Civic Awareness for Elders in Europe

The project “CAFÉ - Civic Awareness for Elders in Europe” provides for the involvement of people aged 55+ within all the prevention and self protection activities carried out by Civil Protection, both in peacetime and in emergency. Elderly people will attend a specific training course which makes them aware of the risks and the behaviour to follow in critical situations. The project uses a participatory development approach to empower old people, giving them confidence in their own knowledge and enabling them to participate actively in the development of their communities. Programmes will be created to develop solidarity between mature and young people and utilize elderly people experience as an advisor or a mediator. Older people, through their experience and familiarity with their communities, are well placed to identify the needs and vulnerabilities of their families and neighbours, including the most vulnerable older people, as part of disaster preparedness planning.

Experiences of "volunteer grandparents" show that they can be a very important resource. Through the training program, CAFÉ will contribute to strengthen elderly people who are considered as "weak" in emergency in order to make them an "active resource" not only for the society but for civil protection too. Elders have specific capabilities which are rarely utilised in preparedness, relief and rehabilitation programmes. They can play important roles within their communities in times of disasters, if provided with the skills to do this. The project aims to positively change the perception and position of senior citizens and to strengthen the capacity of organisations working with elderly people in planning and implementing age-sensitive responses to disasters.

Target groups

  • Experts in adult education, trainers with experience in the Universities of the Third Age, animation staff for elderly people, members of associations involved in services for elders
  • Learners over 55
  • Families
  • Stakeholders (public or private bodies that will be reached through the implementation, exploitation and dissemination activities, local and national governments, volunteering associations in the field of civil protection and provision of services for adults and the elderly, Universities of the Third Age, specialized and national media etc.)


  • Guidebook for civic awareness of elderly people
  • Seminars in civil protection for elderly and other training
EU-Program: LLP, Grundtvig Multilateral Projects
Coordination: Municipality of Foligno (ITA)
Contact: Karin Kronika
Duration: October 2010 – September 2012
EU - Partner für lebenslanges Lernen This project has been funded with support from the European Commission. This publication reflects the views only of the author, and the Commission cannot be held responsible for any use which may be made of the information contained therein.