Volunteering and Intergenerational Learning – Best Ways for an Active Ageing

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Project activities in the first year

June 2014

First year report shared with the partners and sent to all relevant agencies and authorities

April 2014

  • Processing the assessment questionnaires and drawing an initial assessment report at the level of each partner’s organization
  • Start to test the training course in entrepreneurship for groups of learners in each partner’s country
  • Start to develop the comparative study regarding the learner’s profile (level of education, family status, social behavior etc) for women inclinable to reconcile the work and family life by opening a home based business – based on the researches made by partners

March 2014

  • Selecting the group of learners (women inclinable to reconcile the work and family life by opening a home based business) in each partner’s country
  • Applying the initial assessment questionnaire to learners at the level of each partner’s organization (the template is available here)

February 2014

Second partners’ meeting – Spain

January 2014

Launching the blog

December 2013

  • Preparing the instruments for project visibility – the logo, the blog, a common template for the leaflet
  • Start working to:
    • local research regarding the learner’s profile (level of education, family status, social behavior etc) for women inclinable to reconcile the work and family life by opening a home based business – the results as follows:
    • for Romania – national research and local learner’s profile
    • for Italy
    • for Portugal
    • for Turkey
    • for Spain
    • for UK
    • for Lithuania
    • for Bulgaria
  • the training modules – collecting theoretic information, plan – methodology (exercises, case studies, applications etc.) – according to the distribution of tasks agreed at the first partners’ meeting

November 2013

  • First partners’ meeting – Romania – details here

October 2013

  • Editing and publishing written materials (leaflets, posters, mass-media issues ettc.) appropriate to each partner and disseminated at the local level in each partner country

August – September 2013 – Launching the project in each partner’s organization

In the first two months of the project each partner organized kick-off meetings focused on:

  • project launch
  • introducing the project (objectives, activities, expected results, target groups, partners etc.) at the level of staff/volunteers/learners etc,
  • working group composition
  • establish GANTT chart and responsibilities

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A project for supporting Reconciling Work and Family Life

The importance of balancing working with family/personal life is the more important in the light of EU2020 strategy – that has among the main targets the reduction of poverty. Through giving families better possibilities for combining their work and family and care responsibilities, more families could have more than one bread-winner, and thus reduce the risk of poverty, and enable them to give their children better education and possibilities for the future.

But the effort of reconciliation work with family/personal life should have two directions. Besides the institutional undertakings an individual effort should be done by each person in order to reanalyze values and priorities, improve time management and other abilities and skills that make men and women better husbands/wives and parents without being worse on their job.

In this respect, the educational aspect related to a right family-work balance seems to be neglected both at institutional and personal level. The efforts from the decision/policy makers, as well as employers to make the labor market more flexible and inclusive and to create a proper legal framework and other facilities for employed parents are at least visible in each European country, just a few private initiatives appeared in order to improve personal abilities and skills for those who want to be as good at their job and at their homes.

One of the most used way to reconcile job and family is to move the job at home. The technological innovations in the past decades have also made working at home easier and more feasible. There are other advantages (related to taxes, costs, career development etc.) but most important is the opportunity to spend more time with the family and take a more proactive part in raising the children.

In this respect, given its workplace orientation, VET should have an advantage over general education in fostering “home based entrepreneurship”. But even entrepreneurship is included at least to some extent in the national curricula for VET courses in all partner’s countries, there isn’t a specific focus on home based business. Also is important to understand that “entrepreneurship education” does not mean generic courses in economics or business but courses and training with the goal of enabling individuals to turn ideas into actions by promoting innovation, creativity and self-employment.

On this background our project addresses to the need of a tailored training for women with children, who want to reconcile the work and family by working home. This particular target group needs training materials especially based on practical activities in which learning by doing is emphasized and real experience with entrepreneurship is gained.

The envisaged approach is polyvalent, general and interdisciplinary, particularly employing experimental and interactive methods associated to the learning process, with an intensive use of ICT. All 11 partners will put together their heterogeneous backgrounds, expertises, approaches and resources in order to draw together a training course in basic entrepreneurial competencies (focused on HBB) and then test it in each country on a small group (15-25 persons) of women with children. Then each partner will form small groups (maximum 10 persons) of women who will develop business plans for HBB and then they will be supported to set up this business.

A web based communication platform will allow exchange of experiences and practices especially between learners.
Two brochures – one collecting best practices for a home based business owned by a mother in each partner’s country and other highlighting the best business ideas and plans developed during the project – will be also edited and published for helping other European women.