The purpose of this section is primarily to provide examples of activities and services that the foundation can provide at the neighborhood level in order to encourage social intercourse within and among the general populace at the local level. Not only should the local people need to come by the foundation offices for the sake of business, but the overall environment should be one in which the people can be relaxed and at ease.
The concept of sponsoring social functions and affairs as a means to put the people at ease and to encourage more honest and active participation of the people in their own government has worked exceedingly well in those areas wherein it has been tried.
Each and every foundation office should be located by a public playground of sorts, with a soccer and football field, basketball courts and other similar venues wherein the people can enjoy social events. The housing and other structures should include an active indoor recreational area and other common facilities in more isolated locationsi. Commercial kitchens should likely be made available in all of the community developments and especially within the community service centers built in smaller, more isolated communities, generally those lacking common or modern conveniences, wherein such a provision will allow for the safe and sanitary preparation and long-term storage of the goods harvested by the local people.
During social functions, it is imperative that the selected members and/or liaisons of the foundation make themselves available to talk with the local people regarding any and all concerns that they may have in regards to what is good and what is bad about the foundation, the communities, what is needed, what is working, what is not working and other concerns that people may normally be more hesitant to discuss in a formal office setting or more formal meetingii.
The usual inclusion of staff for such events may be a bit challenging. In some cases, this may be due to the high cost of operating such events and other social functions, though again, with the systemic approach, there should be an ample supply of manpower from within the local community development already in place.
It is inevitable, especially in the earlier phases of development, that many of the people from among the local population are going to require training and education. With one of the major focal points of this education being the provision of real world skills and marketable skill sets, there should be an ample supply of cooks, wait staff and even managers and/or overseers to ensure that everything is properly prepared and introduced. When the community developments are established to the extent that they are fully mature, the goods necessary for such an event will be readily accessible and would cost only a fraction of their original amount as the only tangible loss would be the loss of potential profit from the full retail sales of those goodsiii.
While this is not meant to be a comprehensive list, it should give some idea of the types of social functions that can be offered to the local community, and help to ensure that the foundation offices are a location for the community and a viable destination for entertainment and socializing, and not merely a formal office setting where the people are forced to go from time to time.
One of the more popular and successful efforts to extract real, viable information from the local people living and working within the communities, has been to create a series of community festivals. The festivals may revolve around local celebrations, traditions and customs or may be wholly new to the people. The reason for the celebration is not nearly as important as the celebration itself. During these celebrations, local representatives of the community, utilizing subtle psychological nuances and an inherent knowledge of the local people, their customs and traditions, can speak more openly to the people and generate more candid responses from the local residents. These functions also seem to work very well for extracting the concerns of local leaders and others in a position of authority who may be less likely to discuss such matters in their usual, more formal settings.
The foundation should generally contribute the majority of goods that will be consumed but must also invite people from the community to bring their own “potluck” dishes as well. While the overall success does not tend to hinge solely on the active participation of the residents, their participation does seem to give them at least a psychological sense of importance and belonging and being more honest in their contributions of ideas in addition to goods and/or services. Other options include the creation of an “Entertainment Center” along the lines of a state fair. This may be a permanent structure or a temporary structure depending on the available resources and/or space.
Activity Centers should be large enough to serve as meeting halls or town centers with separate facilities (the recreation room etc) for the children to have activities while the residents and citizens meet to discuss pertinent and relevant issues regarding the oversight and daily operations of the community as a whole. It is foreseen that there will be a day when an International Cooperative will be built for members of all of the Isolated Community Service Centers and Community Developments around the globe, to provide markets and a unified voice for the poor and impoverished around the world. The foundation and Administrative offices for such a venture however, should remain separate and apart from the Activity Centers. In such a configuration, the children will have supervised activities while the parents are dealing with the oversight and operations and otherwise ensuring their own social and economic freedom for themselves and for their children and posterity.
“Townhall Meetings” should be held quarterly, as meetings held too frequently tend to lose their appeal and effectiveness and become little more than dull repetition giving the opportunity for a select few individuals to put on a mostly meaningless show of self-importanceiv. The purpose of these meetings should be to address the concerns and issues any of the local people may have but they should also be utilized as an opportunity to bring families together for fun and education. Sports, challenges and other competitions may be great for the children and provide more incentive for the parents to more willingly and actively participate in their own governance.
Cooking contests and other similar contests for young adults and the grown ups, always allow for an ardent, fun and fulfilling competition for many of the local residentsv. There may be scholastic contests or even a showing of local skills in some kind of competition for both traditional native skills and modern skills. All of these different interests and pursuits can be scheduled at different times to make each town-hall meeting a celebration in addition to a meeting of the local leaders and anyone who may be suffering hardships despite the improvements.
