Creation of a road map for ‘silver’ volunteering
The Russian Ministry of Labour and Social Affairs has given its support to the document ‘The Development of Volunteering amongst Older Citizens by 2020’, the Director of the Federal Agency for Youth Affairs, Aleksandr Bugaev, confirmed.
The road map has already been sent to regional departments and social welfare organisations. According to the concept’s authors, it will help to popularise volunteering amongst older people and to organise training for silver volunteers, as well as the heads of volunteer centres and NGOs.
“Voluntary activity fills your life with meaning and has a positive effect on important aspects of human life such as physical and mental health, activity levels, life satisfaction, as well as facilitating a decrease in levels of depression, death rate and incidence of disease for the older generation. Older citizens doing good deeds also feel needed,” the official letter signed by the Deputy Minister for Social Affairs, Aleksei Vovchenko, says.
The road map will be implemented in the regions by executive bodies to public organisations, whose activities are aimed at getting older citizens into voluntary activities, providing assistance through consultation and organisation, as well as material, informational and methodological assistance.
In the words of the Chairman of the Association of Volunteer Centres and member of the Public Chamber Artem Metelev, in Russia every fourth pensioner is engaged in social causes, participating either in formal associations or together with others who are as active as they are.
“This movement is developing at a great rate. Together with the foundation ‘Pamiat pokolenii (Memory of a Generation)’, we are implementing a federal programme ‘Molody dushoi (Young at Heart)’, within which we are setting up volunteer centres for the ‘silver’ age in the regions, replicating best practices and training leaders and volunteers. The support from the Ministry of Labour allows us to share existing experience and to uncover the potential of the voluntary movement in the majority of regions of the country,” Artem Metelev emphasised.
Work on creating the road map had already begun during the Second All-Russian Volunteers’ Forum, which took place in May 2017 in Nizhny Novgorod. During it, more than 300 ‘silver’ volunteers examined the effective collaboration of active older citizens with young people in developing a mentoring institute, as well as volunteers’ interaction with executive agencies in the sphere of social affairs.