Community Welfare Program
a brief overview of the program
Author: YS Koen
Klaten, June 05, 2023
The Community Welfare Program from the member's perspective
No one can deny that there is a growing wealth gap. Everyone will understand that this is a real problem. With these two lines of text, the usefulness of a welfare program need not be questioned. In the context of the project, the word community has much more depth and meaning so that the real impact of the project can be fully understood. The strength of the program is precisely its communal character. Community in the sense that the members do this together and together ensure that the community becomes more robust. Your first happiness comes from your immediate environment, but if the community is strong enough, it also acts as a fortress in times of need for protection. Building a stable community starts with the individual members. Together the members form a community. When it begins with the individual members, we need to think from the individual’s point of view and lay a foundation from which they can work. Let’s see what the CWP looks like for members; what do they get with their membership?
The members receive a personal financial reserve from the moment of participation. This financial reserve contains a principal amount of two to three times the average annual income of the community members. At the program’s start, it is decided to register households as members; the average yearly income is based on household income. The organization has determined that beneficiaries of the program are members of communities whose average household income must be, at most, the GDP per capita of the country. Explicit mention is made of average, which means that if one or more households enjoy a higher income than the GDP per capita, they can still participate in the CWP. All registered families of a community are offered membership; it is up to the individual members to decide whether they want to use the membership.
Members cannot register for membership independently. The IDIFY CWP Foundation has no open-door policy where everyone can become a member. The Foundation nominates neighborhood communities that can consider becoming a member of the CWP and will confirm themselves to the conditions set by the program. If a community delegation confirms interest in participating, the IDIFY CWP Foundation will register all households of the relevant neighborhood community.
Ultimately, it is up to the members themselves to decide whether they want to use the program. We will not force participation onto someone or exclude anyone from the community., even if the person does not immediately meets the conditions. For example, a household with an income higher than GDP per capita or a family that does not have a significant basic income is not excluded from participation. In Indonesia, a household must have a valid registration of the family card. Exclusion from the program can only occur if a household that is already affiliated does not comply with the agreements of the program and shows no structural improvement. In that case, the consequence may be that the household in question is excluded from further participation. From a member’s perspective, the duration of the program is unlimited; they decide when to terminate their membership.
Interest-free Credit System
The CWP strives for a better financial future for its members. It seeks to achieve this by making an amount available to each member’s financial reserve. Members receive one-third of the principal for personal use; this is done as a revolving credit. Why provide a form of credit if a better financial future is desired? Debt does not add to wealth.
Looking at the structure of the CWP program, the reader will realize that installment payments are made to the member’s financial reserve; in other words, the respective member pays himself back in installments. No organization here provides credit to third parties to make a profit. The Foundation IDIFY – CWP is not in the business of offering commercial credits. The IDIFY – CWP Foundation is a non-profit organization that guides its members towards a better financial future.
Why introduce a form of credit? The thoughts behind a revolving credit have nothing to do with a possible interest payment; this construction emphasizes the agreement to pay regularly in installments. Adherence to agreements leads to financial discipline, which builds the foundation for a better financial future. The same applies to the interest payment mentioned above; if the Foundation demands interest from members, the members are once again placed in arrears on their way to a better financial future. In a debt system, one of the two parties will always be the enslaved.
This must be a peer-to-peer (payment) network where transparency forms the basis for mutual trust between all parties. It must be possible to disclose all costs, proceeds, and losses and to receive or pay the share to which each party is entitled. Then no form of interest payment can be part of it.
An interest-free society within the community forces a different way of thinking; it is not new but almost unthinkable within the capitalist system. It may not be possible for one party to get the most out of a deal, but everyone is forced to be transparent in agreements. If you always try to get the best result when making deals, you should also realize that the other party may feel that it is the losing party, which can lead to disagreement in the long run. Still, considering it and developing solutions to satisfy all parties can pay off.
A community economy must be built to make this project successful enough to scale up. The CWP program will contribute significantly by providing members with personal financial reserves. This new economic model cannot use several tools that traditional economies have in their arsenal. For example, taxes cannot be levied, and the community economy cannot be turned into a model of debt-to-money creation. Precisely because specific tools aren’t available, space is created for (new) concepts that will form the basis of the community economy, let an interest-free model be one of them.
