Where does the funding come from?
There are two main parts to the funding.
- First is to acquire the operational funds needed for the representative of the parent nonprofit, Our Family Orphan Communities, Inc. (O.F.O.C.) to assist the supporters of the project to establish a nonprofit/NGO or other appropriate entity in the local country. That in-country organization receives title for the land and will be responsible for the building, and oversight of the Community(ies). These operating funds for O.F.O.C. may come from donors anywhere in the world.
- Second, once land has been donated, the construction funds come from within the local country in the form of grants, donations or loans. O.F.O.C. is not an international charity bringing money from another country, but is willing to help local people to build a better life for themselves. If citizens of that country do not want an SFC, O.F.O.C. does not try to force it.
You said, “The land is to be donated.” By whom?
Neither O.F.O.C. nor the local host country nonprofit, is buying the land for a Community. They are available to assist the local society to improve. If the local officials considering an SFC want to have over 100 new jobs, water, healthcare, education, taxes paid to the state, etc. someone, or an organization or government department, can donate land to show the society wants the Community and benefits for the society. Without that commitment, O.F.O.C. will look to a different location or society that demonstrates by their actions, that they want the benefits.
Are there foreigners living in the Communities?
The Communities are for the local citizens. For example, in Mexico, it is Mexican citizens building Mexican businesses, with Mexican workers and Mexican residents, some of whom are adopting Mexican orphans. During the initial start-up of each new Community, there may be some foreigners helping temporarily as consultants and trainers.
What happens when the kids grow up and begin to have children?
When the children in an SFC (biological or adopted) grow up and get married and have kids, the situation is the same as in any city. Sometimes they live with the parents until they are able to find their own home. If this next generation is working in the Community in which they grew up, and there is a rental home available, they may live there. If there is not a home available, this is one of the reasons each Community continues to spawn others. The children may move into another SFC or anywhere else they as free citizens choose.
Is O.F.O.C. affiliated with any religion?
No. The purpose of O.F.O.C. is to help the poor build a better life and to help orphans to be adopted. O.F.O.C. does not tell the families what religious beliefs to have. The staff members model the nonprofit’s values by what they do. Assistance in implementing the Communities is welcome by volunteers from any religious tradition that believes in the equal value of those in need, whether child or adult, man or woman. While volunteers are helping in the Community, O.F.O.C. asks that they not proselytize.
Can outside investors invest in the commercial businesses?
Yes, but with conditions. The preference is to work with foundations who provide grants for starting SFCs or lenders that want to see the local society improved. An investor will be paid back with appropriate interest. Any additional compensation is to be negotiated. The Communities are not to stay in debt to an outsider or continue to pay profits to anyone outside of the Community organization for any extended period of time.
Are there volunteer opportunities?
Yes. There is a volunteer coordinator working in each Community who can provide details. There is also a need for volunteer board members and advisory team members. Contact the O.F.O.C. home office for more information.
Is this an orphanage?
No, there are only families living and working in the Communities, some of whom are caring for and adopting orphans.
Is this like a Kibbutz?
This is not a communal living situation. The homes are all single-family homes and each family is free to practice its chosen belief system. The Community chores are not done in exchange for food or lodging. All workers are paid a wage for the job they do. The primary shared value is that all residents commit to live in a way that contributes to sustaining the environment, economy, food supply and society of the Community and country.
Is this a cult?
No. There is no religious leader, no rituals and no single religious belief being taught or advocated in these Communities. Individual and religious freedom and choice are honored.
Who is protecting the children in the Community?
The parents and family of the children are the primary protectors. And, because this is a Community where everyone cares about each other, the other Community members protect the children. The third layer is the members of the security and safety department.
Can we make donations to help build a clinic or another Community?
Yes. Donations can be made to either O.F.O.C.-USA or the host country CLO that then oversees the distribution to Communities based on need. Donations made to the USA nonprofit are tax-deductible to USA donors.
How does a Community prevent poor people from just moving in and building their hut next to a home or the businesses?
If the SFCs are going to remain sustainable, they must control their use and size. That is done in several ways, starting with the guidelines and rules that all residents and workers agree to. Also, it is necessary in many areas to be a gated Community with access controlled by the security team.
How would you say what O.F.O.C. is doing in one sentence?
O.F.O.C. is helping local citizens to build new, small Sustainable Family Communities that own commercial businesses which create jobs and profits, use the profits to maintain and operate the Community, and to start additional Communities.
How do you protect from a government takeover?
There are never any guarantees about the future. As a preventative measure, the design calls for land being donated in perpetuity to the nonprofit for the specific use of the SFC. Also, in a host country such as Mexico, it will be an all-Mexican organization, not operated by foreigners. If it is seen by the government as an asset to the state and society, we are optimistic that it will be allowed to continue being that.
Could local cartels take over a Community?
In Mexico for example, there are existing Mexican communities under the control of various cartels. This is another reason the SFC homes are built after the commercial businesses are functioning and employing local citizens. That gives the host country CLO time to carefully develop a relationship with the existing community, observe any potential problems and to select who the Community residents will be.
What about all the rest of the people remaining in the slums?
The SFC initiative is not an instant magic cure. It is a seed that can grow and replicate itself around the world when the conditions are favorable. As more and more Communities replicate themselves several times over, the potential to reduce the slum population is tremendous. As the slum population decreases, it is also easier for traditional social service organizations to help more of those who are still living in the slums. It is important to look at the SFC initiative as a multi-generational path to social sustainability within entire countries.
What if I have further questions?
Please feel free to send us an email if you have any more questions or comments.