Intergenerational Project “Seniors and Youth”
OrientaEuro Belgium asbl has developed an intergenerational relationship between Seniors and youth, with the ultimate aim of sharing experiences, helping young people choose their studies and careers and for them to learn from their elders about how to be satisfied at work and fulfilled in life. This is a useful and innovative “bonus” tool offered to the youth in order to help them as much as possible in choosing the best studies and future career.
OrientaEuro Belgium asbl has conducted a series of one-to-one interviews with residents from a range of retirement homes and senior centres around Brussels. The meetings were taking place until the end of October 2014. We interviewed various Seniors (aged 60 and above, French, Dutch and English speakers) who were willing to participate in the project.
We asked them about their own life and professional experiences, and the possible regrets or mistakes they had made throughout their lives so that you can make the best school and career choices by learning from the elders’ experience.
We know it is hard, yet doable at the same time, to learn from somebody else’s mistakes. Therefore we believe we should keep trying, and profit from Seniors’ experience. We truly believe everyone should feel satisfied and happy with whatever they choose to do in their lives. Based on these one-to-one conversations with Seniors, we created short videos (1-3 minutes) containing the best advice and words of inspiration that have been shared with young people on the OrientaEuro website and during our youth workshops.
We believe in intergenerational cooperation and we are convinced that these experienced Seniors will encourage young people to follow their own passions and talents, as well as will give them advice on how to make the best possible career choice, with the aim to ultimately find satisfaction and happiness in work and in life.
This new approach has a double positive effect. Firstly, it helps young people reach personal and professional satisfaction. Secondly, it shows Seniors that they are recognised by society. Furthermore, from our experience young people tend to be more open to the idea of listening to Seniors than to their own parents. Seniors’ opinions come across as wiser, and above anything else, less biased and more sincere.
We have gathered useful lessons based on Seniors’ past experience, knowledge, points of view, and motivation, and we want to share these with the younger generation. We aim to take advantage of Seniors’ past errors and successes in order to support young people, now and in the future, and to motivate them to pursue their passions and talents.
Thanks to this project and via a series of short career advise movies we were able to indirectly liaise the Brussels teenagers with the Brussels Seniors.
During the workshop “Atelier d’Orientation vers les Études et Professions” focused on choosing the studies, among various games and assignments, the short movies were screened and followed by an animated debate. During 2 hours 15 adolescents actively participated in the workshop. The activities touched upon three major axes of action: (1) self-knowledge, (2) external world and job market, and (3) the decision-making process.
Those movies were based on interviews with persons who have already finished their professional career and were willing to share with the young ones their opinions and views on talents, passions, income, job satisfaction, defeats, fears, success stories, career strategies, difficult life choices. Seniors, via those short movies, gave a wise and impartial advice on life in general, and how to make the best choices throughout life.