Raising the Villages
Mawiomi W'Jit Mijuwajijk

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  Children are born ready to learn and it is during this time period, long before they enter formal schooling, that the foundation of their brain is developed.  Just like a strong and healthy brain, it's better when all areas (people and organizations) work together.

-Early Learning Global Movement, watch the film Brain Matters here

Three ways to get involved with Raising the Villages... 
This is an open invite to parents, community champions, local leaders, professionals supporting families, businesses, and anyone who is passionate about the early yeas and creating welcoming spaces that are inclusive from the beginning of life.

1 - Become a Raising the Villages' champion...

It is time to expand Raising the Villages' network of community partners (individuals and groups) who help, support, and champion, the welcoming communities our youngest need and deserve from the beginning of life.

Share local community updates with us.  Let's spread the word about our communities and through Raising the Villages we can reach new people.  We would appreciate your support, so please like and share our Facebook page (and posts) as often as possible, join our mailing list by sending us an email to receive our quarterly Newsletters (plus the occasional additional correspondence) and then share our updates with your contacts, and watch and share our videos on Vimeo.  

Help us spread the word about Raising the Villages' events and join in alongside your neighbours and extended community.  The Welcoming our Youngest Citizens' Celebrations 2020/21 will be taking place across western Cape Breton early in the new year, and in December 2020 we will be hosting a Zoom video call to gain feedback from local communities and citizens on our intention to change our status from a Municipally supported initiative to a Not For Profit.

If you are:

-a business owner in western Cape Breton who would like to sponsor a Raising the Villages' event in your community, we can guide you through sponsorship options such as how to contribute towards the cost of printing Raising the Villages' t-shirts for our youngest citizens and volunteers, 

-a local food producer who would like to make a donation to an event, such as a Welcoming our Youngest Citizens' Celebration in 2021,

-an artist who would like to take part in one of our celebrations and organize a fun, colourful activity,  


-a service provider in western Cape Breton who would like to send us information on your services, updates on new groups, etc, that we can share through Raising the Villages' communications,

... please get in touch with our team.  We would love to hear from you!

2 - Join a
Raising the Villages' Coalition in
your community!

Join a Raising the Villages' Coalition and alongside your neighbours, local leaders, friends, family members, service providers, and local businesses, create conversations within your community that help to shape/inform what a local welcoming, inclusive space for all from the beginning of life could look like in order to achieve equity from the start.  Help to organize social gatherings that are family-friendly, welcoming everyone from our infants to our elders, offering unique opportunities for inter-generational connections to be made, and others strengthened; to increase social supports and community interactions that leave no one behind.  All sorts of fun, welcoming activities can be organized within a coalition.  An idea suggested recently by Janelle Loader- Keough, is that their coalition would like to organize a welcome for newcomers (individuals and families) to Port Hawkesbury, in order to share resources and local information reducing the social isolation felt by some moving to a new community.

The invite is open to anyone with time and interest to join one of our existing coalitions, or to assist in the creation of a new coalition in a community that does not have one yet.   The research and evidence are clear, our youngest citizens deserve and need a consistent attachment community to provide a sense of belonging through a nurturing environment, in order to connect to what they need for their healthy development

Raising the Villages'
Coalitions can be found in five communities across western Cape Breton.  Get involved - contact your local organizer today! 

Baddeck - Councillor Perla MacLeod: [email protected]
Bay St. Lawrence - Deidre Fraser: [email protected]

Inverness - Raising the Villages' Project Coordinator, Jim Mustard: [email protected]
Mabou - Kenneth Mackenzie: [email protected] 
Port Hawkesbury - Janelle Loader-Keough: [email protected]

Our team was delighted to be asked by Strait Area Women's Place to create a video that was shared through their Live Talk Series on Facebook in November 2020, sharing information on Raising the Villages but also specifically around our coalition in Port Hawkesbury.  You can watch it here.  

For more information on our existing coalitions, or to express an interest in starting one in your community, please send us an email.

3 - Join the Regional Early Years Coalition

Two gatherings of the Regional Early Years Coalition were organized by Raising the Villages with support from the Municipality of the County of Inverness.  The idea for the coalition is based on the #1 priority of the One Nova Scotia Coalition's Collaborative Action Plan The Early Years: Starting Strong, and specifically the section Community-Led Initiatives for Early Years, Welcoming our Youngest Children which you can read about on page 18 in their report.  

These gatherings have looked at formalizing a coalition to create a regional model of equity for everyone from the start The importance of communities developing what they need to support their families and children will need regional support.  As above, we are planning a Zoom meeting call for December 2020 to look at creating a Not-for-Profit organization to guide this journey.

To get in touch with questions or to find out how to get involved, please contact Raising the Villages' Communications Coordinator, Amanda Knight.  Learn more abut the coalition, by scrolling down the Gatherings page of our website.  

We look forward to hearing from you!

Questions?  Networking opportunity?  Send us an email

Have you liked our Facebook page?

A great way to learn of Raising the Villages' news and updates is to like our Facebook page and follow our posts.  Connect with us at @RaisingtheVillages.

We also invite you to use the #RaisingtheVillages hashtag so that our collective posts about #WelcomingSpaces, #WelcomingCommunities, #EquityFromTheStart, #Childhood, #EarlyYears, #InvestingEarlyMatters, #FirstYearsFirst, #EarlyChildhoodDevelopment, #Education, #LocalFood, #FoodSecurityCB, #HealthyEating, and inclusive activities that are #FamilyFriendly reducing social isolation in #CapeBreton #Unamaki, link together - creating a forum for #CBCommunities to share like-minded information.