UBUNTU Women in Need
To provide an affordable healing environment for women in need to rehabilitate and integrate.
Our vision is to create affordable accommodation alongside healing and self sufficiency practices to help refugee women and children and women in need to integrate into a new life path!
Ubuntu- a quality that includes the essential human virtues; compassion and humanity.
We are naming the property Ubuntu as its intentions and coming into being are fully encompassed by this expression.
Ubuntu is a Sth African is a Nguni Bantu term meaning “humanity”. It is often translated as “I am because we are,” and also “humanity towards others”, but is often used in a more philosophical sense to mean “the belief in a universal bond of sharing that connects all humanity – wiki
WIN is in the early stages of development. It is currently under administrative direction of West End Therapies, a small business in the helping and counselling industries that has been running for 8 years. West End Therapies is growing and requires this initiative to expand it’s capacity to help people heal and rehabilitate on a larger and more sustainable scale. We are actively seeking partnership with professionals in the healing and helping industries of both fiscal and practical capacities.
As a holistic counsellor I see the struggles women face in integrating new awarenesses and overcoming trauma in their healing path. The week to week counselling has its benefits and helps to manage anxieties and sadnesses in a slow and long term counseling model but the integrating process requires more of a lived experience. Having to tackle the everyday issues of housing, finances and relational challenges impedes healing and sometimes exacerbates the issues in the healing process.
We aim to accrue a 5 acre property, with one medium sized living premise, to be able to provide accommodation, healing and rehabilitation in a group or community environment.
We aim to outfit the property with five small living structures (yurts) for the purposes of accommodating women and refugees, for 3 months stays. in a rehabilitation and healing program to help them heal from trauma and integrate into a new life path of financial and self sufficiency.
Director, counselor, administrator, operator
Retreat accommodation, counselling, rehabilitation and healing through art therapy, gardening, sound therapy, nature, mindfulness and meditation practices
What is the business’ pricing structure
$100 per week for accommodation rental. Rehabilitation and counselling services included.
Our start-up expenses come to $135,000, which is mostly comprised of accruing a premised property for rent or mortgage, deposit and legal costs, and expenses associated with purchasing and the outfitting the yurts. The rental properties at $100 per week per family x 5 will cover the mortgage or the rent of the property – so it will be financially self sufficient. We will also need cash to finance the first year of operations which will entail the business owners and facilitators living on the property alone whilst they install the yurts and set up the grounds and create the food gardens. There will also be a cost for setting up showers, eco friendly toilets and cooking facilities for the guests. The start-up costs are to be financed by contributions by our fundraising efforts. The assumptions are shown in the following table and chart.
|Property deposit||$19 000|
|Yurts purchase/outfit||$75, 000|
|Total Start-up Expenses||$5,000|
|Other Current Assets|
WIN is a project that is in direct response to the growing number of women and refugees that are unable to find adequate accommodation in the current rental market crisis; and who are also in need of healing and rest after a difficult period of separating from their previous environment or life. WIN offers women at risk of homelessness and in need the opportunity to make a dramatic change in their lives. The program is positioned to be most accessible to women who would otherwise become homeless or be swept into a disadvantaged situation.
What is the business industry
The project deals with accommodation for women in need of help as well as providing an alternative healing environment using alternative therapies. Therefore there are two industry categories to consider:
- affordable accommodation – primary consideration
- healing trauma and integrating into a new life path ‘alternative healing’ – Although this is not the primary consideration of the business and is being offered as a complimentary service and program which will be run by volunteer practitioners, it is still an integral and vital part of the project.
There is a dire need for affordable accommodation for women in crisis and refugees. In a recent research project Associate Professor Rebecca Bentley from the University of Melbourne’s School of Population and Global Health, says ““Housing unaffordability is driving people into a spiral of disadvantage,” (see article here).
All local resource centres for Women in Crisis are saturated, underfunded and are unable to keep up with the the basic housing requirements for women moving from disadvantaged situations.
Alternative health and healing therapies have increased substantially and become a trend (and billion dollar industry) for people on higher incomes, as more research is becoming available to prove it’s benefits. This often decreases the chances of low income women and children to accessing the services and modalities and therefore not receiving adequate help in overcoming mental health issues related to the specific identifiable needs of women in crisis.
