The GRUNDTVIG Senior Volunteering Project (SVP) No boundries with ICT is a joint project implemented by Asociacija Senjorų Iniciatyvų Centras and Age Action Ireland and, of course, by volunteers from Lithuania and Ireland with the support of European Union.
The focus of GRUNDTVIG SVP – No boundries with ICT is to promote active ageing by opening the eyes of older people to the wider European Community and encouraging cross national interaction between all age groups. Exposure to a new language also enhances this experience.
The shared volunteering activity relates to teaching ICT skills to older adults recognizing the need for everyone to be computer literate in today’s society. During the exchange visits senior volunteers explore and compare peer teaching practice and engage in new volunteering activities. It also demonstrates the possibilities which such knowledge has in breaking down national barriers of communication and bringing together different age groups.
Volunteering and teaching activities tap into the skills and life experiences of older people and share them with a younger generation as well as the volunteers’ peer group through the common interest of ICT.
Currently there is a low incidence of volunteering in Lithuania compared with Ireland. By involving schools in the project it is hoped to encourage the younger generation to volunteer so that it gradually becomes part of the country’s culture. Irish schools have limited knowledge of Lithuania’s history, particularly during the period of World War II and subsequent Soviet occupation. They can benefit from learning about one of the newer European states’ history and culture.
The selection of volunteers is aimed at individuals who have not had the opportunity of living and working in a different country to enable them to experience a new culture and enhance the acquisition of foreign language competencies.
Volunteers have the opportunity to revisit their country’s culture and the historical events leading up to the independence of their country and how membership of the EU has affected the country’s history and the benefits which have accrued.
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