The CWP and the organizational structure
The Community Welfare Program must be independent of any commercial operation and, therefore, cannot be part of a corporate CSR program. That is why we opt for the form of a Foundation structure. The foundation will have a general board with the support of a Supervisory Board. The board of the IDIFY – CWP Foundation will have to achieve a threefold objective:
- Mentoring and educating members
- Positioning of the CWP and its members in the network of the total project
Much of this program can be standardized, so there should be little to no problems or obstacles. It is different when one needs personal guidance and education. A cost structure is involved, but how far can these costs be passed on to the members? Probably, those costs should not be passed on to the members at all because it will increase the adoption of the technology; these are essential considerations that need to be made, and the board will have to provide a complete answer to such.
This is twofold for the expansion; on the one hand, the number of members will have to be increased for this project to succeed; on the other hand, introducing the program in different regions and countries would be very welcome. That will have to be coordinated very well with the developers of the Blockchain technology and the Foundation of that network. However, this applies to both; expansion is never a good idea if it is just a numbers game. Expanding is necessary if everyone wants the project to succeed and all parties involved to benefit from it.
Positioning may seem like a trivial topic of discussion to outsiders, but it will be an essential point of attention for the board. They will have to ensure that the CWP program will never be commercially exploited and that the structure with the three pillars will never be compromised, regardless of the composition of the sub-communities. Within the blockchain network and the project, the IDIFY CWP Foundation should not be put under pressure. It will have to prevent that there will be a discussion at all about whether the project wants to take on further financing of the CWP program. It is a costly business, but the CWP and its members will drive the project’s economics.
The founders are taking the initiative for this project because they saw with their own eyes what the consequences of the pandemic and inflation meant for people in the lowest income class. In addition, all technological developments will rapidly change the workplace for the same group of people. On top of that, the whole discussion about UBI remains mainly a discussion. All this contributed to the fact that a solution had to be found.
There’s a vast difference between taking action or waiting for the government to do something while complaining that things aren’t improving. The same technological developments also give us all the tools to take matters into our own hands and take action. The technological developments enable the project to arm the members against significant changes and prepare them for a better financial future. It will require hard work from everyone involved in the project to achieve that goal.
It is possible to narrow that wealth gap, probably not for all, but at least for some of the world’s population, but waiting for a miracle to solve this phenomenon is a lazy approach. The problems associated with this ever-growing wealth gap are already encompassing for those facing it. They aren’t in a luxurious position where they can wait and see if something will happen. They must survive; that same fighting spirit will make this project successful. Even if this project does not change the problems of the wealth gap globally, it will completely change the situation for the members, which is why this project is worth it. Step by step, it starts with one member but expands like a puddle of water during a rain shower; when we are lucky, it will grow into a little stream that can grow into a river. From 1 member to 1,000 to 100,000 or a million, then we are on the way to the target number of this project, the ideal 4,000,000 members.
That is just trivial when you realize that almost half the world’s population lives around or below the poverty line. But if we can achieve this, something will be built that all those involved in this project, not just the initiators, can be proud of. If we can accomplish this, what is the excuse for all those others with well-meaning discussions not to take action? To ensure that others take our initiative seriously, we must properly collect and process the data we generate. We should not do this ourselves because otherwise, the data will remain a discussion point. We want lessons learned from the data, so why not invite universities and colleges of applied sciences directly and have them collect the data and process it into readable reports? Let’s be clear, the project is not a data factory, so it cannot be the case that everything and everyone can collect data; the members of the CWP program are not laboratory animals.
In exchange for access to the data, we oblige the universities to help the project set up training and education programs. With a training and education program, the project will fully flourish. We need such because just handing out money and doing nothing else is not giving a structural solution. The effect you sort with just handing out money is that you will silence its recipients because who will complain when free cash is handed out? Another killer joke is free money; who still believes in that? Free money does not exist, we are not Robin Hood, and even that was not without consequences if you believe the stories.
It will require lots of hard work from everyone involved in this project, but then we can guarantee success. Because if everyone contributes, everyone will eventually benefit and be able to get their benefit.
TIME FOR ACTION