Book: H.e.l.f.a. - The Manual
H.e.l.f.a. - The Manual
What is H.e.l.f.a. in general about?
We live in a world where not only the ongoing global competition and capitalism leads to an injustice towards a part of the earth's population that does not have enough to eat and drink, while in the so-called western world people live in abundance.
What falls by the wayside is what really counts: our humanity in togetherness, our families and relationships, friendships and our health.
This leads to the question: What in our lives is really real and has substance?
This question is occupying more and more people, triggering a worldwide movement that is actively seeking alternative models of living - for the benefit of people, animals and nature. In order for change and mutual helping and supporting to succeed, we need to completely rethink the current structures of society.
We at H.e.l.f.a. would like to present with this handbook our solution approach, how a new social living together with values like compassion, respect, voluntariness, humanity, cohesion, empathy, understanding, support, tolerance, lived love and personal responsibility can succeed.
How the idea of H.e.l.f.a. came about
In many laws, constitutions and conventions, among other things, human dignity and self-determination are given special meaning and importance. In reality, however, we see how these and other human values are increasingly subordinated to economic, technological and material interests.
The credo of the economy: faster, higher, better, further (and more beautiful) has long since also shaped social interaction. Competitive battles, division and egomania are the result. We are constantly confronted with the often unrealistic lives, careers and achievements of others (my house, my car, my horse...). The resulting permanent comparison among ourselves leads to dissatisfaction, envy and resentment. As a result, we are constantly optimizing ourselves, our environment and also others in order to "function" better and/or be better than others - but why or for what do we really do that?
Furthermore, the ongoing global competition and capitalism leads to an injustice towards a part of the earth's population that does not have enough to eat and drink, while in the so-called western world people live in abundance.
What falls by the wayside is what really counts: our humanity in togetherness, our families and relationships, friendships and our health.
This is a vicious circle from which many only break out when the body and psyche point out with more serious symptoms that something is going wrong in life.
This leads us to ask: What in our lives is really real and has substance?
As a result of the fact that these insights are increasingly penetrating people's consciousness, a worldwide movement has been triggered in which alternative models of life are actively being sought - for the benefit of people, animals and nature.
A new way of making society more humane is needed for people to help and support each other successfully.
This is not a matter of fundamentally rejecting the old. Rather, it means examining the existing to see whether it serves people, animals and nature in the best sense. We are not only asked to question the existing structures, but also what we have learned and experienced, including our habits and beliefs.
It is an inventory of what is true and real, of what is of importance for all our well-being and of what really has substance. And this substance should be continuous and lasting. This may not be easy at first, but we firmly believe that every effort is worth it.
In this process of change it is necessary to think anew, to find new ways and / or to use the old mechanisms differently. In the process, it is also possible to implement and use existing structures that work well, just as before.
We must all be aware that there is no patent solution for change. After all, we do not want all people to be brought into line with one another. Everyone contributes his or her needs and wishes. Regional and cultural characteristics and differences will also be taken into account.
We will try out many things and discard those that do not work, so that we can check at any time what is helpful for the togetherness.
With this handbook, we at H.e.l.fa. present a solution approach on how a new social coexistence with values such as compassion, respect, voluntariness, humanity, cohesion, empathy, understanding, support, tolerance, lived love and personal responsibility can work.
What is Helfa?
H.e.l.f.a. is the acronym for "Helfa engage lovingly for All".
H.e.l.fa. is an initiative that started small on September 6, 2020 and has been growing ever since.
The fundamental question on which the moving project idea H.e.l.fa. is based is how we can connect all people and create a new form of community. The basis of this community is founded on a togetherness of humanity, trust and compassion.
Already among indigenous peoples, all members of the community were respected and included in the concerns of the tribe. The stronger ones took care of the weaker ones. Ideas and decisions were discussed and implemented together. Everyone contributed themselves and their skills to serve the community.
Other examples from recent history are the cohesion of the former GDR citizens or the selfless commitment of people for each other during natural disasters. Another example is Rojava: In this area in Syria, Kurds, Arabs, Turkmen, Armenians and Chechens live together peacefully and all practice their faith without experiencing discrimination. So peaceful coexistence even among different faiths is possible if we humans can and want to allow it.
Likewise, the "classic" neighborhood help, gift societies, Ubuntu or non-profit associations are living examples of human coexistence. In all these communities, help and support in any form were and are common practice.
