Meeting 4-4
Focus: Community Action

The basic structure of this meeting is the same as Meeting 1.1 - refer back for more information.

Some issues may have come up during check-in that the group may wish to spend more time on rather than moving straight into the 'focus'; or perhaps some issue is still to be dealt with from the previous week. When it is appropriate the leader moves the group into the main focus for this meeting.

The focus for this meeting is to explore community action possibilities

A men's group often gets to a place where it wants to be able to reach out into the community at large and do some kind of work, or task, to assist the community in some way. This motivation arises out of the growth and support experienced in group. Additionally some men may want to respond to the needs they perceive in their community, and it may well be that a coordinated effort given by a group of men could be invaluable assistance. This is an opportunity to explore, to act from a positive and supportive place and effect a healthy change or outcome within a community.

In addition it could be argued that there is a desperate need for healthy male role models for young men and boys to be visible within the community, to counter-act the often negative stereotyping of what 'masculinity' is within the media, as a result of their focusing on the sometimes tragic and harmful behaviours perpetrated by a small percentage of men.

Exercises

  1. Is there anyone with a specific idea or task that they want to focus on?
    1. What is required? Time commitment? How much help is needed? What skills are needed?
    2. Who benefits?
    3. What is the potential outcome?
    4. Are we ready to tackle this? As a group? As individuals?
    5. What is my resistance about? Limited energy/time? Low interest? Other?
  2. If we do want to be involved in the community, how do we select the 'right' task? Do we start small (ie short term project) and build onto each success in a stepwise fashion? Or do we go for the high-profile high-effort big issue? Is this realistic/achievable?
  3. How do we find out what areas could benefit from our help?
    1. Volunteer agencies?
    2. Newspapers?
    3. Charitable organizations? Men's organizations?
    4. Food bank; churches etc
    5. Neighbourhood watch?
    6. School programs?
    7. Other?
  4. What areas best suit us, ie this group of individuals, what interests us most? - what do we perceive our skills to be?
  5. Where have we volunteered in the past? What was the result? How did we feel about it?
  6. Does someone want to research this and set it up for the group?

Follow-up Meetings

If the group does undertake community action tasks, it will be helpful to take the time to explore the issues and feelings that come out of those experiences at the next meeting after each 'task' - so as to keep things conscious, real and in the moment. See follow-up exercises for Meetings 4-1 or 4-2.