The AUSER Association was established in Italy in 1989 through the initiative of the Union of Retired People (SPI/CGIL) and the Federation of Italian Trade Unions (CGIL).
It works through 1,412 local associations around the country and has 260,000 members as well as 40,000 active volunteers organized on a national, regional and local level.
The mission of the AUSER Association is to promote the self-management of services and actions for solidarity, supporting the right of older people to continue to play an active role on a social and economic level by making the most of their specific experiences, skills and abilities.
Older people work as volunteers in several areas of activity:
- Training and education: through the UniversitÓ Popolare (UNIAUSER) initiative providing continuing education for senior citizens
- Health education
- Solidarity: by developing the Filo d'Argento associations, local telephone help lines for older people who need practical, psychological and emotional support
- Social utility: by finding ways to enhance the artistic, cultural and environmental heritage of traditional crafts and skills
- International solidarity
On a European level, the AUSER Association is a member of SOLIDAR, a European network of 50 NGOs active in over 90 countries working to advance social justice in Europe and worldwide. SOLIDAR lobbies the EU and international institutions in three primary areas: social affairs (more social Europe), international cooperation (development cooperation) and education (lifelong learning for all).