The vision that we want to realize with H.e.l.f.a. has therefore already been tested in the most diverse ways.
Underlying all of this is the longing, deeply anchored in us humans since time immemorial, for genuine belonging to a community. The H.e.l.f.a. project aims to give more expression and meaning to this basic human need. With a lived togetherness in solidarity with our fellow men we want to counteract loneliness, separation, anonymization and discrimination and thus actively work on a more beautiful and livable future. All that is needed is a decision and the willingness to take more responsibility for one's life and the life in the community.
What is new about the H.e.l.f.a. approach is that we strive for real and practical help with global networking through the Internet. Because only if all people around the world stick together, we will succeed in replacing the old system with humanity.
So our vision is to unite old and proven concepts with new ideas and to bring them to new life together with many Helfas.
Furthermore H.e.l.f.a. stands for a giving society, which ideally works without money. In doing so, we draw on many tried and tested methods and ways of life. These include the behavior of ancient tribes living in harmony with nature, psychological knowledge and spirituality, as well as the OpenSource / OpenAccess idea, which has gained acceptance for transparent and freely available information in the computer world.
H.e.l.f.a. actively deals with the question in which world and value community we want to live.
For some, this way of thinking and acting may be unfamiliar and new at the beginning - man is a creature of habit. But let us start NOW to build together a new world in which we live humanity.
We invite you to join us in creating a new community of values in which we all feel comfortable.
So that we have a common basis despite all our differences, H.e.l.f.a. has four basic rules on which H.e.l.f.a. is built.
Politics and political content
Questions are repeatedly asked about how we deal with political issues, what position we take.
From our understanding, political issues, as well as parties or other politically oriented institutions, are more interested in acting in a purely ideological and power-centered way, so that this unsettles and divides the population. For example, forcing a person who does not hurt other people to do something that he or she dislikes goes in the direction of dictatorship and torture, and thus inhumanity.
Therefore Helfa will not officially comment on explosive topics.
Of course, topics will be discussed and thus ideas, thoughts and opinions will be exchanged. Because it is important that all relevant topics are discussed and that each person can form his opinion.
In this context, appreciation, respect and acceptance of different views are important to us. Because if people no longer talk about content, but ideologically determine what may be thought or said, then it restricts finding solutions. We at Helfa want to initiate projects, shape life and think and act creatively.
Helfa tries to connect and is tolerant towards all people and different opinions.
Because: We have to think differently to overcome the problems of society on this earth. Different thoughts, experiences and approaches to topics as well as projects is enriching. If we all thought the same way, we would all fail at the same problem. We want people to think differently. We want problems to be looked at from different angles. Only then can we get a more complete picture of the situation. We also try to reflect that in our handbook.
Only if solutions are implemented in the spirit of co-humanity and do not violate human rights or other personal rights will they be successful in the long term.
We are convinced that a free development of people leads them to grow beyond themselves. We prefer the intrinsic motivation with which every child in the world is born. This is based on curiosity, desire, love and the humanity to help others.
The 10 principles show that it is important to us that we all work together and not against each other - so let's create a world that unites us all - not just just humans, but all living beings.
But to make it very clear again:
We are NOT political and we are against any kind of discrimination, segregation and divisiveness. For us, exclusion only takes place when it puts other people in danger or otherwise attacks them, and that is the last possibility that should be considered. Before that, we should use our attentiveness and communication skills to be able to prevent possible discrimination etc. at an early stage
The four basic rules
In a community where future generations can also build a safe, livable and substantial life, reliable values and principles are needed.
H.e.l.f.a. offers minimum standards that help to organize communities so that people, with all their differences, can live, deal and work well together.
This coexistence is described in the following 4 basic rules:
1) Giving - Giving describes our attitude towards how we treat each other. Giving from the heart triggers a deep feeling of joy and happiness that connects us with the other person. (Detailed description here)
2) Getting to Know Each Other - Getting to know each other serves to bring us all closer so that we trust each other again. (Detailed description here)
3) Moderators (contact persons) - The moderators are there to be able to keep in touch with each other on a supra-regional or even international level, even though we don't know each other personally.(Detailed description here)
4) Own rules of the groups - The own rules should respect and consider group-specific, regional and cultural characteristics. Thus, in addition to the four basic rules given by H.e.l.f.a., all groups can define their own principles for their concerns. (detailed description here)
Within these four basic rules, all people can contribute their abilities and develop according to their own pace.
