Voluntary work, as learning experience and as reactivation opportunity of seniors, is one of the pillars of Senior Plus project.
The theoretical assumption is that every experience could bring to learning, if a reflection on that experience will be made. Therefore this awareness can lead to developing competences, if practiced in a different context from the original one, a context that includes a challenging dimension. In Senior Plus project the expected result in this case was to make this learning easier to be communicated outside, especially within a work context or personnel selection context, or even in the launching of an autonomous entrepreneurial idea.
Within the training path proposed by Senior Plus, the process of reflexion and strengthening of seniors’ competences was accompanied by the possibility, for 118 participants to undertake a local or international experience of voluntary work. 38 participants had the opportunity to experience intercultural dialogue by doing a voluntary work in a different context from the original one; this way the participants faced challenges similar to the ones of a job insertion or of an entrepreneurial experience in a new context. 80 participants had the opportunity to develop a voluntary service within a youth centre or within structures that work in close relation with youngsters, experiencing an intergenerational dialogue path: they had to adapt their usual communicative approach to play a guiding role, making his/her own competences available for the youngsters. This context recreated possible dynamics as in a new work team with generational differences, both in job placement or in his/her own enterprise.
Taking advantage of all the practical experiences of the partnership in this field, a guide on international and local voluntary work/service as a learning experience was issued.