Being able to listen to what our senior citizens have got to say about the rich heritage in Singapore and their many life lessons is definitely a privilege.
Well, the youth volunteers at ‘We Are Stronger Together’ last Saturday can vouch for that. Many of them were simply thrilled to learn more about the past; especially through the eyes of these wise senior citizens.
As part of Youth Corps Singapore’s ‘Uncovering Wisdom, Celebrating Seniors’ theme between October to December 2017, this large-scale event saw a 400-strong crowd congregating at Kreta Ayer Square on 4 November, 2017.
‘We Are Stronger Together’ returns for the second year
Following its debut last year, We Are Stronger Together is back this year and you can be sure it is comparable to its predecessor.
The event saw an exciting line-up of morning exercise followed by brunch filled with local delights at either Chinatown Food Centre or Maxwell Food Centre.
As the youth volunteers enjoyed the meal with the elderly, many of the former were able to impart active ageing tips in the likes of healthy eating and regular exercising to the latter. When it comes to the elderly, they were certainly more than willing to share about their heritage as well as about the history of Singapore – with many facets unknown to youth these days.
This was also done over light-hearted and casual games of Hua Hee, which is otherwise known as Gembira and Share Lah cards.
Intergenerational bonding with a twist
At Kreta Ayer Square, the young and the old gathered together in a site steeped in heritage to learn more about one another.
While many of these youth volunteers are still studying in local polytechnics and universities, they simply cannot be more pleased about taking time out to mingle with the elderly.
Contrary to last year, the running theme this year revolved around the concept of contrast. As the seniors shed light about what happened in the past, the youth shared about current happenings as well as what it means to be a millennial.
Through this intergenerational exchange, seniors brought the youth for a walk down memory lane as they reminisced about the past; while providing invaluable advice. On the other hand, the youth let the elderly in on the latest trends; such as the poses and mobile applications they use for photo-taking.
In essence, We Are Stronger Together proves to be a befitting platform for both seniors and youth to exchange knowledge of what they are well-acquainted with.
Not only does this event promote an intergenerational exchange of wisdom and knowledge (on trends and active ageing), it bridges the gap between these two generations. While youth possess wide-ranging knowledge of trends and technology, the seniors are able to offer valuable life lessons one is hard-pressed to find from textbooks.
By bringing them together in a seniors’ space – Chinatown, it made for a great conversation-starter between the youth and the elderly. At the same time, this heritage place is bound to hold both old and new memories for the senior citizens, who have also seen how the place has withstood the hands of time.
Nothing puts a smile on your face like a little printed mementos
As a courtesy of Canon Singapore, youth volunteers and senior citizens alike were able to bring home a memorable memento. After an eventful day at such an Instagram-worthy spot, nothing is more heartwarming than a piece of memory preserved in prints.
This rings especially true for elderly who are accustomed to the tangible feel and touch of a photograph.
Nevertheless, every youth also managed to bring home their favourite prints and no one is certainly complaining about bringing home this sweet memento.
At the end of the day, it is the little things that count and you cannot help but to feel the joy radiating from these youth and elderly as they interact with one another.
It is simply heart-warming to see two generations congregate and interact with one another over a pleasant day out.
Canon was the corporate partner for We Are Stronger Together, which is organised by Youth Corps Singapore from National Youth Council.