Free of charge or cost price
Everything in life has a price. Is that really the case?
Everyone comes to a point in their life when they think about what is really important. These usually include family, friends, health, happiness, freedom and peace... a price tag could never express how valuable, for example, family or freedom is to each and every one of us - if not priceless. But only our heart can recognize the true value of these "things" so important to us, which cannot be measured in numbers. Love, for example, is priceless, and yet it is available to everyone free of charge in one form or another. What else is available to us free of charge? These are the things that we often take for granted, such as time, sun, flora and fauna, air, water, closeness to other people, faith, free will and freedom of choice.
So if the things that are really important to us cannot be weighed against money, then the things for which we need money should at least be allowed to move down the list of priorities.
Out of this consideration follows for us Helfas the conviction that we can give to each other everything that is important in life and that we need. And for everything that we cannot (yet) produce ourselves, there is the possibility to give money or to pay for things with the cost price within the H.e.l.f.a. community.
What does it mean to give a gift?
To give means to give a gift to someone for permanent possession in order to please the other person with it, without asking for anything in return. And isn't it true that not only the recipients are happy about such a gift, but also we ourselves? Giving from the heart triggers an intense feeling of joy and happiness on both sides. A feeling that connects us with the other.
And that is why at H.e.l.f.a. we do not barter. Because even in traditional barter (things for things) it can happen that I have something (e.g. a cupboard) and the recipient doesn't need a cupboard, What now? Thus, even barter of things or services represents an imbalance and a disadvantage if the needs do not match. Within the H.e.l.f.a. project, we give to the other what we can and want to give. Freely and without coercion or expectations. At H.e.l.f.a. all help and support is offered free of charge or at most at cost price.
We are aware that accepting a gift can cause a feeling of guilt and discomfort in some people with the simultaneous urge to give something back as thanks or compensation. At H.e.l.f.a. we would like to overcome these negative feelings and thus also relearn the "ability to accept". Because every person on this earth deserves to be given a gift.
We want to keep the hurdles of "giving and taking" as low as possible and give what we have and / or no longer need to someone who needs it at that very moment. What can be given as a gift is so incredibly diverse that a list cannot reflect this here. Therefore, when we give gifts, our main concern is to respond to people's needs in a holistic way.
What does the cost price mean?
In the case of repairs, it is often not only the work of one person that is required, but also spare parts, e.g. for the washing machine or for the car. In this case, costs are incurred for the procurement of parts. The donor can also give away these spare parts. If this is not possible for certain reasons, the person seeking help bears the costs in the form of the cost price.
This is one of many examples of what we at H.e.l.f.a. mean by helping at cost. Covering the cost of travel to receive help can also be included. Important for H.e.l.f.a. is that the money is not in the foreground and is considered again and again: How, and if so how, would it be possible to arrange helping without money?
Self-employed people and entrepreneurs can also contribute their talents to H.e.l.f.a. by making gifts to people with their skills or by helping at cost price. There are no limits to the variety of gift ideas. And this significantly reduces the need to think in terms of profit.
Reasons why it may be important to charge cost price:
If an H.e.l.f.a. member is self-employed, giving spare parts for a car, for example, could mean that helping involves a financial loss for the helper. This could mean that the self-employed person suffers economically and is then in turn no longer able to help. Once quite apart from the fact that he could possibly get into trouble with the old system (tax office). It can also mean that once money is involved, again the feeling of being "taken advantage of" arises and this weakens the trust relationship. We want everyone to feel comfortable with H.e.l.f.a. and to make the transition from the old system to a gift community smooth, gentle, and in the spirit of win-win situations for those involved.
However, the principle that is always at stake is to give gladly from the heart. There should be no coercion, everything is voluntary and without expectations. This is the only way to permanently get rid of old habits, such as self-generated pressure and dependencies from the old world.
The more people step out of the old system (little by little) and join in, the sooner the vision of a giving society will be able to sustain itself.
The safety of deanonymization and group structure.
Through the Internet, we have gained huge opportunities, but new dangers also lurk. For example, global networking has finally given us the ability to communicate across the globe. But through all this progress we have not dealt with human nature and have not had any discussion about what is technically feasible, but how we can best integrate it. So at the moment our actions are determined almost exclusively by profit.
