Exploring Community with a Strong Group of Women

Submitted by Emma Pilkington on March 10, 2014 - 2:15pm
A community conversation with Delburne’s S.A.F.E Family Group.

 On the evening of January 20th, members of Delburne’s S.A.F.E Family group were welcomed to the local Drop in Center to take part in a very special community conversation. Led by Rachel Brnjas, the conversation was part of the “1000 Conversations Campaign” and invited many diverse members of the village to come in and voice their opinions on community. 


We began our time together by sharing powerful experiences of community.  This helped everyone come together. 

The local hairdresser shared her personal story about community with the group. The woman used to be a hairdresser in the city, and said it was a nightmare. After a time of struggling with her job, she finally realized it wasn’t what she was doing; it was where she was doing it. “As soon as I moved to Delburne, I loved being a hairdresser again. I get to watch children in our community grow up, giving them their annual haircut from when they are babies to when they graduate. I can’t go anywhere in town without getting a, ‘Hi Wendy!’ This makes me feel like I belong; like I have a place in our community.”

One of the other ladies in the group admitted that she missed working at the corner store because she missed seeing the people every day! “I really miss the community interaction” she shared.

Given the group’s personal stories, Rachel then asked: “What are the benefits of community?”

·         Everyone looks out for each other

·         Everyone knows one another

·         If anything bad every happens, there will always be loving arms there for you

·         Accessibility to information and knowledge

·         Feeling of safety and comfort

Then, the members were asked, “What are some of the challenges of community?”

·         News spreads like wildfire. If something happens, everyone will know

·         Limited resources and access to services

·         Lack of jobs for locals

·         Lack of local business and poor economy

·         In-ability to bring in fresh, good quality produce to grocery stores

What is the job of community?

·         Nurture the people that live within it

·         Make people feel like they belong

·         Helping to make the community look appealing, so that it attracts more people

·          Working together; collaborating

·         Community participation and support

·         Foster good pride

·         Educate the youth

What do you hope Delburne will look like in ten years?

·         A thriving main street; full of successful and unique businesses

·         More expansion and jobs

·         More young families

·         Welcoming and friendly people

·          Accessible transportation in and out of Delburne

·         Youth centre

·         Football team

·         Effective volunteerism

·         Positive and open-minded attitudes

·         Universal Acceptance

·         Citizens with common goals, unified by love

To wrap up the conversation, the wonderfully insightful members of the S.A.F.E Family group created a vision statement for the future of Delburne together.

In ten years, our community will…

“Continue to be strong, friendly, vibrant, and embrace growth, individuality, diversity, and freedom.”

Members of the S.A.F.E Family group were honored to take part in a conversation, and in the project. “We learned that in order to really get stuff done, we all have to get involved and pitch in” said a member. “It is so important to contribute to your community”.





Hearing yourself in each other

This is a beautiful conversation.  I am always amazed at how similar people's thoughts on community are.  I think the power of sharing them in a group is for people to hear other people say what they are thinking and to realize that we are all on the same page.  It is when this synchronicity happens that communities start to transform.

Incredible Experience

Thank you Derek! It is an absolute incredible experience to watch people come together the way they do. I am so appreciative for getting the privilege to take part in such an amazing project. 

A great night!

It was a pleasure to join with you ladies in conversation. A treat to listen so many touching and funny stories.

The pleasure was all ours!

The pleasure was all ours! We all loved you Rachel! I am very excited to see you again at the end of the month.