Families for Orphans™ economically sustainable family orphan care
Families for Orphans™ – creating economically sustainable communities with families adopting orphans who will become healthy, educated, responsible adults.
About Your Organization
Our Family Orphan Communities, Inc
Country where this project is creating social impact
Is your organization a
Non‐profit/NGO/citizen sector organization
How long has your organization been operating?
More than 5 years
Has the organization received awards or honors? Please tell us about them
Received by sitting vice-president of Vietnam in 2007 and thanked by her on the national TV news for what we were planning to help the disabled children and people of Vietnam. Unfortunately the funding arranged for this project was not available to meet our timelines.
References - Please provide two references with a two-sentence biography, email address, and phone number for each
Manfred Chemek – senior international investment advisor for Manhelm International, LLC an international real estate investment and consulting firm with offices in the United States and Europe. Board member of Our Family Orphan Communities, Inc. providing guidance with our financial strategies
Cell phone: 720-425-5865
Michael Lanier - Retired executive (Schwab, DHL, Ameritech, Scholastic books,
Rhythms Netconnections and other) Consultant to start-ups. Board member of Our Family Orphan Communities, Inc. Providing experience in organization strategy, development and both domestic and international operations.
Cell phone: 303-809-0048
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Select the stage that best applies to your solution
Idea (you're poised to launch)
How long have you been in operation?
Operating for more than 5 years
Which of the following best describes the barrier(s) your innovation addresses? Choose up to two
The Need: What problem are you trying to solve?
Using a broad definition of “health” including physical, mental, and social health, we see that traditional orphanages or shelters cannot support healthy development of children due to limited staff and resources.
Often the children end up with poor physical health, malnutrition, psychological trauma, inadequate education, poor socialization, no idea what “family” is or does. Children raised in traditional orphanages are not well prepared for their own futures, are ill equipped to contribute to their society and on aging out, may be trafficked.
Families struggle raising adopted orphans when communities do not provide healthy, supportive and sustainable living situations.
The Solution: What is your solution? Be specific!
Assuming the individual and the family are the basic units of any society, it is crucial that families produce children becoming adults who are capable of raising their own children who become sustainable members of a sustainable community and society. With guiding values of quality of life, equality and growth, our solution is to create culturally appropriate, controlled, green communities, with sustainable financial health where families and organizations there can provide orphans with:
- A decent home
- Adoption by parents
- Physical care
- Mental security
- Nutrition/organic food
- Mental health / Psychological care/counselling
- Education –preparation for their future
- Job skills for self-sufficiency and responsibility
- A healthy community social structure
The Model: Walk us through a specific example of how your solution makes a difference; include your primary activities
We are creating:
- economically self-sufficient,
- environmentally green/organic,
- high-technology based
communities in which orphans
- are adopted
- have parents and grandparents,
- receive healthcare,
- receive counselling
- continue their education,
- learn computer skills,
- participate in social, cultural & recreational activities,
- receive job skills training
- have an opportunity to attend trade school or college
are better prepared for their and their country’s future.
We have a master plan for the community developed with University of Colorado College of Architecture College of Architecture and Planning and additional facilities designed by the Colorado School of Mines.
The fully built community will have 35 homes and 150 adopted children. It will own businesses that create over 100 wage paying jobs, provide job skills training for older children, grow organic food and generate profit. All profit from community owned businesses will remain in the non-profit for continuation of its mission;
Children will be provided a secure environment where they can grow to be healthy mentally, physically and socially. They will know what families do. They will be prepared for their own future and capable of improving the quality of life, health and equality of their society.
The Marketplace: Who are your peers and competitors? Identify others also working to address the needs you are and what differentiates you from them. What challenges could these players pose to your success or growth?
- Most orphans are either on the street or in orphanages. All children in our community are adopted, therefore this is not competing with orphanages.
- Once established, our communities will be economically self-sustaining thus not competing for monthly/annual donations with service providers/other nonprofits.
- Present day sustainable communities that exist do not care for orphans.
- Our for profit businesses (primarily organic food-producing) that provide our financial stability will be competing in local marketplaces. We will target primarily high-end, high-margin, customers, while knowing that if and specific market collapses, the food will always sustain the community’s families.
This Entry is about (Issues)
Founding Story: We want to hear about your "Aha!" moment. Share the story of where and when the founder(s) saw this solution's potential to change the world.
After visiting and helping an orphanage several times, Robert adopted two young brothers. His sons, Arturo and Eduardo had spent eight years in the orphanage, so they continued to visit with friends who still lived there. As those visits continued over the next five years, Robert noticed the developmental gap between his boys, now in a family, and their friends who were still in an institution. He saw how much a child learns each day by simply being with an involved parent. This observation, combined with things he saw in the institution, like declining health of the children, little education, no job skills and no idea of what family life meant, caused him to look for a better way to help orphans.