For this reason, we have reconsidered this and have come to the conclusion that we want to use the network with all its advantages, but compensate for the disadvantages. Thus, man has a security criterion that not even money can outweigh: Getting to know each other in person. There is nothing safer than meeting and feeling with all my senses who my counterpart is. People who have forgotten this can learn it again. When we know each other, we can tell what we can or can't do. The better we get to know each other, the more trust can be built. This trust can be destroyed, but it still teaches us to improve our own strategy and to deal with our problems. Therefore, one of the most important principles is to get to know each other in real life. While the Internet is used as a communication platform, it should always be the second choice whenever possible. We call getting to know each other in person "deanonymizing."
Since we can't get to know everyone, we take people with their natural limitations and map them in the project:
The most important thing is to accept that no two people are the same. Each person has different talents, abilities and tolerances and that is why each Helfa group is autonomous - they decide for themselves how big they will grow and what they will do. However, there is a growth limit and they have set this to a maximum of 200 members per group. This is definitely not the optimum and the groups are welcome to take less. So far, it has turned out that the number between 80 and 120 is optimal - That may change at some point. This creates a "decentralized - centralized" structure where each group has its own center and is autonomous at the same time. This by the way is a strategy we will see again and again when it comes to Helfa. Because whether it's power grids, the internet, doctors, etc. a decentralized centralized structure has the advantages of both worlds ...
Moderators as node points of networking
Within the groups, everyone can decide how the groups want to set themselves up. For example, there are groups that need a leadership floor, others will prefer more of a balanced structure. Nevertheless, in order to guarantee a uniform structure, we absolutely need a few moderators who act as contact persons within the local group, but who are also representatives of the groups in the regional and supraregional groups. Regional and supra-regional groups are mergers of the local groups to solve larger problems or to share information. The moderators take over e.g. the task that the communication runs "decently" - all the same whether in the net or in the reality (moderator/mediator). They can also take care of the group's needs, if a party arises, if anyone needs something or if information is missing. The moderator does not have to handle everything himself, but he should know the group so well that he can pass on the information to others. However, he should also make sure that the group doesn't work too hard and put its health at risk - that's why it's important to relax in between and also have fun together. The moderator can have this overview because he knows the group.The moderator can have this overview because he knows the group.
So that this role is not exploited, a moderator is elected 1 time a year. For the sake of simplicity, we have set that he is elected from 1/1 to 12/31. If for some reason it is important that a different date is elected, this is of course feasible. If a moderator takes advantage of his position and the group is against it, a vote of no confidence can take place, where this person can justify his decision. Exactly how this proceeds is up to the group to decide. Whether they try to turn the tide with positive motivations or whether they impose "punishments" is up to the people in the group. We will try to show through seminars which possibilities there are, so that everyone finds his tool with which he can work best and which fits the situation.
The rules should serve man, not the other way around.
There are sets of rules or laws that a person can neither understand nor grasp because they are too complicated or simply too many. How is a person supposed to remember more than 100 laws or rules? How is a person supposed to grasp the constant changes if he or she doesn't even have a say in whether or not he or she wants the law? And then it's not even about the number ... but also about the understanding and interpretation. So judges sometimes decide differently because they interpret or even want to interpret the law a little differently. So that this doesn't happen, we have rules that each group can define itself, but should adhere to the principles of how rules are created.
For better comprehensibility, a positive and a negative example should be given for each rule, or the reason why the rule should exist and what is not meant by it. To keep the number of rules within limits, all rules have a start and an end date. The start date indicates since when the rule exists, the end date until when it is valid. If the end date is exceeded, it must be reconsidered whether the rule is still needed or not. If not, the rule can go away, if yes, it must be voted whether it is updated or not. Then a new end date is set.
10 principles represented here
In addition to the 4 rules, there are 10 principles that we represent here to show some direction.
1. Aspiration of mankind
The highest aspiration of mankind is the common good of all living species and the biosphere.
Humans, animals and plants all belong to nature and cannot be separated from it. We are part of nature - not outside it or above it. All species are interconnected, and are indirectly dependent on each other for their survival.
The physical impact of humans on the world today is so great that we must behave wisely and responsibly. We must consider the needs of all species and the environment, as well as our own needs in all decisions.