Bike and Skateboard Recreational Park
Not all children will excel in the same sports. As such, it is highly recommended that a large and sundry array of facilities be created for and on behalf of the children. Physical and outdoor activities should be encouraged as much as technical, vocational and scholastic activities. Whether the interest of the children is in basketball, tennis, biking, skateboarding or other venues, every effort should be made to provide facilities where the children can practice and even compete against each other in areas where they are more interested and capable. Formal competitions along the lines of educational intramural activities should be supported and encouraged wherever possible. All of the requisite safety equipment should be made available both for the children seeking to participate in informal events and for those that may participate in more formal intramural or intra-communal sporting events.
Basketball Court and Soccer Field
Basketball Courts and Soccer Fields may easily be associated with the previous section regarding recreational areas, but these areas have the added benefit of being more multi-purpose and functional in some ways than the more limited areas noted previously herein. The basketball courts can serve equally well for basketball, tennis and even squash or other similar activities. The soccer fields can be used for soccer (or more accurately, football … as opposed to American football) rugby, Australian rules football, American football or even to host track and field events or other local celebrations and competitions regarding more traditional tribal and native activitiesvi. There should be permanent fixtures such as a semi-open stadium to allow for a wider array of activities to be hosted at these locations. Additional fixtures may include small stores and/or other areas where participants can gather and relax when they are not involved with the activities either as participants or as spectators.
These programs should be heavily marketed so as to attract larger audiences into the community, not only for the sake of economic benefit, but for a broader and more comprehensive for Sustainable, Systemic Human Growth and Development as well as to a more symbiotic means of living for future principles of Sustainable Development.
Indoor Recreation or Rec Room
As has been noted, all of the individuals are going to have different likes and dislikes and different areas where they do well and where they do not. For those who are not more enthralled by outdoor activities, a wide selection of indoor activities should be made available. Table tennis and foosball may be best when they are kept separated from the chess and checkers section, but there should be at least one facility with a wide selection of indoor activities, perhaps even to include a gymnasium and fitness center, and preferably an indoor swimming pool and sauna.
Arts and Crafts Workshops
There should be continual classes regarding Arts and Crafts. While these arts and crafts may cover a wide ranging selection of different arts and styles, a good portion of the focus should be on traditional arts and crafts for two reasons. One, these will be culturally appropriate and two, they will be among the most easily marketed both locally and internationally. When the online websites are up and people visit the website, they should have the option to purchase local goods no matter where they are in the worldvii. In this way, any of the costs to the community can be recouped and it provides an expanded marketplace for the individual artists. The proceeds from any and all sales should directly benefit the artist.
Commercial Kitchen Facilities
The commercial kitchen facilities should be kept up in accordance with HACCP standards and practicesviii. The reason for having commercial sized kitchens is twofold. First, the kitchens need to be large enough to allow for the teaching of the local residents in how to use the modern equipment and standard food safety practices. Also it should be utilized for the introduction of courses on modern food storage including refrigeration and dry storage, with a physical allocation of space to each resident who requires such facilities including storage locations for both dry and refrigerated goods. Second, the commercial kitchen can serve as a location for providing meals in times of emergency, for teaching courses in canning, dry and refrigerated, proper food storage and even for a central location to work from for the many cook-off events that should be held within the community development. Furthermore, this facility could be introduced as a means to introduce the importance and necessity of personal hygiene.
This kitchen should also serve as a viable training location for those that may be pursuing interests in the culinary arts as a marketable skill. Efforts could focus on the provision of hot meals for schools, police and military personnel, the elderly and the infirm, many of whom will have dietary restrictions, and other such feeding programs as shall be undertaken by the foundation within the community development.
Food Storage Facilities (Dry & Cold Storage)
As part of the Commercial Kitchen venture, these locations should be kept up and maintained in accordance with HACCP standards. Facilities for the commercial kitchen should be as large as needed with additional pantry, cooler and freezer space allotted for each individual resident who does not possess modern means of food storageix. Current circumstances are such that when the truly impoverished people harvest agricultural produce and/or livestock, they do not have the capacity to store the proverbial fruits of their labor and must often sell them at a greatly discounted price in order to avoid losing the majority, if not the entirety of their harvest.
Their circumstances, without any means of food storage, are such that even efforts to improve their personal situation are not fully rewarded and do not allow for them to benefit in the same way others, more well situated would benefit from the same harvest. As such, even their efforts to improve their lives are not fully rewarded and they are still left lacking and impoverished even after working as hard as any others. This leaves them yet again in a position with a very little amount of money and scarce, if any food reserves on hand.
