What is a Village

Submitted by Raising the Village on December 6, 2011 - 2:06pm
...and how are we all a part of it?

This is our first blog post on both Seeking Community and CCI, so let us begin by saying a bright hello to all of the fellow community builders and collaborators on this site and a delighted thank-you to Tamarack for the invitation to be one of the growing thought leaders. We are beyond cloud nine for this opportunity to connect, learn and share.

We hummed and hawed over the best way to write an introductory blog. Do we recycle one of our past blogs that we were passionate about? No, none of them seemed to fit. Do we write a random blog about something that is currently capturing our attention? No, that would seem out of place. Do we start by unearthing what is at the heart of our work at Raising the Village? YES!

We decided to take a news reporter’s inquisitive approach and give it to you with the 5 W’s: Who, What, Where, When, Why (and don’t forget that stand out alphabet letter, the practical H, HOW).

Who are we?  

Tammy and Tracy. We are co-owners, co-authors, co-facilitators and great friends. The work of Raising the Village has two streams, one that focuses on “It takes a Village to Raise a Child” which is our work around building communities that nourish and support their youngest citizens thereby nourishing our future. Our other stream of work is around organizational collaboration, team building and strengthened leadership capacity.

Our aim is to connect people and information, to bring other voices and perspectives to community building, and to provide meaningful resources that boost village raising efforts in individuals, organizations and communities.

Our future CCI blogs will focus on the organizational aspects of our work, while our Seeking Community blogs will highlight the village pieces.

Regardless of the lens of which we focus, we hope that you will engage in some spirited community dialogue with us. 

What is a Village?

For us, a village is multiple communities building connections where people are the defining force.  Village is relevant both in community work and in building a sense of village within organizations. 

Of course the real juice for What is a Village actually comes from YOU! What captures a Village for YOU? Our definition is shaped by what we learn and collect from others...by taking collective visions and definitions and finding the shared commonalities and celebrating the diversity amongst them. 

One of the ways we do this is in our Raising The Village interviews. We ask, “What personally brings you a sense of community”.  Here are some highlights from previous newsletters. We hope the question will have you perking to share as well.

Paul Born:

- a hug for sure
- a long dinner at a long table with long time friends.
- family, my family and my extended family.
- children - yes children - especially babies. Babies are the strongest of all the human species.  The greatest gift is to be able to rock a baby to sleep. They have the power to melt your heart, to dust off those corners where love is dormant and open the shutters and shine light on the soul.


Ties with family, friends and cooeagues. Family, of course. And friends, the "chosen family" of understanding and support, and colleagues who share a resonant vision and care enough to challenge us to be all we can be.

Involvement in various community events is a great way to feel connected. And children & youth, in all of this, are my constant joy. I'm happy to live on Salt Spring Island, a ibrant community rich in child-honouring practices.

Vince Gowmon:

A sense of community comes with safety, nearby nature, knowing the people in my neighbourhood and delighted in running into them on the street. I look at the harmony of a community and for me, this comes with an intimate connection between people, intimate connection within infrastructures, and intimate connection between products and intentions of the stores and services within my community.

For more responses, see our previous RTV Newsletters on our website.


Where and When does Village Raising Take Place? Inside your multiple communities and the many connections taking place. Look at this diagram (and go to the resource page for a pdf download of this http://www.raisingthevillage.ca/Resources.html). Print it out and take some time to reflect on what different “communities” you (or your organization) are a part of. This can be a time to celebrate the many relationships you have and an opportunity to set new intents. What communities are full? Which ones hold quality interactions for you? Which ones could use some attention and nurturing?



Why Village?

You’re on this site because you are seeking community or collaborative change, right? The essence of village raising is to very much build the sense of communities and teams we all seek.  To seek and create together!

How to Raise a Village? 

We tend to explore the concept of village through three village raising strategies:

·       Building Relationships (Establishing Connections: How do we authentically connect and engage?)

·       Framing Leadership (Strengthening Connections: What are the many forms of leadership? How is leadership shared?)

·       Constructing Collective Relevance (Seeing the Connections: What is the bigger meaning for people and their organizations and communities?).

With these strategies we add a good dose of unearthing ....and strength based approaches to face the challenges or “bumps in the village road”.  Our ongoing blogs will flush out these strategies.


Village Raising Questions – join the dialogue:

What captures Village for you? What personally brings you a sense of community?

What communities are you (or your organization) a part of?

How do you Raise a Village? What’s important about Raising Villages?


Whet your Village appetite?

 Want more?  Check out : www.raisingthevillage.ca and  http://raisingthevillage.blogspot.com