2. Life - precious and free
Life, in all its forms, is precious and free to flourish for the common good.
Life is an amazing phenomenon and so far our planet is the only one where we have found it. This makes it even more unusual and beautiful, and therefore it should be valued and respected.
However, living also means having to eat food, and every species in this world is part of a complex food chain. In order to maintain this food chain and - with it - biodiversity and survival, we need to include the common good of all species in our thinking and decide how to treat each other.
The natural resources of the earth are available to all its inhabitants from birth and we are free to use them for the common good.
Every living person and creature on this planet is automatically entitled to share and use all of the earth's natural resources to live a healthy and fulfilling life without guilt or subordination to any other person or creature.
Humanity, because of its population size and complex lifestyle, has a special duty not to overburden these natural resources or use more of them than is necessary to continue to live a happy and full life for the common good
4. Equal rights
Every human being is equal in the worldwide community of people and a free citizen of this earth.
Social, ideological and geographical boundaries between people, are man-made barriers that lack a physical or natural basis. Such artificial divisions are contrary to the common good and survival of society as a whole.
Our commonalities, on the other hand, are both physical and natural. To put it more generally, we all need and want the same things. Through universal cooperation and equal access, we can apply our skills more effectively to meet these common needs.
5. Cooperation with all
Our community is based on cooperation and an understanding of nature, which we receive through our basic education.
Any child who is given a useful and relevant education about the workings of nature, the world, and life in the community will ultimately give that world and that community its best. Traditional career-based education has moved in a measurably destructive direction.
In the end, education will replace regulations, which are basically just a crude system to maintain order. For example, a child is better equipped for life if he or she fully understands why a particular act is not possible than a child who knows only the fear of being punished for that act.
6. Fundamentals for life
Our community provides all its members with the basics for a healthy, fulfilling and sustainable life, free and without guiltiness.
Each person should be provided with the highest standard of living technically possible, without using or imposing money, trade or debts. There is no longer any logical reason to do this. All human suffering is virtually caused by our obsolete barter system.
Any form of debt and subordination is not only obstructive but now completely unnecessary. This is due to our technological development and the ease with which we can manufacture and build goods for ourselves.
7. Limits of nature
Our community respects the limits of nature and its resources, minimizing consumption and waste production.
Our resources are limited because they exist in limited quantities or because it takes time to manage and replace them. In either case, we must conserve our resources to ensure our supply and to protect the environment.
In addition, we need to reduce the collection of items that we hardly use. This is because these have a direct impact on our environment. The more we preserve our environment, the greater our chances of survival.
8. Solutions from us
The solutions that our community proposes are based on logic and the best available knowledge.
In a new society without financial barriers and constraints, the greatest challenge for humanity will be a technical one. E.g., how do we provide everyone with sufficient food, water, shelter, energy, materials, while ensuring a high, sustainable standard of living for all?
Unlike traditional politics and speculation, the scientific method is a provable, robust system to solve these technical problems using available facts and logic. The scientific method also has a common point of reference across cultures and languages.
9. Duty of care and compassion
Our community recognizes its duty of care and compassion to members who are unable to contribute.
People who, for any reason, are unable to care for themselves or contribute to the common good should be cared for by the community spatially, physically and emotionally without incurring a debt.
It is also essential that we provide our children, as future contributors to our community, with as much useful knowledge as possible to stimulate their creativity, growth and intellect for the sake of future advancement.
Our community recognizes its responsibility to maintain a diverse and sustainable habitat for future generations.
We must remember that we not only share our planet with other humans, animals and plants, but that it will also be the origin of future humans, animals and plants.
These living beings, who today cannot express themselves and have no influence on our actions, have the same right to live as we do. It is in all our interests if we leave the world to future generations as we found it, if not in a better condition.
How to start?
The first step to enter the Helfa world is to join a local group. There everyone gets to know each other and builds trust. In reality this is very easy, in computer science it is a bit more difficult. There everybody can contact a moderator and introduce himself or make an appointment to meet. If instead of the website, Telegram is used, the first point is a reception group. There, everyone can then introduce themselves to an administrator or read through the welcome text, which gives one instructions on how to proceed. In any case, one of the first steps there is also to write to the moderator. If the first contact is accomplished, the rest is only a child's play - because from now on the Helfa world is at one's disposal.
