Stichting Welzijn Midden-Drenthe

Intergenerational Communication

and Active ageing in a

Rural Environment

Stichting Welzijn Midden-Drenthe


Welzijn Midden-Drenthe is an organisation for community based services in the region of Midden-Drenthe (340 km2/131 square miles and population 33000). We work with a social infrastructure of voluntary groups in 25 villages. The main focus of these associations of volunteers lays on the wellbeing of their citizens and on strengthening the community. Our professionals support these groups on a local and regional level. Current themes we work on are community development, local education, social/cultural activities for all age groups with special attention for children and youngsters, well being of the elderly, demographic change and rural development. Midden-Drenthe is a rural region where agriculture and dairy farms still dominate the landscape. Demographic, economical and social changes however have a huge influence on the context of the small rural villages. We support the inhabitants in facing these challenges and help them to find new opportunities in order to keep the villages liveable.


Besides the ‘day-to-day’ community work, we develop and execute projects. In 2005 a project with special attention for the elderly people in the countryside was launched. Eight villages still participate in this project. In the international partnership we will share all the experiences, results and also the good- and bad practices we gathered. Over time also new threats, questions and opportunities appear, which we will discuss with other experts (by experience).

A facility we are proud of is our Local Community College. It is a coproduction with the county council and the regional training centre. The aim is to facilitate courses, workshops and lectures in the local community centres. At the moment there are local community colleges in seventeen villages, run by local volunteers with support from professionals of the regional training centre and ‘Welzijn’. We offer our project experience with bringing education to the people - instead of mobilising people to attend education in the city - and how to support volunteers to run their own local community college.


On national level we operate a.o. in the MO-group (trade association for community work and welfare), the National Network of Population-decline of the Ministry of the Interior and Kingdom Relations.

In this partnership we work together with ‘Learn for Life’ (Dutch platform for international adult education), an organisation with broad expertise in international project management.