Create your own Life Village
The Life Village is a nurturing community for a child from birth to adulthood. Life Villagers are chosen by the child's parents or carers and then contribute a specific skill to nurture the child as part of the Life Village.
We would love as many children and families as possible to experience the love and nurture of a supportive community.
Setting up a Life Village is very easy and it's completely free. Once you've begun setting up your Life Village you can register it and receive our news and resources. We would love to hear that lots of people are as excited about the idea as we are!
Six steps to starting your own Life Village for your child
Select a group of friends (5-20 is ideal) to invite to be part of your child’s Life Village. You may want to think about what qualities you want in your Life Villagers. Is there a particular skill or characteristic that you don't have which a Life Villager may be able to bring? Think about those you want to invite; what is it that they are really good at?
Invite each person to be part of the Life Village by explaining what the Life Village is and why you think they would be great. You may want to do this verbally or by sending them a link to this website or an invitation email. Get them excited about the idea! Wait for them to respond to your invitation. If they accept, ask them what skill they would like to contribute to your child’s life eg. playing football with them, writing them letters, reading to them.
3. Book a Date
Arrange a date for your first Life Village Gathering when you will get your child and the Life Village together for the first time. You may want to ask one of the Life Villagers if they would like to organise the Gathering if it feels too much for you. If your child is newborn then the Gathering could be a party after their Christening, Baptism or Naming Ceremony if that's what you've planned. If they are older, a party held at your home or a local restaurant could work.
Once you have established your Life Village, update your members regularly on how your child is doing and encourage them to get involved in his or her life. You may want to set up a Facebook group, WhatsApp group, send emails and photos or arrange Skype conversations to facilitate this. If this feels too much for you then ask one of the Life Village members to act as a facilitator for you. Get in touch if you have any questions.
Encourage the relationships between your child and the Life Villagers. Actively involve them in your child's life and in your decision-making as parents. Ask them for help if you need it.
6. Keep it up
Arrange to host Life Village Gatherings regularly - we suggest every three years - so your child and the Life Village can get to know each other, until your child is of an age to decide for him or herself how to build the relationships. You could ask a Life Villager to arrange these or do it yourself. Make them lots of fun!
If you would like to develop the idea of the Life Village to fit your circumstances but still use the Life Village name then do get in touch with us and share your ideas - others may find your ideas helpful. You may want to change how often you have a Life Village Gathering. If your child is disabled you may want to ask your Life Village members to contribute in a specific way rather than generally.
The vital aspects of the Life Village are that:
1. It is for the purposes of nurturing a child/ren and its family
2. The Life Villagers are chosen, known and trusted by the child's parents or primary carer (or delegated responsibility for coordination is given to someone by the parents or primary carer)
3. Participation of the Life Villagers is voluntary and they are given the opportunity to contribute a specific skill
4. Communication between the child's parents/primary carer and the Life Villagers is essential for the effectiveness of the Life Village