Food Preparation and Safety Courses
Food storage and safety should not only be taught, but supplies provided to allow for the local people to keep and store their own produce and livestock that they have harvested. In this way, they will be capable of storing that part of their harvest that they wish or need to keep for personal use while at the same time allowing them to store fresh harvests for sale at a more reasonable pace and allowing them to sell the surplus harvest at full wholesale and/or retail rates rather than being forced to sell it at a discounted price for immediate disposal or use. Foods that are kept can be kept for a matter of months or even years with proper, safe and sanitary preservationx.
Personal Health and Hygiene
While matters of personal health and hygiene may seem like little more to common sense for the majority of people living in modern homes with modern conveniences, many of the more rural locations in the world lack such basic knowledge. This is even more true when they lack even the most basic facilities necessary to allow them to practice personal health and hygiene. Not only should the housing provided for the people living within the community development include modern facilities and modern conveniences such as tubs, showers, bidets, sinks and even hot and cold running water, but classes should be offered to these people to help them to learn the basic principles and importance of matters of personal hygiene.
Vocational and Technical Training Courses
Vocational and technical training will be a requisite for a wide array of globally marketable skills and skill sets. Further courses should also be offered, not only in regards to the equipment being utilized, but to other marketable, more global skill-sets. Technical vocations such as heating and air conditioning, welding, mechanics and other courses should be offered, not only to the students whose aptitude battery results indicate they would be more successful in such ventures, but to other adults as well. Some of the adults may be hesitant or even reluctant to participate in such courses, but they should still be made available when a sufficient number of participants have an interest and experts are available to teach them, either in a formal or more informal setting. Once again, the Community Service Centers would serve as an ideal location for these purposes, though there may be better settings for some select courses. These additional locations will be included within the corporate entities as the community developments reach a more comprehensive level of maturity, though may extend beyond the limitations of the corporate entities within any individual community development.
Laundry is sometimes completed in large groups and sometimes alone, depending on the settings and local customs and traditions. One thing that does remain common however, is the tendency of people washing clothes in the rivers and streams and even at local water stations, is the lack of proper facilities to adequately and properly handle the laundry being washed there.
While there may be a viable source of water, there is not often an adequate drainage system in place and chemicals from the soaps, oils and other contaminants from overly soiled clothing and other toxins are routinely dumped directly back into the soils and local aquifers. Not only does this poison the water, but it leads to reduced crop productions, reduced life spans and a host of other environmental and personal health concerns that can be relatively easily rectified with the proper planning.
The laundry facilities at the Community Service Center should be equipped with commercial and industrial washersxi. There should be a sufficient number of washing machines on site to allow for a number of people to handle their washing chores at the same time. It is hoped that this will allow for and even encourage groups of people to socialize and interact during even the most tedious and mundane of chores.
Not all of the people will be able to come to the central facilities as provided by the Community Service Center or Community Developments however, and large numbers of people are expected to continue to do their laundry in more isolated water stations, at pumps, wells, rivers, streams and other locations closer to home. Certain areas, strategically located throughout the available property, should be installed with viable drainage systems capable of handling the septic treatment of the residual wastewater from the laundering process. These should also be equipped with a well and/or a pump to provide an adequate supply of water to wash the laundry and a drain that pipes the septic water a safe distance from the well head to allow for natural treatment of the water before it is released back into the soil and the local aquifer.
It is more preferable still, to combine these efforts with existing irrigation projects and other means of providing clean and sanitary water and viable sewage, septic and/or other drainage systems. In more rural locations however, the inclusion of full irrigation systems replete with canals and locks should also be introduced where necessary. This should also help to greatly reduce the levels of erosion and other common problems associated with more primitive techniques of irrigation.
Life Skills Courses
Life Skills courses may come in a variety of different types and stylesxii. It may be cooking classes, sewing classes, computer classes or even teaching people some of the other skills as are listed herein. It may additionally include Cultural Skills, Cultural Exchange or even learning the idiosyncrasies of different regions of the world and how to avoid conflict when dealing with other cultures and societal norms. It may be ancient traditions or other teachings of old or it may be introductions into modern conveniences and technologies. It may even be lessons teaching young children how to fish and hunt and survive off the land in some locations.
Life Skills Courses should be made available in such a fashion so as to be interesting, preferably fun and to include those skills which may be necessary in life, given the location in which the participants may live and even additional assistance for those who may be integrating into new societies and cultures through emigration.
Given the situation in the world today, the primary language courses should be offered in English, French and the various local dialects. Other options may be offered should the (relative) experts be available to teach them, but given the current global situation, a focus should be placed on the local languages. Reading, writing and verbal skills should be taught in at least English and French, if not in the native languages and dialects. English will be imperative for more global pursuits and French will be prevalent throughout many of the more Internationally based global Non Governmental Organizations and for other purposes.
