The “Seniors in Action” competition offers grants and training for people over 60 who wish to carry out social initiatives based on their own ideas, individually or in tandem with a younger person. The competition is addressed to active seniors enrolled into a Third Age University, as well as those cooperating with other organizations and institutions.
So far, 398 projects have been financed in the thirteen editions of the “Seniors in Action” competition: inter-generational projects, projects that encourage older people to act for the benefit of their community, and projects promoting volunteer services by the seniors.
To support Third Age Universities, the program offers training, workshops, and experience exchange during conferences for TAU representatives. In 2004–2012, the nation-wide TAU meetings were held in Cracow, Bydgoszcz, Słupsk, Płock, Warsaw, Nowy Sącz, and Katowice. Between 2011 and 2013, 14 regional TAU meetings were granted support. The program is also engaged in other events important to the TAU movement, in particular the annual Third Age Forum, which is a part of the International Economic Forum in Krynica.
Since 2013, representatives of Third Age Universities may participate in TAU for Local Communities workshops which encourage the formation of volunteer groups at the Universities, as well as cooperation with local communities. Seven editions of this project gathered 70 TAUs; the present eighth edition includes 12 more.
2020 was the last year of the pilot program “Tandem. Mentoring 55+” focused on engaging older people in mentoring children and youth living in environments requiring support. About a dozen mentors cooperated with their protégés to boost their self-esteem and social competencies. The result was the publication “Tandem. How to Provide Inter-generational Mentoring”, a step-by-step compendium for institutions and organizations interested in such actions among children and teenagers (available for free on the website of the Program Manager). The partners of the pilot program were: the Elżbieta Sołtys Education and Kindergarten Complex “School with Passion” in Ostrowiec Świętokrzyski and Joanna Radziwiłł’s Foundation Caring Wings in Warsaw.
Additionally, from 2005 to 2008 under the grant competition addressed directly to the Third Age Universities, 131 grants were awarded for projects improving the quality of their educational offers, including computer and Internet courses enabling Third Age Universities to reach a wider audience of senior citizens, as well as stimulating seniors’ involvement in activities for the benefit of their local communities, particularly through voluntary work.
The Foundation has disbursed $5,493,221, including $236,480 for the current edition of the program.