The concepts and thought process behind a resilience-centered approach:
From the beginnings of Athens’ Own, we have known that in order for our company to continue operating indefinitely, we need to be a part of a healthy community. In order to thrive, it is essential for our business, ourselves, and future generations to live in a strong, self-sustaining, and truly healthy community.
Even more importantly, we don’t want to just sit and wait for the community to improve. Neither do we want to search and find another healthy community and re-locate there. We want to dig in, get our hands dirty, and personally help build our own community health and resilience: Right here, right now, with everything we have.
The first step to building a better community is to take a step back and critically evaluate the current situation in the world right now. We looked at many problems, issues, and concerns starting from the ground up and working out to the entire global situation, and made a list. We call this our “current situation analysis”.
After taking a critical look at this situation, we came to this conclusion: As a society and as individuals, we must have a plan to insure that we will continue to have our basic needs covered for the foreseeable future. We define the basic needs (the things every person needs to have) as Food, Water, Shelter, Air, Health, and Education. These might be a bit different from other models of “needs”, but to us, these six things are essential to every person and every community.
By noticing the inter-connectedness of all of the items on the situation, as well as the connections within these basic needs themselves, we developed what we call a “Basic Needs Approach” to building resilience. We work to ensure that every action we take directly affects the security, availability, and/or quality of as many of these basic needs as possible.
Here’s an example:
Action: Cooking and selling hamburgers at the Athens’ Farmers Market.
Effect on basic needs-
Food: By working with local farmers to supply the ingredients, and by selling them in a local market setting to community members, accepting food stamps, and trading work for food, we are able to help with local food security.
Health: We are able to practice good nutrition and health by using only fresh, organic, no-chemicals added ingredients.
Education: Our mobile kitchen offers an opportunity for students to learn cooking skills, money management, teamwork, and other valuable workplace skills, among other things.
( a more in depth portrayal of this example is forthcoming. cf 1/31/16
This is just one example of one piece of one of Athens’ Own’s activities. By addressing these basic needs, we are working systematically to build a healthier and more resilient community.
For more information on our basic needs initiatives, please send an email to firstname.lastname@example.org. More information and graphics will be coming to this site soon, so check back often!