Best Practice in the Field of Intergenerational Solidarity


The Belgian association 1toit2ages attempt to reconcile two needs: that of students in search of confortable, inexpensive accommodation and that of the elderly living alone and looking for company. The association helps students find a room with an elderly person in return for a bit of company during the evening and a reassuring presence at night.

More information at: or

A number of similar initiatives are also taking place in Belgium and other European countries:

The Generation Games

The Generation Games is a sporting event that occurred in Rotterdam on 23 June 2012. The event, which focused on intergenerational cooperation and active ageing, had competitions in tennis, soccer, inline-skating, korfball, judo, cycling, fitness, chess/checkers, rowing and field hockey. Former Olympians and famous athletes were also present and led clinics about healthy living. Sport clubs, sports associations, companies, and organisations such as UNICEF all contributed to the event. Through these sporting events, the city hopes to encourage more positive interaction between generations and boost community spirit.

To learn more, visit their website.

European Map of Intergenerational Learning (EMIL)

EMIL is an innovative project, funded by the Calouste Gulbenkian Foundation, that provides a general overview of the role and status of Intergenerational Learning that is taking place or developing across Europe. EMIL uses the existing expertise of partner organisations already working in the field to create a learning network for organisations involved in intergenerational programmes across Europe.

EMIL has designed a web based ‘Intergenerational Learning Co-Laboratory’ that will become a tool for further collection, analysis and dissemination of content that can support IL policy initiatives and practice. This European-based website aims to support further development in the field of Intergenerational Learning by providing a space for storing important information, support collaboration between interested stakeholders and create a forum for public debate.

Les Deux Mémoires

Les Deux Mémoires is an organisation that is dedicated to preserving intergenerational action through film. The filmmakers have strived to document the individual experience in changing rural communities in order to promote unity between generations. One of the topics on which the team focuses is ageing Europe. Three of the projects occurring in 2012 are as follows:

  • Bac Pro – French youth studying to assist rural residents
  • Spring Emilie – aides in nursing homes and geriatric services
  • The humanity of AMP in hospice

For more information, please visit their website:

‘The Knowledge Volunteers’: intergeneration in favour of digital inclusion

The European funded project “The Knowledge Volunteers” coordinated by the Fondazione Mondo Digitale is based on intergenerational exchange approach applied to digital literacy courses for over 60s.

SHIL – Municipal Higher Intitute, Louisastraat The students of the SHIL visited the Hof van Egmont, a municipal home for older persons in Mechelen, Belgium. After having dinner with the residents, there were intergenerational plays and stories were told. At night, the students slept in the home in sleeping bags that they brought from home. In the morning, the students helped the older persons – those who needed assistance – with their toilet and served breakfast. After a walk in the park with their older partner, they had lunch together before the students returned to school


eScouts (Intergenerational Learning Circle for Community Service) is a European projectwhich aims to develop an innovative intergenerational learning exchange between elderly and youth volunteers. Youth volunteers aged 16 to 25 receive training and then teach interested senior citizens about word processors, Internet browsers, and more. At the same time, the intergenerational interaction allows older adults to give guidance for adult life challenges. Through the involvement of local stakeholders, this mentoring and communication will have a transversal impact over the community as a whole.

For more information: read the flyer / visit the project’s website:

« Générations & Talents » : the intergenerational programme of Alcatel-Lucent and APEC (a French recruitment agency)
Alcatel-Lucent launched the programme « Générations & Talents» which seeks to promote an intergenerational culture at work by mobilising the potential of all workers and helping them to develop
their skills and professional paths. This programme applies to all 15 company branches in France. It revolves around skills development and knowledge sharing.

1 – Mid-career assessment: an interview is provided for workers aged 45 and over who wish to refl ect and prepare the next steps in their career while benefiting from the assistance of a mentor from the APEC team.
2 – Mentoring: a mentoring programme has been set up to help mobilise all the skills that a worker has. This will facilitate knowledge sharing and best practices among workers. Workers who wish to participate in this programme benefi t from the support of trained mentors.

