L'ÉCOLE LUDMILA VALENTINOVNA
PROJECT PURPOSETo meet the needs of children affected by the increase in seismic activity forecast worldwide, rendering them homeless orphans, by providing comprehensive care centres and helping them in due course face a much changed world as independent, responsible citizens.
PROFITABILITYProfitability is not the purpose here as this is a non-profit, educational project consisting of a school and orphanage, but responsible administration and accounting should enable the operation to break-even from the start.
COMPETITIVE ANALYSISThere is very limited direct competition, if any. Most schools do not follow this expanded type of curriculum, which will include a blend of Montessori and Waldorf principles. In Odessa existing reputation will help ensure success, as demand outstrips supply in this area and is expected to continue. In the case of the orphanage, this is seen as a fast expanding need in the future.
The ORPHANAGEAdmission to the Orphanage will require medical examination initially (partly as a safeguard to protect existing students and staff), and quarantine if necessary, prior to being admitted to the orphanage proper. The medical facilities will provide ongoing medical care as and when necessary. The Orphanage would house, educate and prepare children for an independent or self-sufficient future lifestyle, as an individual entrepreneur or as a community participant, dependent upon their planned life's purpose. A well-grounded general education supplemented by the teaching of life-skills and specific education in the growing of essential crops - the horticultural aspects which would ensure that they could live independently if need be or to exchange/market their products with/to others. All in a nurturing environment, with love and encouragement.
The RESIDENCEThe building would employ environmentally-friendly construction and philosophy. When expendable natural products are used, fast growing forestry products would be planted to mitigate any depletion of stocks. In all things the impact of the vibrations of construction materials on human life would be taken into consideration. The 'concrete environment' will be avoided, although foundation materials may be constructed of concrete, in part or in whole, as their impact will be minimal on those in the living quarters at a higher elevation. The building itself would enclose a large playground and gardens, in order to afford maximum security and safety, and utilize the balancing principles of feng shui throughout to stimulate serenity and harmony. Use of the patented 'wolfhook', if incorporated, should ensure that the building is earthquake proof in that the structure remains intact and can only move in its entirety. There will be a maximum of direct daylight but the interior lighting system will be full-spectrum daylight to ensure maximum benefits to health even in spaces bereft of direct daylight. The site will be exposed to a minimum of noise and other distractions: hallways will be carpeted, dining areas will have round tables. Air circulation will be 1½ times The chosen site must be on geophysically safe ground and recommended by leading geophysicists, with whom we are fortunately familiar. If an already constructed high-rise or other building is used, and this consists principally of concrete, compensating features will be used to eliminate unwelcome vibrations. This should become a World Demonstration Project and act as encouragement for others to set up similar humanitarian projects. The Ground Floor would consist of Administration and Medical Offices, and a cafeteria or coffeehouse with access to a gymnasium and other classrooms and expansion facilities. The Second and Third Floors would be classrooms. Floors Four to Seven would be dormitories, segregated by sex and age group, with appropriate Staff accommodation on each floor. Floors Eight to Ten would be residential for teachers and other staff. Floor Eleven would be Founder suites with visitor accommodation. This outline could be altered should local environmental considerations or subsequent major social or economic upheaval call for change. As we have so often been told, the situation is fluid and we must prepare for changes to our original intent in all things.
The SCHOOL and GROUNDSThe initial vision of the SCHOOL is as part of the general building, and is therefore included in the discussion of "RESIDENCE" above, but it will be so designed that it may be expanded to cope with increased need for early childhood education or the higher educational needs of orphans. It has been organised on the lines of a Boarding School, but can be reasonably quickly expanded to adjust to future requirements. Unless space is limited by its urban location, a perimeter fence will protect the grounds and buildings from intruders and to safeguard staff and children. Apart from recreational space it will include space for horticultural activities such as orchard and greenhouses.
FINANCEFundraising for this project has been aimed specifically at those who have become enormously wealthy by an investment in an unusual currency revaluation - in IQD or Iraqi Dinars. There was discussion amongst groups of investors as to how they could find worthwhile investments for such a windfall, many of them not being professional investors. With the simultaneous onset of extraordinary seismic events, causing widespread damage by tsunamis, and resulting in many children escaping death but finding themselves homeless, putting funds to help these orphans seemed the obvious humanitarian thing to do. An added advantage was the availability of top professionals in the field of early childhood education and business plans awaiting funding for the establishment of such an educational centre. The benefactors of 'Prosperity Funds' and other windfalls, now or later, may likewise find such an investment to their liking, and will be welcomed. The cost of construction and activities up to the Opening Date is extremely hard to figure out, as there are so many variables, and the unreliability of currency fluctuations, so a few figures have been collected from several sources, which give a very rough estimate of what might be involved. An educated guess is that we should aim to raise $100 million to cover all needs of the planned project for five years of operation (various buildings, outhouses, facilities and equipment, as well as staff costs) It would be pointless to start without sufficiemt funding to finish off satisfactorily. Until a site has been found and surveyed, and a plan has been drawn up by an architect, one can only go by the known cost of building other somewhat similar structures. The founders have persoanlly allocated $5 million as start-up funding and $50,000 monthly for ten years after opening. Bank accounts will be opened with the Royal Bank of Canada in Vancouver, Canada, and with Raiffeisenbank (of Austria) in Odessa, Ukraine, as we are already customers there.
