Richmond friends connect generations through storytelling

“We want to bridge an intergenerational gap that can help us build a more cohesive community.”

Aaleigha Chin, a Richmond resident, and seven other friends created an initiative called Re:generation, a media storytelling project, to encourage youth to connect with their grandparents’ generation.

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Each week, the initiative will upload a video on YouTube featuring a Richmond resident from an assisted living home, who will share their life journey and experiences.

Residents who were not comfortable with a video opted for a written story and will be posted on Re:generation’s Facebook page, according to Larissa Chan, media director of Re:generation.

Chin, who is the co-chair of the project, was inspired when her father relayed some stories he had heard while working with seniors.

Chin approached her friends about sharing stories with the community, and the team of eight then set about last summer creating the three-month video series.

Many youth in society, Chin said, don’t communicate as much with their grandparents as they should – herself included.

“We hope to (…) involve our audience in a way that connects the community and reaches to more people,” said Chin adding that in order to do that they are sharing the residents’ stories to start the conversations.

Davis Poon, second media director of Re:generation, and Chan believe there is a “disconnection between the younger and older generation” because of the heavy technology use in society today.

They added youth often “forget” that their grandparents and elders have stories from their experiences in life that are insightful and full of advice.

“We believe that it is important for the younger generation to learn from older generations respectfully as opposed to dismissing them as people who don’t understand the current way of things like technology,” said Poon.

Chan feels it is important for different generations to work together at solving problems.

“Each generation has something different to offer. Young people may have physical strength and technological competence, while (the) older generation may have wisdom learned from past experiences,” said Chan.

“We hope that these videos that tell the eye-opening experiences of a few individuals will help younger generations want to connect with and learn from their parents or grandparents.”

Videos and stories will be published every Sunday.

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