Please describe the goal of your initiative; outline what you are trying to achieve
To get orphans into real families with a nurturing home and community social environment that will help them fully develop their capabilities and to be prepared to raise their own children thus continuing to improve the sustainability of their own society.
Rather than leaving orphans to age out of orphanages unprepared for their or their country’s future, we are creating a private enterprise, nongovernment, economically sustainable alternative community which is focused on providing a caring, safe, educational, physically and psychologically healthy environment in which the children can grow and learn.
What has been the impact of your solution to date?
Our holding this vision has brought together more than 600 volunteers from 18 different countries who understand the potential of this project and who are “paying-it-forward” by contributing their skills and experience to get this project created. None of those volunteers has asked for compensation for the work they have done in the design of the prototype. This group includes major universities, attorneys, accountants, architects, journalists, doctors, engineers, consultants, urban planners, agronomists, sociologists, designers, experts in alternative energy, permaculture, construction, aquaculture, water filtration and others. These are members of our Orphans Dream Team who are helping the orphans’ dream to be adopted to come true.
What is your projected impact over the next five years?
Initial funding of US$5 million can, within 24 months, create debt free businesses with over 100 direct jobs,100 indirect jobs, job skills training, micro-enterprise development, tourism, taxes paid to local government (while we do things they used to have to pay to get done-e.g. helping orphans), assistance provided to local public schools, and first four homes occupied by parents adopting orphans into their families. The monthly net profits from community businesses (est. US$35,000/month) will be used to continue growing the community to 35 homes and 150 children adopted, provided healthcare and opportunity to attend trade school or university.
What barriers might hinder the success of your project? How do you plan to overcome them?
Lack of initial funding: we are building support with individuals and with social networks to create awareness of the benefits of this project to orphans and our world. Leveraging relationships to get to necessary donors.
Political by-in: We continue to build cooperation with local, state, regional and federal government so they know the benefits to their citizens of supporting this project.
Bureaucracy: often laws affecting orphans vary between government departments. This can be further complicated by interpretation of those laws. We are advocates for what is best for the children and nurturing a system focused on supporting that outcome.
Winning entries present a strong plan for how they will achieve and track growth. Identify your six-month milestone for growing your impact
Ownership of donated land for first community in Mexico titled in the name of our Mexico non-profit which can be leveraged for c
Identify three major tasks you will have to complete to reach your six-month milestone
Raise funds for trips and meetings required to gain support and offer of suitable donated agricultural land with water and acces
Testing of land (soil, water, etc) offered as a donation for the community to ensure it will be acceptable and not need remedi
Upon receipt of clean site tests, transfer of title and legal filings needed for ownership and permits to begin site work and c
Now think bigger! Identify your 12-month impact milestone
Site dirt work will be done, Initial agricultural businesses will be operating with cash flow, first temporary administration of
Identify three major tasks you will have to complete to reach your 12-month milestone
Site surveying, establishing site layout, doing initial dirt work, first electric lines installed, drilling water wells, buildin
Contracting with local firms for initial fencing, construction of temporary farm buildings, temporary housing, first staff hired
Acquire initial farm animals (cows, sheep, hogs, goats, rabbits, chickens) and establish work-out contract with local organic fa
Tell us about your partnerships
• University of Colorado-College of Architecture & Planning - Master Plan for Mexico
• Basham, Ringe y Correa-attorneys- Mexico
• Colorado School of Mines- Bio-gas/digester design
• Global Scientific, Inc. - business plan for Aquaculture/Greenhouse
• Troy Braegger - legal services
• Angela Lucero Cabrera – donating 35 acre land in Durango Mexico to our Mexican non-profit
• Db Atelier Architects – architectural design and renderings of homes
• Midwest Permaculture – consulting and permaculture design
Are you currently targeting other specific populations, locations, or markets for your innovation? If so, where and why?
Initially we are targeting Mexico. Once this new “solution” model is operational, we expect to hear requests for additional communities from around the world. Natural geographic and cultural progression would be to other Latin American countries.
What type of operating environment and internal organizational factors make your innovation successful?
We have a committed board and volunteers who believe in our vision and mission. We are growing our base of citizen involvement in the targeted host country (Mexico).
As an all volunteer organization, we know the people who continue to work on this project are doing it because of how it will be helping the children.
Please elaborate on any needs or offers you have mentioned above and/or suggest categories of support that aren't specified within the list
We would be happy to collaborate with others however at this point are limited in our ability to share staff or funds