Thousands of citizens gathered to celebrate the first Seniorforce Day in Finland, held on September 15th in Helsinki as part of the Occupy Your Own Age main event.
Occupy Your Own Age (Valtaa vanhuus) is a campaign run by eight NGOs in Finland encouraging citizens to live an active and healthy ageing. The initiative challenges both citizens and municipal decision-makers to see age from a new perspective.
The festive event took place at the sunny Senate Square in the capital. Several speakers shared their thoughts about ageing, such as the ministers of the Interior, Päivi Räsänen, and Health and Social Services, Maria Guzenina-Richardson. Artists Jukka Poika and Aira Samulin, an Ambassador for the European Year 2012, also participated.
At the Seniorforce Day in Finland citizens were able to get information about the possibilities of getting involved as volunteers in projects such as the School Grandfathers and the Village Grandparents of the Mannerheim League for Child Welfare. Seniors were encouraged to share their experiences as volunteers and received information related to the European Year 2012 goals and programmes.
In the context of the European Year for Active Ageing and Solidarity between Generations 2012, public authorities and NGOs are invited to celebrate the Seniorforce Day on or around October 1st, the International Day of Older Persons, as a way to engage and harness the power of senior volunteers.
The Occupy Your Own Age campaign is supported by the NGO’s Folkhälsans förbund rf, Ikäinstituutti, Miina Sillanpään Säätiö, Omaishoitajat ja Läheiset -liitto ry, Suomen Senioriasiainliitto ry, Suomen Senioriliike ry, Suomen Setlementtiliitto ry and Vanhus- ja lähimmäispalvelun liitto ry.
Pictures of the Seniorforce Day in Finland are available here.