1. Is the Life Village free?
Yes it is free.
2. Does my child have to be a baby in order to have a Life Village?
No. It is great to be able to set up a Life Village for a newborn but a Life Village can be created for a child of any age. We all need a village!
3. Who can set up a Life Village for a child?
The child's parents or the child's primary carer can set up a Life Village. Alternatively, the parents or primary carer can nominate someone to set up and facilitate the Life Village for the child or they could nominate this person to be responsible for certain aspects of the Life Village, for example, organising the Life Village Gatherings.
4. I want to start a Life Village but I don't know who to invite.
Start by thinking of a couple of people who you know well and invite them. You can always build up the Life Village bit by bit. It can be a bit scary to think of asking someone to play such a big role in your child's life but many people will see it as a huge privilege to be asked and will accept the opportunity readily.
5. I want to start a Life Village but I find it hard to ask for help and feel guilty accepting help.
Many people find it hard to ask for help and feel guilty accepting offers of help. If this is you, you may want to ask a friend to be the facilitator of the Life Village and ask people to become Life Villagers on your behalf. You may be surprised, however, that many people will feel privileged to be invited to join the Life Village rather like people feel honoured to be a Godparent. I have found that asking for help and receiving the help of others has made me feel a little vulnerable at first but has got easier with practice. It is also infectious and has encouraged some of the Life Villagers to ask for help in their own lives too.
6. I am a very busy person. I like the idea but do I have time to create a Life Village or to be a Life Villager?
Choosing a group of people and inviting them may take a bit of thinking time but once the Life Village is set up it is up to you how much time you spend updating the Villagers or arranging the Life Village Gatherings. The Life Village is a fluid concept and there is no pressure to invest huge amounts of time into it. If you feel you don't have the time or energy to coordinate the Life Village then you can ask one of the Life Village members to act as a facilitator on your behalf. If you have been asked to be a Life Villager and are very busy, you might want to think about a contribution you could make that would not take up lots of time. Being a Life Villager doesn't mean a weekly or even monthly commitment. It could be that you commit to meet up with the child annually to spend time with them or to do something with them that you already enjoy like football or baking. It is important that at some point over the child's lifetime you support them. It could be that your support happens when they are older, at a time when you are less busy. One of our Life Villagers who is an entrepreneur has promised to help Bean set up her own business or help her with financial management. Being part of a group of Life Villagers means that there is no pressure on you in particular to give in a specific way at a specific time.
7. Does a Life Village have to be big?
A Life Village can be of any size. The important thing is that the Life Villagers contribute a specific skill to your child's life. You can always invite more people to join the Village as your child grows older if you wish.
8. How do I ask people to join my child's Life Village?
One way is to have a conversation with them and send them a link to this website. You might want to emphasise the positive qualities that you see in them which you think your child may appreciate. They may be qualities that the person may not see in themself so it might take them by surprise! You could also emphasise the fact that you think your child would appreciate having a group of people around them throughout their childhood and that you hope that, as a Life Villager, they might enjoy playing a key role in your child's life.
9. Can my family be part of my child's Life Village?
10. Is the Life Village just another version of Godparents?
No. You may want a Life Village as well as Godparents or you may want just one or the other. The traditional role of Godparents is to have two people to help nurture the child in the Christian faith. The Life Village is for people of faith, no faith or inbetween. It supports the idea of a larger group of people and also encourages all members to contribute a specific skill which may or may not be linked to spirituality. Some of our children's Life Villagers pray for them and nurture them in their faith. Others bring other skills and gifts. We welcome them all.
11. Why should I set up a Life Village?
If you're a parent or primary carer setting up a Life Village for your child you will gain from the supportive community around you as you navigate the tricky terrain of parenthood. If you are a friend who knows a family in need of a supportive community then you could play a key role in sharing the idea of the Life Village with them and helping them invite Life Villagers. You may even be asked to join the village! If you are a professional who thinks that the Life Village as a tool may be able to help those you work with, then get in touch and we'd be happy to help you support your clients.
12. I don't have children but I think the Life Village is a great idea. How can I get involved?
You can sign up to our newsletter, spread the word on social media and encourage those in your circles with children to create Life Villages. if you are a practitioner who works with children or parents then get in touch with us and we can support you in using the Life Village model in your context.
13. How can I get involved in the Life Village?
We would love every child to have its own Life Village community over a lifetime. We've been spreading the word so more Life Villages are being created all the time which is exciting. We'd love for you to get involved spreading this idea because we believe the Life Village has such a positive effect on children and families.