End World Poverty

How many different projects to you know that are claiming they are working to end world poverty?

There are food-banks, crop development, lending programs, training programs, projects for housing, clean water, sanitation, education, political reform and more.  And yet, have you noticed that none has been able to end world poverty.

Pope Francis, in his June 2015 Encyclical, pointed out that the only way we will end world poverty and environmental problems is with a comprehensive approach. That doing only highly focused projects (band-aids on symptoms) will never resolve the complex problem called poverty.  A comprehensive approach is exactly what is described in the book Poverty as my Teacher – Learning to Create Sustainable Family Communities by Robert E Miller Amazon E-Book Link.  In that book, Miller describes how for countries to have a healthy economy and society, they must have more healthy communities than unhealthy communities.  He explains how over 800 volunteers, universities and other organizations have contributed their ideas on how to create poverty-free Communities that have a sustainable economy, environment, food-supply and society.  They have created the path out of poverty for those who will follow it. This is a way of Leading the Way Out of Global Poverty® without using government money or ongoing donations.

Volunteer Opportunities in Colorado, New E-Book Release!

The most life-changing experience in my life was a volunteer opportunity to help at an orphanage in Mexico.  Little did I know that would change the course of my life. After continuing to volunteer at that orphanage whenever I could over a period of two years, I found myself in the process of adopting two of the children.

During the five year adoption process I found other volunteer opportunities at the orphanage that helped me see the socialization differences between children who are raised in orphanages and those who are being raised in a family. I began to learn that poverty and its effects was the reason over 90% of the children were in that orphanage. Some due to abuse, some neglect and many because their parent(s) could not afford to care for them

This became the starting point of what is a new initiative of Sustainable Family Communities® that are Leading the Way Out of Global Poverty® and a new E-book release explaining its importance – Poverty as my Teacher – Learning to Create Sustainable Family Communities https://www.amazon.com/Poverty-As-Teacher-Sustainable-Communities-ebook/dp/B01I0G33U4/ref=sr_1_1?ie=UTF8&qid=1468359590&sr=8-1&keywords=poverty+as+my+teacher by Robert E Miller.  As it describes, by lowering poverty, more children will be able to stay in their families and fewer will need to experience life in orphanages.

Check out our new E-Book to see how Sustainable Development will end work hunger

A friend recently shared an example of helping with me that involved their church teens.  The group identified a family that had a home that needed painting. The family agreed to let the teens do the project. On the day of the project, the family sat on the porch and in the yard, not helping, but watching the teens do all the work.

When an individual or group takes on the challenge of helping those who live in poverty, they often consider what the impoverished need without asking those who are impoverished. The problems are approached from the viewpoint of the “helper” rather than asking those who will be helped what do they think they need.

All too often, when projects are approached this way, the helpers do a project that makes themselves feel good, but does not address what was really wanted or needed by the recipients.  This tends to result in a lack of ownership, appreciation or commitment on the part of those receiving the help.

Our new E-book, Poverty as my Teacher – Learning to Create Sustainable Family Communities, https://www.amazon.com/Poverty-As-Teacher-Sustainable-Communities-ebook/dp/B01I0G33U4/ref=sr_1_1?ie=UTF8&qid=1468359590&sr=8-1&keywords=poverty+as+my+teacher gives more examples of what is needed to have a project that will last – true sustainable development. The starting point is getting those who will benefit involved in deciding what needs to be done and in the doing of the project.

Volunteer Opportunities to End World Hunger

There are thousands of Volunteer Opportunities, organizations and projects that are attempting to end world hunger.

The United Nations, Foundations such as Save the Children, Churches, Universities, volunteer organizations and individuals are working to assist those who do not have food for themselves or their children to survive from day-to-day.

While the goal of the work being done is laudable, helping those who are starving or about to starve, the projects, methods and their success come into question because hunger still exists. Are they being helped to be self-sufficient or being trapped in charity?

Steve Whitney-Wise said, “You see, charity is a word that makes me nervous. It’s a word that lets us all off the hook. Charity can actually be a means of perpetuating injustice, hunger, and homelessness by throwing money at the poor without changing the systems that promote poverty”        

What he points out is that rarely do we look at the causes of problems such as hunger.  Yes, it is important to feed those who are starving today, but we also need to look at what caused them to be unable to feed themselves and address those issues or they will always be trapped needing more help.

