Organization: Freedom & Virtue Institute
Country: United States of America
Project Name: Proposal for Franchising of Self-Reliance Clubs
Empowerment of Individuals ✓
Teaching Freedom ✓
The traditional approach to fighting poverty in the United States is through the alleviation of symptoms rather than employing strategies that seek to enhance human flourishing. This approach sees the poor as objects—objects of pity, compassion, and charity—instead of seeing the poor as subjects, the protagonists of their own lives. As Ismael Hernandez says, “self-reliance is in eclipse today…this directly affects outcomes in education, health, and security.” The Freedom & Virtue Institute has created Self-Reliance Clubs (SRCs) with the goal to integrate efforts within existing school activities by adopting the initiatives and giving them new meaning, empowering students to meet their needs through work. This allows children to better understand work as a means of wealth creation and economic opportunity.
Many of today’s social programs contribute to a prevailing mindset of victimhood and dependency. If this mindset is to be shifted in the future, it must start with children—they must be sent a contrary message. A message that tells them they have what it takes to meet their needs, “that they are agents of choice.”
Through Self-Reliance Clubs, the Freedom and Virtue Institute will connect children to practical projects that connect reward to accomplishments. As the SRC follows students year after year, they continue a journey of engagement and discover that they are engines of wealth creation.
The Freedom & Virtue Institute aims to launch over 200 SRCs and impact up to 5,000 students with their activities over the next three years. This will equip young individuals with character traits and virtues that facilitate enterprise and the love of freedom that motivates them to become free and productive citizens, entrepreneurs, and workers.