House of the Fruits of Society

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House of the Fruits of Society

Project Stage:
Project Summary
Elevator Pitch

Concise Summary: Help us pitch this solution! Provide an explanation within 3-4 short sentences.

Our project is about mobilisation of great potential elderly have. We are encouraging them to stay active by transfering the knowledge to others.

About Project

Problem: What problem is this project trying to address?

Our project adresses several problems elderly have: elderly are socialy isolated, specially after living their workplace, they are often dealing with lonlyness and lack of social networks which can lead to depression and even to more serious health problems. There is a lack of understanding that elderly still can actively contribute to the society and a lack of opportunities for intergenerational transmission of knowledge. Elderly are often seen as »users« of services and not as people with fantastic skills and experience.

Solution: What is the proposed solution? Please be specific!

The problems are being targeted from four different engels: 1. social inclusion of elderly through their participation in daily activities, 2. active ageing through their active participation as volunteers and mentors of different workshops and intergenerational learning, 3. intergenerational transmission of knowledge, skills and experiences, improving their skills and with that improving their employment possibilities and independent living; 4. offering a place where elderly are spending creative time with younger generations – intergenerational cooperation. The center is rebuild into different »workshops«: learning kitchen, computer study room, a workshop for sawing, pottery and wood products, a big garden with herbs and fruit trees. Our integernerational center was the first center in Slovenia. Elderly can join different daily activities, such is cooking workshops, yoga and gym for elderly, different craft workshops, herb and garden workshops. They can also became mentors and prepare their own workshops: if an elderly is good in English or Italian he/her can give language lessons; if they can make bags from old jeans they can lead a sawing workshops. The center provides the space, tools, material and invites users to join the workshops. Elderly can also come and spend time in the center, they can organise meetings and use the learning kitchen. The inovative part of our solution is that we give elderly support and help them so they can stay active, they can transfer their knowledge and learn new things. In the past years elderly have made a lot of different products as a result of learning/teaching in the intergenerational workshops: we will establish a social enterprise in which we'll employ elderly people, who have difficulties in finding another income, as the pensions in Slovenia are low.
Impact: How does it Work

Example: Walk us through a specific example(s) of how this solution makes a difference; include its primary activities.

Retired seamstresses started to lead sawing workshops, teaching younger generation about the craft, wich is almost ignored, considering the break down of the industry. At the same time they told stories about their youth and the toys they used to play with. From that came the idea that they could make a »make it yourself rag doll«: that was the first product which now we are begining to sell. Rag doll is more then a toy: it tells the story, it teaches to saw and tailor, it has more permanent value that plastic toys from the store. At the same time seamstresses realised that the non-professional knowledge they have (cooking, herbs, gardening) is also valued in our center and can be transfer to others, so they started to lead other workshops. One of the elderly streamstress said: "I have never believed that I will be sawing again with the passion. And I have never believed that somebody else would be interested in what I know."

Marketplace: Who else is addressing the problem outlined here? How does the proposed project differ from these approaches?

Daily centres for elderly, older people homes, societies for ederly and programes for lifelong learning usually adresess specific need and the services/activities are organised for elderly only. There is also a lack of opportunities for transfering knowledge elderly have to younger generation or spending quality time with them. At the same time there is a lack of programes aiming at helping the elderly to identified different knowledge they have and give them opportunity (space, tools, materials) to continue/upgrade/develope skills. Our House was the first intergenerational community center in Slovenia. We believe that what we are doing is a uniqe programe for elderly, some organisation are visiting our House, try to learn from us and we believe in sharing our knowledge, information and support to others. We believe that we can complement in offeering servcies to the ones who needs them.
About You
About You
First Name


Last Name


Implementer(s) and cooperation partners

Slovene Philantrophy


Non‐profit/NGO/citizen sector organization

Country where main implementer is located
How long has the main implementer been operating?

More than 5 years

Please provide a short description of the main implementer.

Slovene Philanthropy, Association for promotion of voluntary work, is a humanitarian organization operating in public interest since 1992. Our programs are aimed at increasing the quality of life in the community and advocacy for the socially weak. The central activity of Slovene Philanthropy is the promotion of volunteering. We firmly believe that through volunteering we can all contribute to a better and more tolerant society, based on the respect of all people regardless of their personal or living circumstances.

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Cooperation partner

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How does this cooperation partner support the initiative? What competencies and resources does this partner bring to the initiative?

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Cooperation partner

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How does this cooperation partner support the initiative? Which competencies and resources does this partner bring to the initiative?

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Cooperation partner

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How does this cooperation partner support the initiative? Which competencies and resources does this partner bring to the initiative?

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Cooperation partner

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How does this cooperation partner support the initiative? Which competencies and resources does this partner bring to the initiative?

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Problem and solution
Which of these fields of Active and Healthy Ageing are addressed by your initiative?

Independent living solutions, Social inclusion (intergenerational practice, work and volunteering).

If none of the above, answer here:
Please describe if and how your stakeholders (cooperation partners, funders, users, etc.) have been participating in defining the problem and developing the solution.

