A substantial number of older people in Europe are at risk of poverty and social exclusion. The percentage in Bulgaria is particularly high. Income in old age is often not sufficient to cover even basic needs. The existing programmes and clubs for older people are not yet sufficient. Tulip Foundation takes active part and stimulates participation of civil organisations in various activities, programmes and projects aimed at social inclusion in old age - working meetings and discussions of different models for social inclusion; consultations with older people on policies and programmes; opportunities for financial literacy of older people etc.
More than 50 representatives of organisations from Bulgaria, Romania and Germany discussed challenges, shared their experience and learned about practices in the three countries.
The seminar was opened by Prof. Hristo Beloev, Rector of the University of Ruse Angel Kanchev, Carmen Stadelhofer, President of ILEU and DANET and Prof. Dr. Heidrun Mollenkopf, Member of the Board of German Federal Association of Seniors’ Organisations (BAGSO).
Short introduction to the situation of seniors in the three countries made Emilia Velinova, University of Ruse, Silke LEICHT, German Federal Association of Seniors’ Organisations (BAGSO) and Prof. Violeta PUSCASU, University of Third Age at the University of Galati, Romania.
Educational programs to foster social participation of older adults presented Yordan Kazakov, President, Union of Pensioners, Ruse District; Emilya Lissichkova from Agora-Platform; Lilli Makaveeva from Integro, Razgrad, Bulgaria.
Carmen Staedelhofer, President of DANET e.V. and director of President of ILEU e.V spoke about the Educational Network “Danube-Networkers for Europe” and DANET. Maria Petkova from Tulip Foundation presented the activities of the organisation regarding third age and volunteering. Prof. Violeta Puskasu told about the University of Third Age of the University of Galati in Romania. Ana Zlibut from the Writers League Timisoara spoke about the activities of the league. Prof. Heidrun Mollenkopf made a very interesting presentation of BAGSO in terms of goals, structure and areas of activities. The work of Seniors’ offices in Germany was presented by Agnes Boessner from the Bundesarbeitsgemeinschaft Seniorenbüros (BaS).
At the workshop on of Senior’s Education Elke Elke Tippelmann from BAGSO and Maria Petkova from Tulip Foundation presented the development of a partnership project GrandExperts. They demonstrated the opportunities for sharing experience and knowledge that the learning platform offers to older people.
The long working day ended with group bread making and baking as a sign of friendship of the people living along the Danube River.