Project of the Month September 2006 - Social Integration of Elderly People, village of Pastra, Rila Municipality
Chitalishte Geo Milev

The village of Pastra is located in Rila Municipality on the way to the Rila Monastery. There are 260 citizens living in Pastra, most of them elderly and retired people. The people at that age often feel deprived and do not take active part in the social life. They use to live in self-isolation, imprisoned in their problems. The aim of the project was to create favourable conditions for social integration of the elderly people in the village. The activities were realised with the active participation of the elderly and to our grate satisfaction children and youth from the village took part as well.

Initially we renovated the premises of the Chitalishte with the participation of ten men. The cleaning of the building and the organisation of the “Day of the Culinary Magic” was realised by 25 elderly women. Children and youth people aged 7 to 20 were actively involved in these activities. The equipment for the village club was provided - tables and chairs, TV set and various games. Later on we organised a Christmas celebration. The children were helping with enthusiasm while the women from the village were exchanging recipes and preparing the festival. The best performers at the Christmas festival were given diplomas; the children were surprised with candies and toys. The students from the High school in town of Rila presented a musical performance together with the singing group from the school. The children recreated the Survakary tradition as well.

Twenty-five elderly, thirty children and youth as well as the Chitalishte members took part in the implementation of the project. As a result of the project realisation both the elderly and the youngsters have suitable and appropriate place where they meet, discuss and use their leisure time. Even though that the two groups differ by age and interests they both need social activities. The elderly overcame the social isolation and felt cared after and valuable. The Chitalishte Board of Trustees enriched its experience in implementation of social activities and development of projects using local and external financial resources. The population of the village was positively surprised by the new club that is now regularly used both by the elderly and the young people in the village. They all gather there every day, use the Chitalishte library, talk and share, have good time with games and music in a cosy and comfortable atmosphere.

Chitalishte Geo Milev
Pastra Village 2631
Kustendil District 
Tel. 070522/22-77

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