Verbal skills should be the primary focus though reading and writing would both be almost equally beneficial to the students, even in the most rural environments.
i It should be relatively obvious that a foundation office located in a large city is not going to need to provide safe and sanitary kitchen and laundry facilities for all of the local residents. However, in many of the more isolated regions, these services may be severely lacking, especially in regards to any ability for the impoverished to preserve or store their harvests. In such isolated and more rural environments, the inclusion of these facilities should be as much for the health and well-being of the general populace as for serving any real social function. Commercial kitchen facilities however, should be prevalent in all centers, if for no other reason than for the catering of local social functions.
ii Someone forced to go into a government office for a meeting is much more likely to be tense and restrained than someone going to a barbecue or brownie bake-off. The inclusion of all of these social functions should assist in the ability of the people to be more naturally … even subconsciously relaxed when going to the foundation offices, even in the event that they may be there for more formal meetings. Children will be provided with supervision, snacks and other guidance for as long as parents may be required to be in meetings, though older children may elect to participate in active sporting activities outside or in less strenuous efforts inside. The psychology remains the same in either event, to make the foundation offices a location that does not create any undue mental duress, whether consciously or not.
iii Produce would come from the fully matured food forests, and livestock from the farms producing all of the local goods. Thus, the produce provided for such an event may not make it to market, but the actual cost of production would not increase. Likewise, with livestock, the livestock could no longer be marketed through the foundation stores or restaurants or many franchise opportunities, but neither would it add up to a financial loss as it has already been factored in as a loss in other areas under the incorporated model. Such give and take among the subsidiary corporate entities bundled together under a single incorporation are already quite common utilizing the standard (capitalist) principles of incorporation.
iv The Ombudsman and Citizen Review Board should be a constant feature of the Foundation Offices, working normal business hours during the week as any administrative offices would. However, these same people should actively participate in all social activities so as to ensure that any rumors or legitimate complaints of the citizens, can be addressed and moved up to the next level when circumstances require a higher level decision to be made in regards to those complaints. However, it should not be believed that people will just naturally come forward to complain, seeing as it may be, in many minds, biting the proverbial hand that feeds them. It is imperative to keep people as at ease as possible in order that issues and areas of concern can be adequately addressed and rectified before they become socially detrimental affairs.
v These should be akin to the Chili Cook-offs and Rib Cook-offs and Barbecue Cook-offs and Fish-n-Chips Cook-offs that seem to be so prevalent and increasingly popular in Western society, though with an added focus on local specialties.
vi Again and only as a point of reference, some current examples would be the Scottish Highland Games, the Society for Creative Anachronism, or the Lumberjack Games and other similar venues that are increasingly popular throughout the US and in some portions of Europe. These activities will place a highlight on the historical and cultural traditions of the native people and at the same time, potentially open up such venues for the introduction, if not an integration of modern society into the social, cultural and even historical norms of the tribe.
vii It may be possible to negotiate orders and/or merchandising with more traditional “brick and mortar” retail outlets but this would require additional logistic and marketing support that may price some crafts out of the marketplace except in high-end specialty shops that may have suitable markets for such items.
viii Hazard Analysis and Critical Control Point (HACCP) Standards and their enforcement in establishments that serve food and the establishment of minimal standards of training for doctors, nurses, healthcare professionals and others who have a direct impact on the life and health of the individual is part of an overall program to increase the health and well being of the individual within the Community Development. The Commercial Kitchen Facilities should be utilized by the local residents and kept up and maintained and cleaned in full accordance with HACCP Standards.
ix It would not be a bad idea to provide such storage space in dry pantries, walk-in coolers and walk-in freezers for all of the people living and/or working within the community and not just for a select few. This is especially true in more isolated areas and throughout the third world where “modern conveniences” are scarce or not at all existent in common use.
x It is highly recommended that processes such as Food Canning (in Mason jars) be conducted under supervision until such a time that the individuals are well aware of all of the issues and dangers of pressure cookers and improper food preparation. This should include bacteria and germs as well, but most notably the issues of pressure cookers blowing up when improperly used for immediate concerns.
xi Commercial dryers can be installed if they are deemed to be necessary, but given the amount of energy they waste and the ability to dry clothes on clothes lines and in other more natural ways, the dryers are not highly recommended and only recommended by some among the people proposing the project.
xii Life Skills should be notable as any and all such skills as would be beneficial to the life of anyone, more particularly anyone living within a given location as some skills that may be necessary in that location, may not be so prevalent in other areas of the world. Conversely, when people are emigrating to new lands, life skills may include an introduction to the new culture and social norms of the area(s) where these people will be emigrating to.