For more details, please see the following link

InterGenerationes: Connecting international youth work with intergenerational learning

InterGenerationes is a pilot project funded by the EU “Europe for Citizens Programme“, of which AGE German member BAGSO (Bundesarbeitsgemeinschaft der Seniorenorganisationen – German federation of older people’s organisations) is partner and which aims to open up the sector of international youth work to intergenerational learning, fostering cooperation between international youth work and senior citizen work.

For more info on the project:

Intergenerational social network meeting in Italy

The Italian organisation Lecco100 is orgniasing a meeting in Lecco (Italy) on 5th July 2013 to strengthen intergenerational solidarity while improving older people’s use of the social networks in order to combine the innovation and dynamism of the younger generation with the experience of mature people, and especially to know their problems.

5 July 2013 (from 9 to 17)
Conference room of the Confcommercio of Lecco
Piazza Garibaldi 4 Lecco

Read more in Italian

Nature for Care, Care for Nature

An EU-funded international project to promote intergenerational activities between elderly and young people in their own neighborhood. The objective is twofold: fight older people’s isolationand encourage young people’s involvement in the communities.
‘Nature for Care, Care for Nature’ is based on the experience of Veldwerk Nederland, an environmental education NGO in the Netherlands and will involve partner organizations across Europe. Partners will develop activities that involve young and old learning together in a variety of contexts and using nature and the environment as a topic.

Mix@ges – Intergenerational Bonding via Creative New Media

Mix@ges (2011-2013) is a project that has been proposed for the GO-ACT project. It involves five partner-countries: Germany, Austria, Slovenia, Belgium and Scotland. They all have organised and implemented creative new media workshops in collaboration with national organisations such as museum, schools, youth or senior associations. In every country artistic media products have been created. For example, in Belgium young volunteers created short films with their iPods together with older persons living in a seniors’ home or attending a day-care centre. All the results of the workshops will be presented during the closing conference in Ljubljana on 16th May 2013.

The lead organisation of this project is the Institut für Bildung und Kultur, Remscheid (Germany). For more information about the project you can contact Julia Thomé: . The website of the project is .


Colomaschool is a school in Mechelen, Belgium where students can learn several professions. The students of the Cooking department prepared all sorts of desserts for the residents of the Hof van Egmont. The tasty desserts were beautifully and colourfully presented to the older persons. Rita Janssens, Alderwoman of Mechelen for Youth and Older Persons, and Georgette Dewit visited the Colomaschool to congratulate and thank the students for their work for the older adults of Hof van Egmont. The students intend to do a variety of activities with older persons in the future, including music, sports, dance, and attending the theatre. They were very enthusiastic.

Lire et Faire Lire

This programme seeks to foster reading among children at primary schools, in kindergarden, libraries or leisure centers and favour dialogue between generations. Once or twice a week, volunteers aged 50+ are invited to take part in reading sessions where small gourps of children can enjoy reading and discover literature.

Grandparents’ school (FR)

A place where grand-parents can meet, exchange and learn how to age well.

European Senior Travellers

The European Commission, as well as INATEL, SEGITTUR, and the Ministry of Sport and Tourism – Poland, have developed a project called “European Senior Travellers,” which aims to encourage the exchange of senior citizens between Portugal, Spain, and Poland. This trial project will serve as a way to analyze the possibilities for a more comprehensive transnational seniors exchange program between seniors in all EU member states. Such research and promotion of intercultural exchange through tourism is a great way to encourage safe travel for seniors by tailoring it to their specific needs, and, therefore allowing them the mobility and freedom to explore Europe and meet other seniors from all different countries.

For more information about European Senior Travellers, please visit

Linking Lives

Help Age International has developed the “Linking Lives” project, which is a part of a new campaign to increase communication between peoples around the world to address the subject of older peoples’ rights. Linking Lives has a website where people from around the world can upload videos with personal comments and relevant stories, therefore creating an international and intergenerational video dialogue. In this way, older people from the Czech Republic can “meet” and converse with Josaphine, an older woman from Nairobi, for example. Linking Lives, therefore, provides a unique opportunity to discuss older peoples’ rights with perspectives from around the world and allows older people to share their stories and to be heard.

