Cáritas Coimbra and University of Coimbra train community mentors in rural areas

In the beginning of this year, Cáritas Coimbra launched the Cons©elhos Repórteres 55+ project, with the objective of reducing social isolation through intercultural learning and socialization among peers.

The implementation of this project takes place throughout this year and has a partnership with the University of Coimbra – through the Faculty of Arts and Humanities (FLUC), Faculty of Medicine (FMUC), Faculty of Psychology and Educational Sciences (FPCEUC) – with the support of various Cáritas partners, the involved municipalities and the various Local Social Action Councils (CLAS).

This project was distinguished by the BPI “la Caixa” Rural Awards that recognize and financially support initiatives that promote the improvement of quality of life and equal opportunities for people in situations of social vulnerability.

Cons©elhos Repórteres 55+ promotes the active participation of older adults and isolated people in local community transformation, in order to create better conditions for active ageing.

In a snowball methodology, the project trains mentors at the local level, who then create their groups of 55+ reporters in different communities, to survey the necessary conditions to improve their quality of life, such as accessibility, transportation, access to health services, cultural activities, support for isolated people, counselling and/or neighbourhood groups. To this end, it will implement actions of mobilization and community interaction, providing the recipients with strategies and skills necessary for the real exercise of their rights and duties of citizenship.

In the end, it will help these groups of reporters to summarize their needs and proposals for improvement and present them to the competent authorities and/or mobilize possible solutions, in a true exercise of citizenship.

In practice, Cons©elhos Repórteres 55+ is training a group of 12 mentors aged 55 or over (55+), in rural areas in the municipalities of Coimbra, Arganil, Figueira da Foz, Oliveira do Hospital and Góis and for this it has the support of several structures of Cáritas Coimbra.


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