investment of $400,000 will be needed in order to effectively establish the Center. In addition, the Center will require a maintenance cost of $50,000 per month.
5. Budget and Strategy
Strategy 1: Arranging meetings with community leaders
This strategy ensures that the community at large will accept FAC in its capacity as an establishment to provide help and counseling within the existing cultural, religious, and educational paradigms. Public trust is important for the success of the Center. Specifically, this strategy includes arranging meetings times, venues and refreshments. This is estimated at a budget for about $5,000 per meeting. This strategy will also include the possibility of securing the services of a cultural consultant; preferably also a person with some standing in the community. The budget for this is estimated at an initial fee of about $3,000, which will repeat monthly for as long as the consultant's services are required.
Strategy 2: Promotion at schools and educational facilities
In order to promote the service, young people at educational facilities will initially be targeted. It is possible that the strict religious and cultural requirements of the country could impact upon the experience of young people; resulting in feelings of rebellion or at least unhappiness. Schools will be approached to help solve this problem. For this, visual aids such as television and video media will be used, depending upon the technology and venues available at each respective facility. It is also expected that a fee will be payable for the time and venues used. The budget for these sessions is estimated at about $8,000 per session.
Strategy 3: Establishment of suitable premises for FAC.
Initially, the building will be a rented establishment, possibly with the option to buy later. It is expected that some renovation will be required in order to ensure that the building projects a sense of safety and joy to clients who need the Center's services. Together with the deposit, first moth's rent, renovations, and other requirements, it is estimated that an initial investment of $50,000 will need to be made.
6. Potential Funding Sources
In terms of potential funding sources, it is important to keep in mind the social and cultural structure of the country. Funding sources should then be directly related to the cultural connections that are to be established between FAC and the community it serves. Three types of sources will be considered for funding: educational organizations, government agencies, and individual business people.
Currently, education in Saudi Arabia is an important part of both cultural and religious life. Indeed, education includes a significant amount of religious teaching, with some schools teaching equal amounts of Islam and general subjects. Education also tends to differentiate for boys and girls, to prepare them for later life in Saudi Arabian culture. Girls are for example required to master home economics, while boys are taught more technical and mathematical skills.
Equally interesting is the fact that two different organizations oversee the education of boys and girls on the administrative level. Boys' education is for example the responsibility of the Ministry of Education, whereas the Directorate General of Girls' Education oversees education for girls. These two entities work closely together on the educational arena. The Directorate General also oversees kindergartens and nurseries, as well as women's literacy programs and junior colleges for girls. The Ministry of Higher Education oversees Saudi Arabia's colleges and universities.
The educational platform in the country therefore provides three potential sources of funding: the Ministry of Education, the Directorate General of Girls' Education, and the Ministry of Higher Education. In order to obtain funding, each entity will be approached with the business plan and premise of FAC. It will be explained that FAC wishes to work together with the education field in order to provide the country with youth who excel at their studies. Indeed, one of the services that FAC provides will be character development via education. Statistical evidence will also be provided, indicating the current state of education and knowledge in the country, with the premise that FAC can play a significant role in improving this. If necessary, it will also be promised to provide evidence of such improvement after a year of operation.
Government agencies work closely together with both religious and educational establishments in order to maintain stability and rulership in Saudi Arabia. Up to three government agencies who are specifically committed to education and family services will be approached for funding. Again, statistical evidence of family and personal problems will be presented, with a careful estimate of possible future improvement, projected to manifest within a year of operation. Furthermore, these government agencies will also be furnished with details on the employment of a cultural consultant in order to best serve the community. If willing, community leaders will also be enlisted to help with negotiations for government funding.
Finally, individual business owners will be approached for funding. Here again, markets that target the youth will be approached, as well as family-operated businesses. As seen above, family is a very important factor in Saudi Arabia, and this factor will be used in negotiating with businesses. It will be explained that the main aim of FAC is to improve family life and stability for clients. Business owners will then be presented with a number of activities, among which they can choose which to sponsor. Individual business owners can then decide how much they wish to invest in the venture, either according to a personal sense of importance or according to their specific budget.
After each of the three entities have been approached for funding, the documentation will be left with them for consideration. A second visit will be arranged within a week of the first, during which the specific amounts of funding will be discussed. In all these negotiations, respect for potential funders and their culture will be paramount. This respect is also a main premise of FAC's ultimate function.
7. Staffing Structure
Initially, FAC will consist of three levels of staff, namely management, consultants, and administrative staff. Management will consist of three or four persons. Each will head a division of staff in order to ensure that quality of service is maintained. An open communication paradigm will be maintained, with staff being welcome to discuss any problems they have with their work or clients. At least one member of Management will be recruited from the local community.
Initially, there will be five consultants, in addition to the cultural consultant to be recruited from the local community. The consultants work directly with the clients in order to help them develop character and solve problems. Consultants are expected to work well with people and enjoy helping them solve problems. Each consultant, if not from the local community, will be required to attend at least two sessions per week with the cultural consultant. All problems that consultants experience with the local culture should be referred to the cultural consultant. If FAC experiences significant growth and an increase in workload, additional consultants will be recruited from the local community.
Administrative staff will consist of two accountants and two general administrative staff members. The accountants will be in charge of all funding and payment issues. Problems with this should be communicated to the Management staff member in charge of the accounting department. The general administrative staff members are to assign clients to consultants, make appointments, arrange meetings, and other general administrative functions.
The corporate culture and image of FAC is very important, especially as the Center functions within Saudi Arabia. Staff and management are to imitate the ideal family structure, where each has a specific function to fulfill, and where the collective functions adequately only when each individual works effectively. Furthermore, the culture is to be one of friendliness and understanding, to provide clients both with a sense of trust and comfort when they arrive for the first time, and to show them practically what it can mean to be a fully functioning and effective family.
It is the opinion of the founders that FAC will fill a great need in Saudi Arabia: the need for a central meeting place, where families and individuals can come to find meaning in life and in family. This meaning goes far beyond the violence and war that has been so much a part of the country and its environment. All too often young adults and even children are drawn into the concept of Jihad and religious suicide as a result of losing a sense of purpose in life and family. FAC will work to restore this sense of purpose.
The Center will show its clients that there is greater meaning in living life fully than there is in dying for a potentially unworthy cause. As such, FAC will promote not only life, but also an adherence to the values and culture of the country; the very values and culture that are often used as an excuse for violence. FAC will promote peace without requiring clients…