MB, a mom and Community Transformation Certificate alumni, shares how engaging with her neighbours with a listening posture helped create a welcoming space for mutual connection, joy and fun for moms and kids in her neighbourhood.
MB is a wife and mother of a toddler in the Kensington neighbourhood of North Philadelphia. She completed the training portion of the CTC in the fall of 2022 and began meeting and listening to moms as they walked to school, asking them what it is like for them to parent in their neighbourhood.
A repeated theme she heard was that mothers wanted to get out of the house and have a safe place to bring their babies and talk to other humans! MB got permission from her local church to use their nursery, and she reached back out to the mothers to let them know that she had found a space and welcomed them to shape a playtime group for parents.
The group started meeting weekly in February. Each week, the mothers share responsibility for setting up, cleaning up, and offering ideas for circle time at the end. The mothers enjoy the time together and use that space to share more about aspects of their lives beyond their children. She has brought in other local volunteers to run fun activities like “Zumbini” (Zumba for parents and babies) that were a hit.
Longtime residents have reconnected to the church as a spiritual home through MB's invitation to the playtime group. While the group is usually 4-5 families, it has begun to draw people from outside the neighbourhood because of MB's welcoming presence.
“Everyone has the ability to be a welcoming person when you are in the Spirit.” - MB, CTC participant
She credits the CTC program for getting her out of the house, in a season of life where it is easy to stay at home, and found the consistent training and coaching to be something to look forward to and keep her moving towards her goal of loving her neighbourhood.
The goal of our Community Transformation Certificate is to help you identify a small seed project that you can do with your neighbours, in order to strengthen an asset or address a need in your community. Learn more and apply at www.servantpartners.ca/ctc