A nationwide forum for volunteer mentors will be held in Ufa from 1 to 3 October. It will be attended by 500 participants from all over Russia. They will be volunteers aged over 50, including activists from NGOs which have embraced “silver volunteering”, as well as representatives of geriatric centres and regional authorities. Those who wish to attend can apply online through the ‘Youth of Russia’ information system. They have to register on the site.
The forum will focus on three topics: Experience, Energy and Warmth. These are seen as covering what active older people and ‘silver volunteers’ can do. Participants will meet experts, join round tables and master classes, gain skills and competence, and also take part in developing the basis for a system of mentoring in Russia.
“Silver volunteering is a way of making friends, feeling “on trend”, being useful, staying young at heart and getting satisfaction out of every day” said Ksenia Razuvaeva, head of the team organising the Year of Volunteering in Russia.
“Volunteer mentors relate very warmly to people who need help, and are willing to share their professional and life experience with younger people. To be one is a real achievement for a volunteer. Every year their numbers are growing, and today more than a quarter of people over the age of 56 are involved in volunteering. Demand for volunteer mentors is highest in work on environmental and charitable activities.”
The forum will also kick-start the All Russian intergenerational programme “Young at Heart”, linked to the Day of Older People, and the results of the contest for grants in that sphere will be announced.
The Forum is being organised by the Federal Agency for Youth Affairs, the Russian Patriotic Centre and the Association of Volunteering Centres.