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 EFI-Program - "Experience Knowledge for Initiatives" -
A German model program: scientific advice and project coordination by ISAB -

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Client: German Federal Ministry for Family Affairs, Senior Citizens
Cooperation Partners: Institut für Sozialforschung und Gesellschaftspolitik (ISG), University of Applied Sciences Neubrandenburg
Project Period: 2002 - 2006


Project Coordinators at ISAB: Stefan Bischoff, Joachim Braun, Silke Brauers, Dr. Elke Olbermann

Key Objectives:
  • Utilizing and acknowledging potentials and experience and knowledge of senior citizens
  • Promoting a positive image of the elderly (Active Ageing)
  • Enhancing voluntary work in all sectors
  • Strengthening Solidarity between generations
  • Developing an innovative educational approach
Brief Description:
The five year model-program is initialized by the German Federal Ministry for Family Affairs, Senior Citizens, Women and Youth. The key objective of the project is to demonstrate what contribution older citizens qualified as seniorTrainers can make for the society. Moreover, the project aims at developing a generally applicable guideline for utilizing the potential (experience and knowledge) of senior citizens for the benefit of organisations in the volunteering sector.

At present, older citizens in 35 german municipalities are participating in the model program, developing new volunteer roles for the elderly. The realization of the program is carried out by 35 local agencies for the promotion of civic engagement and 12 educational institutions. So far, more than 1000 older people have participated and become so-called “seniorTrainers”. They now are involved in over 3000 projects and NGO´s of the third sector. The ISAB's contributes the coordination of the program and the scientific advise.

A network of agencies for civic engagement, ministries, educational institutions and seniorTrainers constitute the project´s frame. With the aid of an net-baised discussion forum the seniorTrainers exchange their experiences throughout the country and strengthen their local and regional cooperation. Positive results from the participating municipalities show the importance of seniorTrainers for the community. International interest and transfer projects on a European scale (for example the LACE-Project) show the international importance of the model program.

Outputs:
  • Conferences 2002, 2003, 2004, 2005, 2006
  • Publications by the ISAB „Berichte aus Forschung und Praxis“ (in German language only)
  • Workshops for participants
  • Leaflets, posters, flyers
German website on the model program www.seniortrainer.de