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Learning the Ropes at Buena Vida

Door-to-Door and StoryCorps Legacy conducted a training with the Buena Vida Continuing Care and Rehabilitation Center in Bushwick, Brooklyn. Legacy trains professionals and volunteers at organizations that support people with a range of health care needs, including outpatient and residential care programs, hospices, palliative care departments and hospitals, to facilitate StoryCorps interviews with their community members. Each organization keeps the recording equipment for three months, so that they can record interviews with participants who would be otherwise unable to come to a recording day or a booth.

We arrived early in the morning, with a lot to pack into the training. Preparing participants for interviews, setting up recording equipment, going over questions, beginning the interview, taking notes, explaining release forms, filing paperwork, taking photos – there was a lot to talk about! The staff and volunteers were ready, though, and quickly learned the ins and outs of facilitating StoryCorps interviews.

Facilitation Training

Our group included recreational therapists, management, and volunteers, and as much as they learned about StoryCorps interviews, we learned about their work and the Buena Vida community. Within the large, airy building in Bushwick is a tight-knit community of residents, their families, staff, and volunteers. Over the next couple of days, we sat in on the first interviews that the newly-trained facilitators did – in English and in Spanish! – and we had the privilege of getting to hear about some of the lives of the residents who participated. Some of the facilitators had known the residents for years, and it was moving to hear them talk to each other about their relationships. Other participants included the family members of the residents, who shared their experience of coming to Buena Vida every day to see their loved ones.

Last week, after weeks of dedicated facilitating by the Buena Vida group, we went back to pick up the recording equipment and the interview files. I can’t wait to sit and listen to the interviews that they have completed, and to learn more about the members of the Buena Vida community!



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