The Minga Vision

Submitted by Minga Skill Building on April 14, 2013 - 3:49pm
A community initiative in Guelph

 Our vision is to provide the platform/space to facilitate the learning of skills.  The people that know these skills are not ‘experts’ in far off lands, they are people in our own neighbourhoods.  We see so much value in passing down the skills, from generations who perfected these task, to our current and future generations.

Many people have opted to allow ‘specialists’ to do these things for us. We have to pay more to have people do for us what we could simply do for ourselves. Typically, we are working more and ‘playing’ less to make money to pay these ‘experts’ – whether it be the butcher, the baker, or the candle stick maker. Don’t get us wrong, supporting these businesses are very important, because they are what make up a local economy, but many of us don’t. We have instead support ‘big box’ stores, which are known to have negative outcomes for small communities,  because they are cheaper. We seem to have redistributed our priorities.  Instead of keeping our local economies strong, we’re insistent on finding the ‘best bang for our buck’.   Having more for less.  But as a result, we’re losing the very community that many of us seek.

We could think of community simply as feeling connected. We all ultimately want to be connected because connection makes us happy.  Happiness, which can come in many forms, could be thought of as time with our family, raising our children, time with friends, and doing things that fulfill us. Most often, we do not have ‘time’ for these activities because we’re working to make a living, to pay for ‘things’, to make our lives easier, to try and free up time, so we can do the things aforementioned.

Imagine being able to do these things for ourselves? Imagine being able to work less since we do not need as much money because we are able to either do these tasks for ourselves or depend on those in our communities to share their skills with us. Minga wants to collaborate with other organizations and connect with teachers to teach skills to aid our communities in becoming self-reliant – to provide for their own needs.

Minga has called ourselves a ‘hub’ because we envision ourselves as one of many organizations that help to bring skills and community building to neighbourhoods around the world.  We cannot not, nor do not want to, do this alone. Just like the saying goes – it takes a community to raise a child, it also takes a community to build community.


Am I understanding Correctly?

Thanks for sharing about your initiative- I find it really intriguing.

When you are talking about being self-reliant, I think what you're saying is not reliant on oneself, but on the skills and gifts of their community- yes? Looking to the assets of one's neighbourhood and turning there to receive, for instance, help with a building project, medical help, etc.

I think this is a really good point- what are some suggestions or ways to start heading in this direction when we seek help (rather than turning to those you have suggested- the professionals)?

Are there more?

I think this is a brilliant way of building community and building resiliency at the same time.  I attended one fo the Minga workshops recently and wrote a blog about my experience HERE.  I would encourage others who are interested to check out their

 Are there similar type organizations in other cities?