The meeting is so important because trust can only be built if people really know each other. In the current society, something similar is done: there, everyone has an ID card. We try to do it without an ID card. We try to make it through a group bond that everybody knows everybody. Because if I know which group someone is in, I can ask the moderator if he knows him and then I can identify him. Of course, that's not 100% certain, but nothing is 100% certain - but it goes a long way and there is no file or record that can be held on someone for their entire life. Only the information that is important at that time is given out.
Once the entry to the group has been made, everyone is able to get several information through the website. Thus, the thematic groups can be viewed, the professional groups and also the organizations (orgas for short). In each of these groups it is possible to register and to integrate, to inform oneself and to exchange information as a whole. It is even desired that information is exchanged, because only through this can everyone expand their level of knowledge and connect with other people. But, as always, do not get lost in the virtual world, but use this as an information pool or communication network, lived in reality. So grab info and implement it in your own local group. Because life takes place in reality - please do not forget, no matter how tempting the Internet is.
The next steps are so individual that they cannot be listed here. Only one thing everyone should know:
You are free to do what you like. Do not let yourself be restricted. But please always watch out for your neighbors - because you are not alone. Only together we can do it. And as I always say:
We can only create peace if we all stick together. So let's all stick together and create peace - and let's do it in love.
The next following pages describe our structure. When are you a member of Helfa? What are the tasks of a moderator and so on. Check it out.
Information and communication is important for people and brings people together. But information overload can also be very exhausting. What is important? What do I read?
To give you an overview and selection, we have currently created a list of categories. This way you can see what interests you and filter the information better. So that it also supports optically, we assigned a color to each category.
Helfa is where you are. According to this motto we are looking forward to your suggestions. Which category do you miss? What can we improve? And of course we are looking forward to your active cooperation.
Category / Color
News / Grey
Technology / Blue
Organization / Red
Politics / Black
Culture / Brown
Nature / Green
Society / Orange
Health / Yellow
Spirituality / Purple
Help / light blue
Every human being has the right and also the possibility to live according to the Helfa principles. Every human being is allowed to call himself a Helfa. Only in the past it has been shown that some people are not so far and that they try to exploit the concept. To prevent this, we organize ourselves in groups and try to protect the groups themselves. That's why everybody who wants to join the Helfa groups has to introduce himself first in a real Helfa group or at least attend a seminar where all the rules and also the vision is explained. This way it can be ensured that everybody knows what he is allowed to do and what he is not allowed to do. However, getting to know each other personally and building trust in a group is essential to create a new kind of society.
The tasks of the members are:
- To learn and understand the 4 basic rules
- To deal with the 10 principles
- To take time to get to know and integrate with the group.
- To be open to what is new.
- Check the website to see what's new.
- Choose a moderator once a year
- To follow the rules of one's own group and to vote if it is necessary.
The following data is important in this regard, which we would prefer to process electronically on the homepage:
||Is used for login|
|Username||Is the username in the system|
|Name, first name||Is the real name that is used|
|Local Group||In which local group is the member|
|Contact Public||A public contact that appears on the website.|
|Contact Private||A contact that only the own group can see|
|Languages||What languages does the person speak|
|Description||Own description, appearance, behavior, etc.|
|Role||What role does the member have? Moderator?|
|Which underline the description of the member.|
|Wishes||What wishes does the member have - if applicable, can they be fulfilled.|
|Resources||What resources the member has available|
|Skills||These are important to know what the member can do|
|Address||This address can then be displayed in a map|
|Gender||This entry is important for a mapping or personal preferences|
|Birthday||This entry is important for age restrictions|
Moderators are members who represent a particular group. They are not the bosses of the groups, nor are they anything better or worse than anyone else. Their job is to manage, understand and be responsive to the group. The moderators are the first point of contact when it comes to learning about, helping or otherwise contacting the group. This applies to the group's own members as well as to other groups from outside. To make it easier for a moderator, there are special groups where moderators can exchange information and help each other.
Moderators exist in different groups and of course they all have the same rights and can therefore exchange information together. However, in order for the power limitation to work, a member may only be a moderator in one type of group. So the moderator of a local group can only be a moderator in one local group and is not allowed to be a moderator in the surrounding local groups. The same applies to local topic groups, language groups and professional groups.
