Pilot Project Proposal
to our very first Pilot Project Proposal!
This is a working draft, which means that it is still in the process of being tweaked, edited, developed, etc. We are very open to idea's, suggestions, constructive criticism and comments - so please feel free to get in touch and let us know what you think.
A little bit about us...
ELF is a not for profit company based currently in South Africa. ELF has a very wide focus of attention that spans across all the majors issues in society. Up until now, ELF's primary activities have been virtual - investigating the causes of societal issues and developing proposals that are aimed at addressing those causes. ELF has a holistic approach to global issues within the understanding that the problems we face as a global society are interconnected - we cannot entirely solve one without solving the rest. It is within this recognition of the scope of the task we face that ELF is dedicated not only to one sphere of issues, but is committed to developing solutions that address the major causes of all global issues.
Having said that, for this particular document the focus will be on the economic aspects of the global issues we face.
It can be said that money plays a big role in almost all of the issues we are facing as a global society - from poverty to war to animal abuse and psychological disorders - It is usually either the lack of or desire for money that is the driving force behind any major problem. In South Africa, lack of money and the resulting outflow of side effects is hands down the bigger issue. Rates of poverty, illiteracy, drug/alcohol abuse, psychological and health related issues and poor quality of life are very high.
The connection between poverty (including low level of education) and people resorting to crime, alcohol abuse, drug abuse, domestic violence, poor prospects for the future, rates of HIV/AIDS infections, incidences of treatable diseases/infections leading to severely reduced quality of life or even death, health problems due to lack of proper hygiene or clean drinking water, psychological issues - the list can go on - is undeniable. The sad fact is that all of this is preventable if every person is ensured a comfortable life in which all their basic needs are met (food, health care, education, housing, clothing, clean water, safety).
Poverty has created not only these visible consequences, but also the less visible and more felt consequences of human behaviour and thought processes. ELF aims to address not only the economical factors we face, but also those psychological effects that so many people live with. An example would be the limited critical reasoning skills that lead so many people to make poor life choices.
ELF has developed a proposal that is aimed at addressing multiple deficiencies in the structure of our society and would like to test this proposal in a real community in South Africa.
ELF would like to construct an entirely new community in a space that is relatively uninhabited but still conveniently located so that there is easy access to clean water, electricity, cell signal and a decent road network. The size of the community will be small at first and will grow slowly and meticulously in order to prevent overcrowding and rushed (and therefore liable to have mistakes) infrastructure. The design of the community will have equal measures of modernity and natural landscapes to allow for the members of the community to produce their own foods on a small to medium scale.
In the early stages the members of the community will be screened and chosen very carefully as they will become the pillars of the community. They will need to have an honest nature and a good work ethic, understanding that they will have to contribute to the creation of their community and cannot simply sit back and watch. A high level of education will not be required for the average community member. Each member of the community will be asked to agree to the principles of the community - those who do not agree with or live by those principles will be asked to leave. This may sound extreme without the full context that the principles will by focused on practical and considerate living - for example:
- Do unto another as you would like to have done unto you
- Love thy neighbour as thy brother
- Abuse is unacceptable
None of the principles will be exclusionary or religious in nature (although some may be taken from religious texts). The principles will be aimed simply at the best interests of the community and its members.
The initial members will also include people who have dedicated themselves to public service, such as teachers, nurses, doctors, farmers and so on. These memberswill also be chosen carefully to ensure that they possess the vision that will be required to develop and adapt the best possible support structures for the community members as a whole. For example: the teachers will need to be creative and dedicated to developing ways to educate and empower their students to become productive and considerate members of society - and their students will include many adults who previously had no opportunities to receive an education. The average public school teacher will simply not be adequate to fulfill this role - each teacher will need to have a strong purpose and vision for the future.
Members of the community will include all different races and creeds - this will show that people from different cultures can live together in respect and harmony with each other.
Each member will need to contribute to the growth and stability of the community in one way or another. Each person will be encouraged to develop a skill that they find personally fulfilling. There will be no role to small.
Each unemployed member will receive a Living Income - sufficient for them to meet all of their basic needs. The minimum wage for any employed person will be DOUBLE the living income - this will encourage people to work so that they can afford luxuries.
The goal of the community will be one of empowerment, not only financial empowerment but also empowerment through the development of skills and critical reasoning. Media will be focused on promoting open and unbiased discussions.
In order to maximise the chances of success, it will be very important to choose community leaders very specifically. In all likelihood the majority of the community leaders will be female due simply to the more practical and down to earth nature of the female mind compared to the typical man.