For more information about Linking Lives, please visit

Germany’s Older Generations Take Up Graffiti

In Germany, many seniors have the opportunity to be creative and interact with others in an unconventional way – through graffiti classes. Graffiti classes for seniors are now gaining popularity and aid in the promotion of intergenerational solidarity and active ageing. In their classes, seniors and young people have the opportunity to paint graffiti alongside each other, which allows for intergenerational exchange through social interaction. The classes also promote increased community involvement for seniors.

For more information, please visit,1518,778978,00.html

Meeting Places for Everyone

The project Meeting Places for Everyone is being led by Sveriges Makalösa Föräldrar, a Swedish NGO for single parents. The goal of this project is to promote intergenerational solidarity by creating a medium through which single-parent families can meet and form friendships with people who are 60 years or older. There will be several events throughout the year 2012 that provide a way for relationships to form between generations in a natural and positive way. On activity days groups of single parents and their children will be paired with persons over 60 and they will then be provided with a full day of activities and experiences.

At least three activities will be planned with at least 30 single parents and their children and 30 persons over 60 years old. The organization will then develop a method strategy which will be distributed to other NGO’s as well as government organisations. Sveriges Makalösa Föräldrar will also create a method booklet on how solidarity and cooperation can be developed between generations based on experiences and insights drawn from the activities.

For more information please contact: Sophia Lövgren at

Or visit:

Learn with Grandma

In recent years, grandparents have been playing a much larger role in the caretaking of their grandchildren. On the other hand, there are also many grandparents who now live much farther from their grandchildren. This organisation aims to promote relationships between grandparents and grandchildren who live close together as well as far apart.

Their aims are to:

– Encourage grandparents to create lasting memories and have fun with their grandchildren as well as instil a love of learning;

– Encourage respect between the generations by showing each generation what the other has to teach them;

– Encourage seniors to learn technological skill from their younger generations and for seniors to teach more traditional skills to their children and grandchildren;

– Create local and internet support networks for grandparents, parents and children;

– To discover educational, fun activites and resources that grandparents can enjoy with their grandchildren;

– To work with other organisations to promote these aims internationally.

To learn more, please

Young People are Part of the Community Too!

SALTO is a network of 8 Resource Centres that work to provide resources and organise activities in the field of youth work and training to support organisations and national agencies within the frame of the European Commission’s Youth in Action programme and beyond.

This month, SALTO is offering a training course which aims to explore how youth can empower the whole community. It will gather youth actors interested in intergenerational youth work. Besides the thematic workshops implemented by experienced trainers, it will include an action that will be carried out in the local community by the participants.
For detailed information, please visit
Please make active use of all our other online resources and services available via MySALTO (

On The Bus With Granny

“On The Bus With Granny” is one of the initiative of AENEAS (Attaining Energy-Efficient Mobility in an Ageing Society), a European project funded by the Intelligent Energy Europe (IEE) programme.

The initiative aims at promoting older people’s mobility in Salzburg, Austria. AENEAS, along with the public transport company of Salzburg (StadtBus) created a brochure, in both English and German, explaining to children how to help older people with using public transport and how to behave.
To see the brochure in English, click the following link:
For more information, please click on the following link:

Generationendialog-Bürger in der Praxis initiierenNachhaltigkeit

InStuttgart (Germany) nursing home, pupils,studentsandtraineeshave the opportunity to spend time with older people and to see the world through the eyes of the older generations.Young and older people can interact by talking together, makingmusic, playing and walking. A video (in German) is also available here below: 27 May 2009, this project won the “Intergenerational Dialogue in Practice – Citizens Initiate Sustainability” competition, organised by the German Federal Government and the German Council for Sustainable Development.
For more information, please check the following links:

Gymkana intergeneracional

This activity consisted of the completion of five games to be played by various groups formed of children from 10-11 years and elderly persons, arranged in pairs (one child – one older adult). They piled up points in every game and the sum decided the winners.