USA BRITAIN xxx Cost per SF Construction: $105.38 Contractor Fees (GC,Overhead,Profit) $26.34 Architectural Fees: $6.32 TOTAL cost: $138.04
USA: Two-storied building of 130,000 SF, High School Construction Cost - Source.BRITAIN: "The total capital cost of each BSF ["Building Schools for the Future Project"] school averages £1,850 per square metre, which is similar to most other schools. It is less than Academies built before their integration into BSF, which averaged £2,240 per square metre at 2007 prices." - Source.
UKRAINE: Most publicized expenses have been for the funding of minor improvements to disintegrating premises and have not been found worth recording. The cost of construction in general however has been mounting rapidly from year to year. Research continues.
CURRICULUMSee Education Although today's children have been called book-readers, the computer is the main attraction on account of the vast information that can be tapped into, but nevertheless an ample supply of books will be made available in the school library. Children also require time to themselves ('time-out') which may not necessarily occur at organised (regimented) times, therefore allowance must be made for this.
Their level of intelligence takes many by surprise, especially their parents: they must be treated as adults, with consideration for their physical age. They tend to be intolerant of 'half-truths' or 'white lies" from 'superior' adults.
HOURS of OPERATIONParents may elect to have their children attend full-time or just for a few hours/days weekly, Monday to Friday, year-round. There will be two 14-day breaks: Christmas/New Year/Orthodox Christmas and Easter. In the summer activities will be arranged according to demand and availability of staff.
STAFFINGThe Overseer will have overall responsibility for all operations and will instruct teachers in the psychological approach to teaching the new generation of children and in the hendling of the 'difficult child..
A Director will be appointed to manage each activity of the project - the School, the Orphanage, the Residence, the Farm etc and they will be complemented by housekeeping, security and administrative staff.
It is planned to pay above average salaries and benefits in order to attract and keep high quality educational and administrative staff, with a minimum turnover.
MARKETMarketing is more a business term and is hardly appropriate for a non-profit operation, but word has to be got out that the facilities exist and this can be done most effectively through the internet, but connections will be made with other orphanage organisations in Ukraine and elsewhere, as information will be freely exchanged. The market is wide open as there will be no discrimination between race, color or creed, although the lifestyle of each resident must, during their stay, comply with local cultural standards, in the same way that an immigrant should adapt to the customs, laws and culture of his or her adopted country.
In the case of the Early Childhood Education facility, word of mouth is always the most effective marketing tool: in other words, satisfied customers, but marketing will be directed to local newspapers, radio stations and the internet.
SHORT & LONG-TERM GOALSPriorities will depend upon the world situation when the orphanage and school open, possibly in stages, so the initial goal will be to have a short-list of qualified and experienced teachers and consultants available for the opening, and staff added as the facilities expand. The financial goal for startup is $100 million, to be raised from those who have received financial windfalls, and there will be no shortfall thereafter.
Teachers fluent in various languages will be employed as the need arises.In the long-term both school and orphanage can be expected to expand to cope with increased demand and the initial design will allow such changes to be made. Further facilities will be opened in other parts of the world as the need occurs but each one will be independent, with their own funding, although there may be central administration from this first project.
COMPARISON WITH OTHER FACILITIESIt would not be worthwhile to consider a comparison between this facility and any other existing or planned fcaility as the difference is so great. There does not appear to be any project with the same comprehension of future needs.
LEGALThe structure of 'businesses' in the future - which may be interpreted as 2012 and beyond - will be significantly changed, with a Common Law Charter. Until then, the existing structure, established in Canada, will be retained.
BENEFITS to PARTICIPANTSOVERSEER
The school has been named in honour of the Overseer and in recognition of the contribution she has made to Early Childhood Education and the respect she has received from so many thankful parents, whose children she has guided so successfully.
As she has technically retired, her energies will be expended now on passing on her knowledge to a new generation of teachers.
The school offers staff a unique opportunity to engage in leading-edge pre-school education and develop their talents in this area, in amenable surroundings, and to be adequately rewarded for their participation.
Parents can relax in the knowledge that this school offers much more than mere 'baby-sitting' and will give their offspring the desired environment to grow and develop, fully prepared for life in an ever-changing environment, yet retaining the cultural background that they so cherish.
© Milson Macleod 2003-2011
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