European Seniorforce Day
"European Seniorforce Day: Harnessing the Power of Senior Volunteers”
UN recalls that in 2009 an estimated 737 million persons were aged 60 years or over, nearly two thirds of whom lived in developing countries. Their number is projected to increase to 2 billion in 2050, by which time older persons will outnumber children (persons aged 0 to 14 years). The number of people over 60 is rising fast – in Europe and all over the world. Does that mean that we will be living in less vibrant communities no longer capable of meeting new challenges or providing good opportunities for young and old alike? Certainly not.
People in their sixties or over may be retired, but they have plenty to offer their families and communities. But much of this potential is still largely untapped. A 2008 Flash Eurobarometer survey found that almost three quarters of Europeans who had not yet retired would consider participating in community or volunteer work after retirement. However the actual proportion of retired people who do this is much lower.
There are so many problems to be tackled in our societies – and so much talent and experience in the older generations. The key question is how to mobilise this formidable force for the benefit of people of all ages? The idea behind European Seniorforce Day is to come up with answers to that question.
DENMARK, Red Cross volunteer assisting a migrant child with his homework, 2011 © Danish Red Cross
1 October 2012 is the International Day of Older persons, the European Commission proposes organizing activities where senior citizens can show their power and commitment to do something for their local community. "European Seniorforce Day: Harnessing the Power of Senior Volunteers” is the motto for a special action day as part of the 2012 European Year for Active Ageing and Solidarity between Generations.
Local platforms are encouraged to jointly organize voluntary actions for 1 October 2012 (or later in October) in their village, town or municipality. This
could be volunteer fairs, community action days or other events bringing
together citizens to do voluntary work for a day. Look up planned activities in different parts of Europe.