Active volunteers and mentors in the integenerational house are meeting once a month to discuse previous work and new ideas. The programe of activities is made acoording to the needs participants have and the resources volunteers and mentors have. When a person comes to the center the social experts is individuly working with him/her, to establish what kind of activity is him/her interested or what kind of knowledge/skills they can transmit to others,
We are working closly with organisations in the local community: municipality, center for social work, societies for elderly, humanitarian and non-profit organisation. We are exchanging the information on a week basis about the urgant needs elderly in local community have.

Has your solution been tested in trials, experimentations, or pilot projects? If yes, please describe the process and outcome.

Our project began in 2008 and was the pilot project - in Slovenia there was no intergenerational comunity centres that would encourage integerenerational knowledge transmission. Ministry for social affairs has recognised our project as example of good practice and for the past three years they are monitoring the part of the social inclusion programe: how many people are involved, how many volunteers, the quality of life of the elderly with the connection to the participation in the activities. The outcomes are better every year, every year there is more people engaged in the ativities and the data we are collecting are showing that elderly are living more active, less lonley and their social networks is bigger.

How long has your solution been in operation?

for more than 5 years

Please select the relationship between your solution and related solutions currently established in our society. Is your solution…

independent (your solution is approaching a problem that has not been approached before)

What barriers might hinder the success of your initiative? How do you plan to overcome them?

The project started in 2008 and we have allready overcome some obstacles: long term funding and recognition of importance of what we are doing from local community. The national strategy for elderly is in delay, so this could slow down the process of establihing new intergenerational community centres. We are talking with 5 different municipalities about establishing an intergenerational community centres in the next few years and the plan might be realised a little later then we anticipated.

Organization and funding
Regularly paid employees






External advisers and experts


Others (please specify)
What are the specific professional backgrounds and competencies your team brings to the initiative?

In our team there are two social expert (with geronotology background) and a project manager. Our trainers have a lot of experience. We all have experience in coordinating community projects and also with volunteering.

Please describe your management or coordination structure in the initiative.

Project manager are managing the project (from different activities, funding, reports to finding new opportunities for similar pojects in other regions of Slovenia). Social and community workers are working directly with elderly and volunteers: offering support, advise, preparing the individual plans, helping to prepare workshops. Volunteers and mentors are involved directly in preparing the daily activities, mentors are also leading different workshops. A volunteer can became a mentor after the training we provide for voluneers and mentors.

Please provide the total yearly budget in Euro that your initiative spends on implementing the solution.
National public funding


European Union public funding


Economic return from own products/services


Foundations and philanthropy capital


Single donations from private individuals


Donations from private companies


Crowdfunding platforms


Participation fees


Other (please specify)

2,86% foriegn ambassies, 8,71% international calls

Target group, scale and impact
Which target group(s) do you want to reach with your solution?

Our target group are retired elderly people (65+, 65%). Intergenerational comunity center is open for everybody, so among our users there are also unemployed elderly (55+, 15%) and young people (20%). Both of this groups are at poverty risk. Most of our users and volunteers are women (70%), usually they retired younger and are more involved in volunteer activities. A lot of them have finished proffesional schools (seamstress), but they have other skills and knowledge, in a lot of cases traditional knowledge. There is a high number of retired medical nurses and teachers among our volunteers.

Please estimate the number of persons within your target group (users, clients, etc.) that you currently reach directly with your solution.


In which local/regional/national area(s) is the solution currently implemented?

the town of Murska Sobota, Prekmurje region

What is the impact on your target group (users, clients) you want to generate?

We encourage elderly to stay or become active and share the knowledge they have with others. With that they can gain again the feeling for self respect, they fell they are contributing to the society, the social network gets bigger and the feeling of lonlyness smaller. Spending time with younger generation helps the to understand them better and also helps them to overcome the prejduices based on age.

What is the wider impact on society you want to generate?

We are trying to build a more cohesive society, which is made for people of all ages. We believe in the need to changing our perspective, so we can see that all people can contribute to society regardless of the age. Integenerational cooperation and integenerational transmission of knowledge can help build a society without ageism and encourage intergenerational solidarity. There are also a lot of younger people involved in the centres activities, so with the intergenerational approach we are trying to make all the generations more aware of the problems that other generation have.

What are the impacts on your target group you already achieved?

The center is located in Murska Sobota (11.500 habitants). We have included in the center activities 3.436 participants, among those there are 2.233 elderly. There is 112 active volunteers involved in the center activities, among them 62 are elderly mentors: leading there own workshops, sharing their knowledge with others. Younger people are laso included in the activities: teaching elderly computer skills. There are 380 different activities performed per year. There has been 30 different products made, which we are starting to sale under the social enterprise brand »Fruits of Society«.

How has the impact of your initiative been assessed?

Feedback-based self-assessment (you assessed the impacts based on feedback from the target group without using specific methods), Self-evaluation (you used qualitative and/or quantitative methods to assess impacts).

Public information and strategy
What information on your initiative is publicly available?

Mission and strategy, Organisational structure, Financial report.

Please indicate webpage or contact for obtaining the respective information.
What are your milestones for further developing, implementing, and establishing your initiative in the next three years? Please describe 1-3 milestones.

We have established another intergenerational community center in the town of Vipava in the 2013. We are in the process of making arrangements with 5 other local comunities, so we could start with implementation of the project there. In the national strategy for social welfare there is intention for support for 12 regional interegenerational community centres by 2020. We are also working on establishing the social enterprise in which we will employ elderly people who have hard time finding a job.