In the Red Cross of Serbia, on Thursday and Friday 20 and 21 September 2018 a meeting was organised for the partners on the „Taking Action on Social Inclusion of Older People“ project. The project has been in successful implementation for more than two years in five countries and during this period many goals have been reached along with some progress made in advocacy. Considering the project enters the last half year of implementation the meeting was organised for the partners to prepare a plan of action for the last phase that will include collecting examples of good practice, a publication of results of conducted research studies and organising a final conference.
During two days of the meeting the partners from Albania, Austria, Bosnia and Herzegovina, Macedonia, Montenegro and Serbia talked about the changes in their countries over the past two years of the project implementation. The majority agreed that along with the effects of the project in relation to better inclusion of policy creators and decision makers in the topic of social inclusion of older people, the biggest achievement of the project is strengthening and ensuring sustainability of civil society networks working with older people and their joint advocacy for ageing with dignity, which was the main goal of the project. The project implementation lead to better visibility of these networks as well as their expansion. However, equally important is the increased motivation of older people to be included in advocacy processes and to speak on their own behalf, to be personally engaged and increase the inclusion of their generation in communities and the society.
The partners agreed that publication of good practice examples collected from 62 small scale projects in the five Western Balkans countries will be one of the lasting values of the project since a large number of these projects demonstrated creative and effective ways to achieve social inclusion of older people as well as to be sustainable and easily replicated in other communities across the region.
The project „Taking Action on Social Inclusion of Older People“ is coordinated by the Red Cross of Serbia in the five regional countries with support provided by the European Union, Austrian Development Agency and Austrian Red Cross.