The Legacies Project strengthens the fabric of communities on a number of different levels.
“Legacies takes us back to a time when elders were valued for their wisdom and life lessons…”
First, it provides a unique learning experience for local students by tapping into an existing – but currently ignored – resource: community elders. In a sense, Legacies takes us back to a time when elders were valued for their wisdom and life lessons rather than shunted aside to make way for the new. Given what our elders have experienced – a world war, economic calamity and social upheaval – their insights and stories are as relevant today as they ever were.
Second, Legacies preserves the history of local communities for posterity. Decades from now, researchers, academics and the general public will be able to visit the Legacies website to see what life was like in the 20th and early 21st centuries.
Third, elders in communities who now feel isolated and ignored will experience real therapeutic value and emotional satisfaction in having their stories recorded for all time. Their histories and life lessons will not be wasted and forgotten but will have value for generations to come. Because at its core, The Legacies Project has a very simple, life-affirming value: that every one of us has a story to tell and experiences that are worth hearing.
Finally, Legacies will enhance community cohesion. Elders and students who’ve had no previous exposure to one another will, over multiple interview visits, get to know one another. As a result, chance encounters on the street or in grocery stores will turn into opportunities to chat and catch up, young people will find mentors and new relationships will form.