What is Generations Can Connect?

Generations Can Connect is a project idea that had it's roots in an exchange in the spring of 1998 between teacher Bill Belsey, and Canadian Prime Minister Jean Chretien at the Government of Canada's Millennium Projects kick-off event at the Museum of Civilization in Hull Quebec. Mr. Belsey shared his vision of a Canadian "National Digital Youth Corps", in effect young people using digital tools to record the thoughts, memories, stories and artifacts of the nation's older persons. Seniors being the very living history of our time. Youth and seniors reprsent ture "National Treasures". Generations Can Connect is the evolution of this vision.

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What Does Generations Can Connect Consist Of?

The concept is that Canadian youth will interview seniors about their particular objects or memories that are significant to them, and create written profiles with photographs of the object or the individual concerned. The profiles and photographs will then be put up on the Internet via a site on the World Wide Web so that everyone can access them. Youth preparing the profiles will show those seniors who wish to do so how to use the Internet.


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Over time, there would be built up an archive of memories from across the country which would be a basic record for Canadians of their past. Youth would have the opportunity to learn from their elders something about their lives and times, would develop their skills in using technology, and would be able to help seniors develop their own knowledge and skills in using Internet technology for a variety of purposes, including communicating with family and friends, obtaining health care and other information.

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Interviews would be done as organized projects under the supervision of an adult. Most projects would likely be done through schools but the concept foresees that any type of organization or group involving youth or seniors could run a Generations Can Connect project.


The United Nations has declared that 1999 was The International Year of Older Persons

Generations Can Connect was officially recognized by the Canada Coordinating Committee
for the United Nations International Year of Older Persons.

This project was conceived of and facilitated by teacher Bill Belsey