In 2019, the Association of Societies for Social Gerontology of Slovenia (ZDSGS) received a certified project: "More male volunteers in social care projects" from Cmepius within the framework of the Erasmus + program.
After positive information mentioned above we were faced with the next important step which was how to find a partner - a related host organization where volunteers - men are actively involved. Tatjana Prašnikar Đuran, professional worker at the Association and also the president of the CIF Slovenia section, contacted Mieke Weeda, president of CIF Netherlands. The response was positive. One of the CIF members of the Netherlands, Conny van der Aalsvoort and her colleaques by the Sterke Sociaal werk were prepared to share with us their precious knowledge and experiences gained in the field of social work, working with the elderly and volunteers in Nijmegen. The email correspondence followed and after that we organised everything together which was necessary that they become our host organization in Netherland.
And then came the 3rd December 2019, when Petra Cerinšek and Tatjana Prašnikar Đuran, set off on a car trip to the Netherlands.
According to the project, from Wednesday to Friday (December 4th - December 6th, 2019) we had a “job shadowing” every day, where we met different colleagues, mostly social workers who really took time for us interpreting, answering questions (we were well prepared and we sent them in advanced by email the questions which was the most important for us) … and we also introduced them our organization, the programs we perform and our country. The cooperation between all organizations was excellent. It has proven the importance of networking among social workers, their personal and professional connection, openness, willingness to participate, learning and sharing experiences, all with the aim of further improving their work in the care of the wellbeing of people we work with. The advantage of participating in CIF membership is that it is a voluntary organization with a sense of belonging to the profession and goodwill, and above all, the mission of the social work profession. And it is also to help people to have a decent, quality life, respectful relationships, and to be the main actors in their lives. CIF Netherlands has also been very pleased with this kind of cooperation through Erasmus +, as they have been thinking about this for some time, but have not yet taken up the opportunity. We believe that this experience also encouraged them to pursue such forms of cooperation in the future.
Tatjana Prašnikar Đuran is a professional worker at the Association of Societies for Social Gerontology of Slovenia (ZDSGS) and also the president of the CIF Slovenia section.