The causes of hunger can be many. Unemployment and not having funds to purchase food. It may be they have no land on which to grow food. It may be they don’t know how to grow or catch food. It may be that local conditions or regulations do not permit them to work or to grow food.  There are often combinations of issues such as these that make a complex trap, thus setting up the need for more charity, more donations.

These challenges are what have led to the design for Sustainable Family Communities (SFC).  The Communities “build in” what is needed to address the causes of hunger identified above.

The SFCs are designed to help those in need to be able to create jobs, produce food and education for the workers, residents and children to know how to live in a way that they have the food and other necessities they need for a decent quality of life. The SFCs address the causes of hunger and poverty.

The Volunteer Opportunities with Sustainable Family Communities are many.  As our theme says, we are Leading the Way Out of Global Poverty(R) by showing those who need help, how to help themselves to create a path out of poverty.  Contact us to learn how you can help to eradicate world poverty and hunger.

Not fighting poverty, but helping the impoverished to create their own prosperity

Four-year-old Jose did his best to protect his 2-year-old brother as their drunken father beat them and their mother again. Later, when found abandoned in a bus depot, the boys talked about burying their mother. Victims of the stresses and effects of poverty, for the next 8 years, they grew up with other children who had similar stories, in an impoverished orphanage in Guadalajara, Mexico. With his anger, is there any question why Jose grew to be referred to as the worst behaving child in the 15 year history of the institution?

Coincidentally, a volunteer, Bob, who had discovered that the best treatment for his depression was to help others in need, began helping at the orphanage every couple of months and fell in love with all 120 children. During his visits, he noticed that Jose took very good care of his little brother – teaching, protecting, playing and helping him at meal time. Bob began to compliment Jose on being such a good teacher, coach and leader for his brother. Over a two-year-period, the boys started to look forward to the next time they would see Bob, and he them.

Rafael, the gentleman who ran the orphanage with his wife Hilda, died and it was closed. Children were put with relatives or sent to other orphanages. At that time, Jose made a life changing decision, took his little brother and moved into the house of their favorite volunteer, who at the time was away on a business trip. He then placed a handwritten sign on the door, Bienvenidos Bob.

Upon Bob’s return, came the initial shock and the question, “Nice to see you, but why are you here?” After learning the situation, conversations with friends and attorneys, Bob began a five-year-adoption process of the two kids who had first adopted him.

The two boys, then growing up in their new home, family and social setting, wanted to visit the friends they had grown up with in the orphanage. When he took them to do that, Bob began to notice a growing gap in socialization between his two sons, now part of a family, and their friends who remained in institutions. After 3 years, Hilda, the lady who with her husband had run the orphanage where Jose got his reputation as a problem child, came to visit the boys. When leaving, she said, “Jose is not the same child I had in the orphanage.”  In that moment, Bob understood, “We must find a way to keep children out of institutions and get those who are there back into families.”  That knowing was the seed that evolved into the nonprofit Our Family Orphan Communities, Inc. (O.F.O.C.).

Since then, extensive needs and wants evaluations and research were accomplished in Mexico and Vietnam. That investigation resulted in a master plan, created by more than 20 architects using additional input from over 800 contributors from 18 countries, and completed by CU College of Architecture. The resulting comprehensive plan is a way to help those who live in the extreme poverty of urban slums to help themselves out of poverty without charity or government subsidies.  They are guided in the creation of food-producing commercial businesses that have jobs, training, wages, bonuses and ownership.  All profits are then used to build out homes, facilities and services that a sustainable community needs, and to help start more communities so more people can work their way out of poverty.

As each of these poverty-free Sustainable Family Communities® is built, you will see more stable families, fewer children ending up in institutions and any families in the communities that want to adopt children out of orphanages are provided support to do so.  O.F.O.C’s joy is seeing children in their prospering families.

The theme for this initiative is, Leading the way out of global poverty™ by helping the impoverished to create Sustainable Family Communities®.   The book about its history and methodology, Poverty as my Teacher – Learning to Create Sustainable Family Communities, is free for your download at: www.ofoc.org/free.

You can participate in helping people to create a better life for themselves one Community at a time. Learn more, volunteer and make a tax-deductible donation to O.F.O.C.  at: www.SustainableFamilyCommunities.org.