The project “Let’s say to loneliness – NO!” has been realizing by the International Public Association “Mutual Understanding” (MOOV) since 2012 supported by The Ecumenical Center of the Evangelical Church in Hessen and Nassau (Germany). During 8 years thanks to the center 216 former Nazism prisoners, war victims and pensioners had been involved in social active life.
The project has been created to expand the social ties of the former Nazism prisoners with limited mobility, to organize their leisure time, to provide household and social assistance by elder people – volunteers who also were involved in socially significant work in this way.
The main goal of the project at all levels of its realization is to improve the quality of life of former young Nazism prisoners and people of the WWII generation.
Target group of the project
The target group of the project are people with limited mobility and volunteers – former young Nazism prisoners and WWII victims. All of them are mainly residents of Minsk and its suburbs, 76% of them are women.
Parts of the project
The first part is the constant support and visits of elderly volunteers to disabled and partly immobile former prisoners of National Socialism in some districts of Minsk and the surrounding area.
The second project part – is the work with volunteers. Their constant instruction, moral and physical support, reflections, collection of information about the work done, analysis of questionnaires that they fill out together with their wards.
The third part – is the work of the art lab “My usual and new home”. It was made to encourage and motivate elder volunteers (often they are former young prisoners of Nazism too). In this art lab, volunteers not only develop their creative abilities, but they also organize several clubs (club of belarusian history buff, discussion club, “hygge meetings” club, club of travelers, a club for the study of religions). All these sites were created with the goal of providing older volunteers with more opportunities to socialize and meet in small groups. Participants of the art lab and clubs regularly organize exhibitions of their works, festive events and excursions.
The fourth part – is a public relations. The project usualy covers its events in local media, takes part in many city events, tries to involve cultural and educational institutions in their activities. All it makes the problems of elder people more visible and relevant, and also demonstrate that third age life can (and should) be socially active, eventful and interesting.
The success of the “Let’s say to loneliness – NO!” project is based on the conscientious and constant work of volunteers with a limited mobility target group, an extraordinary approach to organizing work with volunteers including the development of their creativity.
This project allows to get:
- to unmobile elder generation – targeted household assistance, friendly communication and attention;
- to active representatives of the elder generation – an opportunity for self-realization, for realizing the significance and social benefits of their activities, (positive employment, in general, has a positive effect on their moral and physical condition);
- society in general – the opportunity to look at elder people as people who are not alien to progresse, creative ideas, who want and can improve their skills and abilities that helps to generational dialogue.