CIVITTA supports the efforts to encourage the active life of elderly people in Bulgaria

CIVITTA Bulgaria, in partnership with “Expert Pool - Bulgaria” Association, successfully completed a service contract with the subject “Development and printing of a handbook of good practices for encouraging the active life of elderly people”. The contract was assigned by the Ministry of Labor and Social Policies of the Republic of Bulgaria (MLSP) and executed in the period December 2020 - March 2021.  

Our team developed a handbook with good practices, which is uploaded on the MLSP website and can be accessed here, as well as videos, which can be found here (both in the Bulgarian language).

In the scope of the contract, the team executed the following activities and services: 

  • Identification of municipalities in Bulgaria from each planning region of the country to be included in the survey of good practices for encouraging the active life of seniors (elderly people), and defining criteria for their selection;
  • Identification of stakeholders to be included in the survey;
  • Preparation of questionnaire for gathering of input information and carrying out the survey;
  • Carrying out the survey among chosen municipalities and stakeholders for the identification of good practices for encouraging the active life of seniors to be included in the handbook, through filling in the developed questionnaire and participating in interviews;
  • Carrying out desk research;
  • Research and analysis of successful practices for the active life of seniors in 7 EU countries;
  • Identification and description of good practices for encouraging the active life of seniors, based on the information gathered and the input from the stakeholders' interviews, according to the priorities of the National Strategy for Active Life of Elderly People in Bulgaria (2019 – 2030) in the following areas, aimed at and including the senior citizens: 
    • encouraging employment;
    • encouraging the development of digital skills;
    • trainings, learning courses;
    • physical activities and sports;
    • singing, dancing, knitting, etc.;
    • development of innovative distance services;
    • volunteering;
    • sharing of experience and solidarity between generations, and others.
  • Gathering, summarizing, and analyzing the initial information gathered;
  • Preparation of a handbook with good practices on “Encouraging the active life of elderly people in Bulgaria”, incl. design and pre-print services, and printing in 300 copies;
  • Creation of 6 videos for presenting the good practices from each planning region, including 1 summarizing video of all included practices;
  • Organizing and facilitating an online conference for the presentation of the handbook and the videos.

During the execution of the contract, the team of CIVITTA Bulgaria and “Expert pool - Bulgaria” association initiated, proposed, and executed the following additional activities: 

  • Inclusion of a higher number of municipalities in the handbook and therefore more good practices than intended in the technical specification in order to achieve the goals more effectively and reach more stakeholders to promote the policies for the active life of seniors;
  • Creation and inclusion of QR codes in the handbook with hyperlinks to the created videos, presenting the good practices;
  • Including practices that are not realised in a specific municipality but encompass participants from the whole country.

After the research and interviews carried out during the preparation of the handbook, we would like to share some main outcomes, according to the opinion of our team:  

  • The active organizations/ local volunteers, who are working for improving the quality of life of elderly people through various activities, often suffer from the lack of enough funds to fully implement their ideas and visions;  
  • We were happy to find out that there are many active seniors around the country, who have devoted their golden age to organizing different initiatives to help encourage the active life of other seniors; 
  • In Bulgaria, there is not enough focus on sport and physical activities for elderly people, whereas, in countries like the UK for example, physical exercises are regarded as extremely important for maintaining the good health and activity level of seniors for a longer time; 
  • Still, most of the interesting and bigger-scaled initiatives, aimed at supporting the elderly people in various ways, are carried out through projects, financed by different European programs. 

Our team is extremely happy to have had this opportunity to support the efforts of the MLSP to promote the policy of encouraging the active life of elderly people in Bulgaria, as well as to work in close cooperation with creative, active, and devoted people from the organizations and municipalities, encompassed by the research, who have diverse ideas and are developing many practices and activities in support of the active life of seniors in the country. 

For more information about the handbook, the completed services, or interest in the execution of similar research for you and your organization, you can contact our team on the following email: 

CIVITTA Bulgaria

Tsvetomira Spasova - Country manager

[email protected]