Have you found your tribe?

Community spirit is something that is not just alive during the silly season, but something we need to foster, recognise and build all year long.

Born from personal experience and based on our community reconnecting with those that feel disconnected, ‘Tribe’, a social enterprise project founded by Ryan Elson, is set to change our community for the better.

Sitting down with Ryan, Peninsula Life find out all about Tribe, and how we can all aid to make our world a better place starting with one connection at a time.

What is Tribe?

“Tribe is a Social Enterprise based around our community re-connecting with those that feel disconnected, isolated or lonely,” shares Ryan Elson, founder of Tribe.

“We as a community seem to have lost our personal contact with those on the fringe, and instead, have taken to pointing fingers at Government agencies to deal with ‘the problem’. This approach has failed. Human beings are social creatures that need personal interaction and a sense of social belonging. Only we as a community can create that.”

How did Tribe come about?

“In the past 2 years I have gone through a sudden unexpected end of a 20 year relationship. This ended up with me living by myself instead of my family of 5. I have then had my son diagnosed with cancer, amongst other things.

Throughout all of this I always had a group of friends that would lift me up, hold me as I cried or be there for me for a chat. I started to wonder what would it be like if I didn’t have that group? What if I didn’t have my Tribe? I didn’t think that this was fair so I decided to do something about it by creating Tribe. A place where people can reach out for that same support I had.

It also started me thinking about my childhood, and how important a tribe is growing up. I had no parents by age 9 and no good role models until my foster parents stepped up when I was about 15. I was on a bad path but thankfully they gave me love and direction.

I would like to provide that feeling of inclusion and worthiness to as many young people as possible with the help of my Tribe.”

How will Tribe change our community?

Tribe will work primarily in 2 areas.

One… Tribe Gathering

Tribe gathering is an opportunity for basic social interaction between people who may not normally interact. These groups will include but not be limited to people with disabilities, youth at risk, people with mental health issues and the lonely. It is very difficult to understand a group’s lives and requirements if you have never met them. We aim to close this gap and create a better understanding and connections in our community.

As a result of these closer ties a greater sense of social belonging and community inclusion will grow both for those in hardship and also for those that appear to be on the successful side of the coin to feel that they are making positive change.

Two… Tribe Youth

Tribe Youth is a program whereby respected community elders provide guidance and support for young men that require it. Involvement in Tribe Youth will be entirely voluntary.

The program will involve different groups providing training in an area that they are familiar with and equipped for. The outcomes will be:

  • Personal Pride in participants
  • Increased social skills
  • Decrease in antisocial behaviour
  • Exposure to different life paths
  • Employment opportunities for both sponsors and participants
  • A personal long running connection between participants and sponsor

How can people support Tribe?

“The best thing people can do to support Tribe is to turn up at our gatherings. To come along and have discussions with people they wouldn’t normally speak to and connect with their community. Opportunities will then flow from those connections such as friendships, personal support, possible employment opportunities and the like.”

How can people join the Tribe and what would they contribute/what would it entail?

“We don’t have membership as such for Tribe itself. Tribe gathering is open for everyone if they are respectful to others. Tribe Youth will be calling for young men to come forward if they would like to benefit from community role models and learn skills that they may not currently have access to for whatever reason.”

 

The next official Tribe Gathering is on 26th November 2018 5:30pm at Cactus Jacks in Redcliffe. Come along and improve your community!

You can follow Tribe on Facebook (Tribe Social Belonging) or check out the website for more details tribebelonging.com.au