Seniors for Democracy - Social Activation of Seniors in the Prospect of Ukraine.

Monday, 16 July 2018: 15:30
Oral Presentation
Grzegorz GAWRON, University of Silesia in Katowice, Poland
Demographic studies confirm the aging of the Ukrainian society. The elderly aged "65+" are in the Ukraine 21.4% (according to НАСЕЛЕННЯ УКРАЇНИ: Імперативи демографічного старіння, Київ, 2014) and in 2025 is expected rate of 25%. In Ukraine, seniors are a social group perceived as passive, weak physically, economically unattractive, unskilled, which is a burden for the public systems of social welfare. According to the Global Age Watch Index 2013 Ukraine took the 86 place out of 91 countries in terms of quality of life of seniors. These data justify the need for action to improve cooperation with the administration and enforcement of the civil rights of seniors. Social activity in Ukraine is low (83.6% of Ukrainians do not belong to any NGO- "Ukraine Analysen" No. 114, 03.12.2013). An important task is therefore to enable seniors to build a democratic society and their participation in the creation of public programs for the elderly.

Worth to discuss seem to be an initiative taken in cooperation of polish and ukraine partners. The project titled “Seniors for democracy - activation, participation, volunteering” was implemented in 2016. and funded under The RITA – Region in Transition Program (an initiative of the Polish-American Freedom Foundation). Its main objective was to strengthen public and social participation of seniors in Ukraine. This was achieved by activate seniors involved in the Universities of the Third Age (UTA) in 6 Ukrainian cities (Lviv, Lutsk, Ivano-Frankivsk, Uzhgorod, Chernivtsi and Stryj). In this project UTAs were partners for social dialogue with local authorities on the issues of the local community (including the matter of health and social care policies for seniors). The long-term goal was the establishment of Councils of Elders and improve the quality of life of Ukrainian senior in six local communities.