FWOP promotes a concept of community development and renewal via Four E’s: Education, Empowerment, Enterprise, and the Environment. Each article seeks to show how we bring them together.
In the USA, a new book attempts to diagnosis the socio-economic challenges men and also women face. The problem areas the book describes mirror places where FWOP is actively working to have a positive impact. Take for example Denton, Texas with its large homeless population of adults and young students, St. Louis with efforts to serve homeless and low income veterans, and in Ripley, Ohio with high number of suicides, overdoses linked to heroin addiction, and lack for employment. FWOP projects make an effort to improve life at the margins.
The book in question, “In Men Without Work” (Templeton Press, Sep 19, 2016), Nicholas Eberstadt, a political economist who holds the Henry Wendt Chair in Political Economy at the American Enterprise Institute, contends that
“There is a huge population of men—one-sixth of all prime-aged men in America—that is not only without jobs, but has stopped looking for jobs altogether. All of this amounts to a hidden time bomb with far-reaching economic, social, and political consequences.
The stock market continues to set new records. Unemployment continues to go down. The United States is now at or considered to be at or near “full employment”, at least according to received wisdom. But, a closer look at economic data by Nicholas Eberstadt reveals something else entirely. While “unemployment” has gone down, the work participation rate—and especially the male work rate—has been relentlessly declining for most of the post-war era and is now reaching a crisis with depression-era levels.”
Therefore, it was no surprise to those who have seen this data that the lack of jobs, soaring income inequality and underemployment faced by the working class were decisive issues. To that effect, we have updates that reflect our understanding of these matters and how we are making a difference.
FWOP in partnership with Anthem USA has recently asked to bring back an assisted living facility that was once in trouble. In two months, wall repairs, painting, fire alarm system updates, kitchen equipment updates, roof repairs and HVAC updates have moved forward in the new facility, renamed as Knowles Home Assisted Living. This has been accomplished with the help of the City of Nashville, Metro Drug Court System and Tennessee State University. The land has been tilled for a large garden, chairs and tables worth $25,000 have been donated by the Tennessee Titans, men from a drug rehab correctional facility arrived to prepare the garden and clean up the grounds. The City of Nashville opened up its warehouse of slightly used equipment, donating them to Knowles Home.
Marie Coulibay, President of the Ivory Coast FWOP , visited Stephen F. Austin State University and met with Dr. Ann Wilder, Assistant Professor in the School of Social Work and her Macro Community Development Class. Marie was able to share her work and explain her plan for the Ivory Coast. This presentation inspired these graduate Social Work students to step up and create an FWOP affiliate student chapter in Nacogdoches. Students involved are planning to work together to determine the goal and direction for the new student group. Initial ideas include supporting Marie’s work in the Ivory Coast, starting an affiliate group in Haiti and creating links to areas of Western Louisiana that have been devastated by flood. Pictured here from left to right are: Raina Caldwell, Farrah Alvarez, Maria Caulibilly, D’nez Bob, Holly North, Kaylee McVee, Patricia Moore, Ryan Hernandez, Angela Davis, Trinity George, Berengere Ross, Lori Murphee, Deeanna Chance and Kristina Irwin.
Since this meeting, the students have decided to create a FWOP student chapter at Stephen F. Austin. Dr. Stan Ingman from FWOP Board did one orientation session on skype. Some students plan to attend the Summit in Costa Rica in October .
UNT FWOP Student Chapter in Denton, Texas
Our chapter at UNT has three major goals this spring:
- Fund rise for water project in Nigeria in partnership with a local affiliate, Exquisite Water http://www.exquisitewater.org/ this Spring
- Sponsor and screen the showing of Poverty Inc on March 22nd on campus.
- Sponsored a seminar on climate change and poverty March 29th in partnership with Climate Change Coalition and UNT Rotaract.
Stay tuned for updates and be sure to follow UNT FWOP’s facebook page at https://www.facebook.com/untfwop/
The big news on this project is potential for sustainability. Creation of a local business may help replace old polluting systems of cooking slowly with new modern stoves in the barrio of Tepehua.
Recently, the process of installing stoves have allowed a local man to create a small business that replaces stoves at a lower cost. Thus, improving the health of children and adults—as well as improving local economic status of person in the community—have come together!
FWOP Board Members were recently contacted by a medical group in Texas who knew about the great health care clinics at the Tepehua Centro, and offered us some free medical supplies and equipment. Once again showing how individuals in Texas look out for global health. Donations are planned to be sent south to Mexico in an expedited manner.