At the end, everyone was invited to a snack; the winners received their prizes and the participants got a little something for their cooperation. The goals thatachieved were: the enhancement relationships between children and the elderly by assigning a common goal in the activity; the encouragement older people to become more involved in physical activities and cognitive stimulation; and improve the concept that children have about the older people in residential areas.

More information

Comunità di Sant’Egidio, Padova, Italy

In Padua (Italy), the Community of Sant ‘Egidio, which is a movement of lay people with more than 50,000 members, dedicated to evangelisation and charity working in Rome, Italy and in more than 70 countries throughout the world, sponsored a photo exhibition entitled “Long Live The Elderly! An alliance between generations”, which was attended by many residents of the city, including many students. The exhibition represented an important intergenerational exchange. Older and young people discussed about ageing and the intergenerational contract. A series of meetings and debates have also seen young and old people together. Older people told younger generation about their lives, in particular the terrible experience of war.

For more information, please click on the following link:
Between Generations 2.0
Project 2.0 Between Generations was born with a dual purpose: on one hand promote social values necessary for adequate living, this being the foundation for the new generation, (i.e. young people whose lives bear the burden and responsibility to becoming a better society) and secondly, to respond to the need of greater demand to make sense of their existence and be adaptable to the great changes that our society is experiencing (technological advances, globalization, current social policies such as gender equality, etc.).
Activities include: Review of the Society 50 years ago and currently over 30; arts and crafts shows: retrieval and transmission of traditions; and festival “Dance With Us” where both young and old teach and learn traditional dances of each era and time.
Connecting younger second language learners and older bilinguals:
Intergenerational, intercultural encounters and second language development
Monash University, Australia
The project brings together upper secondary school learners of Chinese, German and Spanish with older speakers of the language, promoting mutually beneficial inter-cultural, intergenerational encounters. Such encounters enhance second language acquisition outcomes for the young language learners. For the older participants these encounters provide opportunities for greater social engagement, resulting in an enhanced sense of empowerment, wellbeing and self-esteem.
This is a cross-disciplinary project, which involves a team of researchers from the Faculty of Arts and Faculty of Health, Nursing and Medicine working collaboratively on this project and assessing the benefits for students’ language and for senior’s health.
For more information, please contact Ramona Baumgartner, or visit the website:

Raconte-moi…des histoires de vie: échange entre jeunes et personnes âgées de France et d’Allemagne (projet réalisé par l’organisation Parkwohnstift de Arnstorf et ViTaCiTé, la mission locale de Massy)

Des jeunes allemands de terminale et un groupe de jeunes français en difficulté professionnelle rencontreront en France puis en Allemagne des personnes âgées accueillies en maison de retraite et recueilleront leurs témoignages sur les transformations des conditions de vie et des technologies qu’elles ont observées au cours de leur vie mais aussi sur leur situation actuelle. Ces petites “histoires de vie” seront documentées au moyen d’enregistrements vidéo et de photos réalisés par les jeunes eux-mêmes qui travailleront en permanence en équipe franco-allemande. Chaque séjour se terminera par une petite fête rassemblant les générations.

Geschichten, die das Leben schreibt: Austausch zwischen Jugendlichen und älteren Menschen in Deutschland und Frankreich (durchgeführt vom Parkwohnstift in Arnstorf und ViTaCiTé, der “Mission locale” in Massy)

(Winner in an german competition / Robert-Bosch-Stiftung)
Junge Deutsche und Franzosen besuchen ältere Menschen in Seniorenheimen in Frankreich und Deutschland. Sie tauschen sich mit ihnen über ihre Erfahrungen aus und lernen über die unterschiedlichen Lebenswege, aber auch über die aktuelle Situation der Senioren. Diese “Geschichten, die das Leben schreibt” werden von den Jugendlichen, die in deutsch-französischen Teams arbeiten, anhand von Video- und Fotodokumentationen festgehalten. Jeder Austausch-Besuch wird durch ein kleines Fest abgeschlossen, das die unterschiedlichen Generationen zusammenbringt.

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