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Project »Hand in hand« - Intergenerational coexistence

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Hand in hand is an intergenerational project aimed at establishing and spreading solidarity and coexistence among generations by actively and creatively spending leisure time together.

The Slovenj Gradec Grammar School designed a project and under the auspices of the ministry of Education and Sport and the European Social Fund it connected two kindergartens  (Dravograd kindergarten and Slovenj Gradec Educational Institution), four primary schools (Franjo Golob Primary School in Prevalje, Primary School of Unknown Hostages in Dravograd, Second Primary School in Slovenj Gradec and First Primary School in Slovenj Gradec), two grammar schools (Ravne na Koroškem Grammar School and Slovenj Gradec Grammar School) and three old people’s homes from the Koroška region (Koroška old people’s home in Dravograd – business units in Črneče and Slovenj Gradec and the old people’s home in Na Fari, Prevalje).

Children from the kindergartens and primary and secondary school pupils together with their mentors and teachers frequently visited one of the old people’s homes where they carried out an activity together with the residents thus strengthening intergenerational coexistence and actively spending their free time. The youngest, children from the kindergarten, cheered up the  elderly with a special event called Greeting Spring where they arranged a bed of flowers together with the residents and created various products in an artistic workshop. The children came for a visit on various occasions (before New Year, birthday celebrations etc.) and playfully and cheerfully, the way they master, they sang, acted and danced. They also visited them dressed up and had a fancy-dress ball. Each resident received a greeting card for New Year that children had made as well as a number of other products that now decorate the walls and shelves of the residents’ rooms. We could go on listing since everybody contributed much more than originally planned.

Similarly to the kindergarten children, also the primary school pupils spent their free time with the elderly. There were several cultural events in the evenings and other musical events where the children often made the residents enthusiastic about the children’s energy and talents. At a herbal workshop children and the residents got acquainted with the herbs and prepared various spreads that they ate together. And the carnival – at a creative workshop they were making beautiful parti-coloured masks and then danced. Before New Year it smelt great when we were baking Christmas and New Year biscuits using good old recipes that pupils were entrusted by the residents and that were collected in a booklet. At Easter, pupils and the residents took pleasure from colouring Easter eggs. And the Olympiad of old games – pupils learnt from the residents how they used to play and then they prepared the Old Games Olympiad.

Intergenerational coexistence was also strengthened by secondary school pupils who were sculpturing together with the residents and made beautiful vases, bowls and small statues. The pupils prepared a half-day excursion to Koroška and visited places the residents particularly liked and also planned and carried out a refresher course of German. The instruction was held once a week and they taught the residents and repeated the knowledge of the language. Together with the residents the pupils travelled through presentations of various countries and there were also several musical and social evenings. These young people were amazingly creative when preparing cultural events and they even acted together with the residents in a real play.

Mojca Čerče, project coordinator said:
»With the Hand in hand project all the participants together really marked certain days and did many good deeds. We were getting better and better at achieving the objectives set under the project, namely to strengthen intergenerational coexistence and promote social dialogue, to strive for intergenerational solidarity with mutual support and transfer of knowledge and experience, to spend free time together responsibly and creatively and strengthen voluntary among the youngsters. The planned objectives were frequently exceeded. We soon started to talk about the surpluses of our cooperation. With pleasure and pride everybody - representatives of the kindergartens, primary schools, grammar schools and old people's homes, our children from the kindergartens, pupils and the elderly - reported on the achievements on various occasions. Many times our young eyes met respectfully with their eyes where life kept numerous stories that kept caressing us with gratitude. Unforgettable memories …«

Basic data

Priority orientation: 3.1.: Improved quality and efficiency of educational and training systems

Intermediate body: Ministry of Education and Sport

Beneficiary: Slovenj Gradec School Centre – general secondary school with the

consortium and external partners

Project value: 102,000.00 EUR

Project duration: 1.12.2008 – 31.10.2010

Hand in hand

Government Office for Development and European Cohesion Policy, Kotnikova 5, 1000 Ljubljana

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