Project Promoter: Youth Empowerment Foundation Cyprus (IEEN)
Partners: Yaşlı Hakları ve Ruh Sağlığı Derneği (Elderly Rights and Mental Health), University College for Green Development (Norway)
Relative Outcome: Vulnerable groups empowered
Duration: 18 months
Project Budget: €100,645.47
Grant Amount: €90,312.48
Environmental degradation is an immense global issue associated with multifaceted direct and indirect health hazards for all population groups. Even though researchers devote much effort to increase awareness and educate youth with regards to the preservation of a habitable planet, it remains a daunting challenge. Research suggests that older adults have great success in youth mentorship programmes serving as much-respected role models for children and young adults. Older adults are one of the fastest growing population groups, have significant free time and are actually seeking for socially-engaging activities.
Historical data on everyday life practices followed by previous generations show that older adults hold significant knowledge and know-how on sustainable and low-carbon-footprint practices that have been forgotten in modern life (e.g., soap making, repurposing food toys etc.) while, at the same time, younger generations have increased their interest in adopting eco-friendly lifestyles.
Given the above, the ECOAGE project aims to engage older adults as mentors and environmental ambassadors for children and youth through intergenerational activities. Our main project’s objectives are to a) empower older adults to be socially active by sharing historically environmentally-friendly practices with children and young adults, thus decreasing their social isolation and loneliness which have been linked with multifaceted adverse health effects (WHO, 2021 ), b) enhance their hard and soft skills in mentorship, hence increasing their confidence, participation in the society and sense of usefulness, c) revive and promote the adoption of old and environmentally-friendly practices across the younger generations and d) empower and promote senior entrepreneurship.
In conclusion, the primary goal of ECOAGE is to empower older adults to become environmental mentors to the younger generation by having an active role in inter-generational efforts on sustainable environmental practices in their own communities.