Model of the Mentoring between the Local Community Leaders – The role of seniors in Local Community Development
The age structure of the European population is changing rapidly and radically in the balance between the number of younger and older people. In the same time, we notice the problem of discrimination of seniors and exclude them from social life. Therefore, there is a need to rethink and recognize the role of older people and their important, yet often invisible, contributions to the local community. In our opinion, one of the ways to overcome the obstacles that prevent older people from remaining active in society and local life is encouraging and support adult people over to be community leaders.
Effective community leadership is an important contributor to local social development. Civil society organizations such as community groups, voluntary organizations, charities, and community cooperatives, are taking a lot of actions to prepare their communities for modern life.
Community leaders, therefore, are an important part of their communities. A community leader is someone who isperceived to represent the community’s interests and plays the role of protecting them. Communityleaders have a vast range of roles that range from mobilizing communities for a common cause ofdesigning courses of action to overcome common challenges. Community leadership work meansalso building a succession plan to keep the community strong as you move forward into the future.
The local community leaders are also necessary to make any positive changes in the local communities. They are an integral part of their community. They are “in the middle” and because of that, they know what exactly is needed, what are the opportunities, resources, but also weaknesses of their community.
It is impossible to start any permanent change in the community if there is no leader, so it is also important to provide for potential and existing leaders opportunities for their own personal development, for the growth of knowledge. There is also needed a space to exchange experiences and to get inspired.
We think that mentoring can be the way to support experienced community leaders and encourage potential ones. It can be an opportunity to exchange knowledge, ideas and good practices
It can also be a great source of motivation, which plays a key role in making positive changes in the community. It would not be possible to take any action and involve other people without it. Mentoring between local community leaders has great potential also because of the coordination of goals – there is no
competition here, knowledge can be passed without fear because the main goal for both sides is the development of the local communities.
The aim of our project is the encouragement to improve community development and increase the number of local leaders prepared to contribute to the local community development by:
- providing training for the future and current community leaders over 50 to increase their knowledge and skills,
- promoting the emergence of new community leaders through mentoring,
- sharing experience, best practice and active networking between the community leaders.
That is what we are aiming to achieve:
- to prepare the model of mentoring between community leaders
- to prepare the training for local community leaders, including the leaders’ mentors and futureleaders of local communities
- to organize the mentoring for new community leaders.
The products of our project are two Intellectual Outputs
The Handbook and Guide: How to be a leader of the local community.
The Training Modules and the Training Kit: the training for the local community leaders.
The project partnership is composed of seven partners