A primary reason why alternative health practices continue to gain popularity, observers say, is because it appeals to people who are dissatisfied with the traditional healthcare system, which is considered too impersonal, inaccessible, bureaucratic, and disease oriented. These people often believe that alternative therapies provides a less invasive, more emotionally comforting approach to care.
“Why are women at risk?
All Australians are affected by the shortage of affordable and available rental housing but women, particularly those reliant on either part-time wages/salaries or parenting payment (single), may be more at risk than men. One of the main reasons is related to gender-based economic/financial inequality. On the whole, women earn less income than men”. From Homelessness Women Australia
- Appoximatly 45,813 women were are homeless each year on sensus night.
- 59% of people supported by specialist homelessness services are female
- Women aged 18-34 were the group most likely to access specialist homelessness services with 37% of all clients
Each year 1 in 42 women aged 15-24 will access a specialist homelessness service
- In 2015 alone there were 9420 refugee settled on Australian land, of that 1,009 of them were Woman at Risk (Refugee Council of Australia)
- There are 2200 women sleeping rough at all times.
Strategy and Implementation Summary
There are four focuses to WIN’s implementation:
- First is the acquisition of property
- The second is outfitting the land with retreat style accommodation (Yurts – low cost and eco friendly)
- The third is the development of fundraising strategies.
- Networking with refugee and Women at risk homeless services
WIN’s funding sources will include private donations, federal and state contracts, grants from private foundations, business sponsorship and the sister business Karma Tops. The program’s fundraising Coordinator has established a number of contribution options that a supporter can select from.
- Cash Donation: From web presence, crowdfunding
- Gift of Land: a gift of land from philanthropic business (potential not in financial anaysis)
- Corporate Giving and Sponsorship: Businesses and private foundations can provide cash or grants.
- Business Initiative: Karma Tops fundraiser
WIN forecast of revenues for 2018 is $135,000. The stable core funding is anticipated from Federal/State funding, private foundations and our business adventure Karma Tops, Yet anticipated growth from Karma Tops and the rental of accommodation will create a self sufficiency model for future forecasts.
We anticipate a growth in Karma Tops profit and expect the rental accommodation to be filled at all times, which gives us good fiscal steed for ongoing maintenance and repairs in future years. The funding received in future years will go towards increasing the accommodation to house more women, with a plan to have a property in every state of Australia by 2025.
|Year 1||Year 2||Year 3
|Private Foundations||$36, 000||$36, 000||$36, 000|
|Fundraising Campaign||$ 5,000||$ 5,000||$ 5,000|
|Business Sponsors||$11, 000||$11, 000||$11, 000|
|Karma Tops||$45,000||$65,000||$100, 000|
|Direct Cost of Funding||Year 1||Year 2||Year 3|
|Subtotal Cost of Funding||$0||$0||$0|
WIN believes in the goal of filling the gap for helping women heal and providing affordable accommodation The goal is to raise the visibility of the program to assure that:
- Referral sources will use the service;
- Funding sources will support the program;
- Further locations can be implemented
- Karma Tops becomes a household name
The core marketing strategy will to gain awareness of the services through a high level internet campaign which includes social media and email awareness through our new enterprise Karma Tops.
The second marketing strategy will us the above processes and a successful blog audience through an existing business West End Therapies
A separate marketing strategy will be to successfully introduce this new resource to the refugee and homeless services. This will be accomplished by a referral coordinator who will create and maintain a network of contacts that will serve as the referral source for the program.
A need for adequate accommodation in a healing environment for refugee women and children and women in need is evident and long overdue. We aim to fill this gap by providing a property in a natural setting with affordable retreat style accommodation alongside self sufficiency and healing practices to ensure women are able to move through a time of crisis in a safe environment.
The current research shows that there is a crisis in the rental market and that women and refugees in particular are at a disadvantage. Research and previous projects in the USA and European countries have shown that alternative healing modalities, in particular mindfulness, meditation and art therapies support the most efficient and effective healing outcomes.
Our project aims to accrue a property that brings these two important elements – affordable accommodation and healing – into a whole. By outfitting the property with yurt style accommodation and charging minimal rent and providing short term (3 Months) living and healing programs, we cut costs on future funding requirements as well as allowing women to transition through a difficult life period into a more empowered and healthy life.
WIN anticipates success through it’s networking with alternate therapists, homeless and refugee services and it’s sister initiative Karma Tops and West End Therapies.