50Up is happening during 2010, there will be 4 participants from each of the two partner organisations Defence for Children International (DCI) in the Czech Republic Voluntary Service International (VSI) in Ireland. More info about this organization here
Activities have begun with the selection of participants; meetings and preparation will take place during the first half of the year. In July the 4 Czech participants will visit Ireland and in August the 4 participants from Ireland will visit the Czech Republic. During each of these visits participants will learn about the host organizations, visit other organizations and work alongside volunteers in the host country, participants will also visit government departments and they will meet many volunteers along the way. It is hoped that the participants from the two countries will meet with each other, discuss and exchange experiences. All this is with a view to learning about volunteering in the host country and in particular senior volunteering. The participants will return to their home countries and share their learning with the home organizations.A guide on senior volunteering will be produced by the two partner organizations in 2011, this will contain learning from 50Up participants and from the organizations. It is intended that this guide will be used by volunteering organizations and volunteers themselves, with the aim of increasing the numbers of people over the age of 50 taking part in volunteering. Both DCI and VSI would like to develop the area of senior volunteering and we see 50Up as an important step in this.2011 is the European Year of Volunteering, we will be organizing activities on this theme in 2011 and it is hoped that the 8 participants from 50Up will work together with us on senior volunteering projects in 2011 and in the future.