons are:
- to save from forgetting the values and traditions constituting the foundation of human life;
- to promote respect for people overcoming stereotypes;
- to prevent the exclusion of the elderly making young generations aware of intergenerational dialogue and mutual benefits;
- to emphasize the values of European cultural heritage in our societies.
The goals of our project are:
- establishing cooperation reducing the distance between generations;
- raising awareness related to their perception of seniors;
- making students realise that being young, they begin to build their world, and they should include both the young and the old, which they will become themselves;
- building young people's own system of values based on basic ethical principles that are still alive among the older generation;
- making young people aware that they gain more by offering than by only taking from others;
- activating and socially including seniors aimed at increasing their self-esteem;
- increasing the competence of seniors in the use of digital technologies in everyday life;
- stimulating a sense of responsibility for common values on the regional, national and European level.
The activities undertaken by each partner school include workshops entitled: "Share your passion". These are meetings, during which seniors teach young people, eg handicrafts, while the younger generation teach seniors, for example, using social media. We have also planned workshops "Internet - not such a terrible devil", during which students teach seniors to use the network. An important initiative is the establishment of volunteer groups cooperating with seniors. The implementation of our goals is also supported by a series of meetings entitled: "Tell me your story", during which seniors share their experiences and teach the young traditional and universal values. The product of these meetings will be the e-book "Superheroes", a collection of articles presenting the profiles of seniors and promoting the code of behaviour, which they believe in. Another attractive final product will become the "Generations on Camera" calendar. We suggest the organization of regional workshops, the aim of which will be to bring young people into the wider culture. Activation of seniors is enhanced by regular meetings entitled: "Live a healthy life", promoting an active lifestyle. The partner schools get involved in designing the logo of the project and producing T-shirts. Lesson plans of individual activities will be used by teachers also after the end of the project.
The project "Let's build a bridge between generations" creates an opportunity both for school communities to encourage intergenerational cooperation and local communities to engage in activities for the benefit of youth and seniors, and activate them both socially.