Tasks of the moderator:
- Contact person and representative for own group and others such as orga, topic groups.
- Is elected for one year, from 1.1. - 31.12.
- Public contact information (e.g. e-mail) is mandatory (even if it's only a mail address, so you can do the Helfa communication)
- Responsible for the group - but can also delegate tasks
- Introduce new members to the group
- Update the group's website
- Manage parent groups if desired.
- Support other moderators in own group
- Special support from various moderator groups
- Special support from the Orga
- Extended user manual for moderators
- Seminars for moderators
- Regional and national meetings
The following data is important in this regard, which we would do best to process electronically:
No specifics - see members.
Ambassadors are members who go to different groups and give on-site seminars or solve problems. These people can help where they are needed. So a group that wants to help another can send ambassadors to provide info and help right there.
- Willingness to travel
- A lot of background knowledge of Helfa
- Be good with people
The following data is important in this regard, which we would do best to process electronically:
No specifics - see members.
There are diverse group types in Helfa, which all have to do with each other. Within the groups there are also different levels, which represent a hierarchy. This hierarchy does NOT serve to try to maneuver the "lower" groups in any direction, but ONLY to pass on information and a higher level of coordination. E.g. a supra-regional meeting is possible or a vote on who wants to take which role in a disaster.
There are different levels, which are aligned with the real localities. Only two levels are absolute, and therefore very definable:
- Local groups
- Global groups
These two types of groups describe the groups that are either at the bottom of the hierarchy (local groups) or world-wide (global groups). The lowest level is the one where it is personal, where everyone knows everyone. It has to be relatively small, because human comprehension is simply not capable of more - psychologists assume that 120 to 150 people can be known personally and contact can be maintained. All other people lead to abstract groups. We need the global level so that we can address all groups. Because people cannot really be considered separately from each other just because the human capacity is not enough to do so. People are the people and they all have the same right - please do not confuse that with the fact that everyone should be treated equally. Besides, why should a person born somewhere else be treated differently? No, we provide a structure where every person can communicate freely with every other person - no matter where we are.
Between these two absolute group levels, there are two other group levels that can be used variably:
- Regional groups
- Supraregional groups
The regional groups include the local groups and can be one or two levels above. The supra-regional groups contain regional groups and can also represent several levels. How many always depends on the number of levels.
Earth → continent → country → state → region → city → district → group name.
In this case, the earth would be the global group, and the group name would be the local group. From region to city district, these would be the regional groups, and from continent to state, the super-regional groups.
Earth → continent → country → city → group name.
Here again the earth would be the global group and the group name would be the local group. The city would then be the regional group and the continent and country the supra-regional group.in levels
Local area groups are the groups that are at the very bottom of the hierarchy. They can be cities, neighborhoods or streets, depending on how dense the network is in the area. These groups are used to enter the Helfa network, because only when we know each other, we can build trust. And trust is what we need to make a difference.
Tasks of the group:
- To take care of its own members
- To network with the members of other groups
- To set up projects to keep the group going even in emergency situations
- Offer more and more, until money is not so important anymore.
- Do not forget the fun factor
- Build a future for yourself and your children
The following data is important and we would prefer to process it electronically:
- Status - Will be explained below
- Logo - Each group can give itself a logo
- Description - Each group can describe itself
- Pictures / picture gallery - Several pictures can be uploaded to the group
- Dates - The dates are shown in a calendar in the respective group
- Languages - In which language / languages are spoken in the group
- Warnings Messages that are displayed when something happens
- Receiving groups - Links that point to the groups, no matter what system
- Moderators - The members who can be contacted so that new members can be accepted
- Rules - These are rules that each group can create itself
- Articles - These are reports that each group can write itself
- Requests - Here you can enter requests that the group will take care of.
- Groups - Here you can enter the link that leads to groups. An external group, where other people can join, an internal group. In both groups the people should be in, so that they notice, if someone of Helfa looks for help.
Since Helfa wants to include the entirety of the people and thus also cover everything there is in interesting areas, a flat hierarchy would become too confusing. Topic groups also have a hierarchy, so that they can be found better. So there is a general topic that can then have subtopics, which in turn can have subtopics, and so on.
For example, the Nature topic has Conservation, Forest, and Planting as subtopics. For planting, the sub-themes could be arable land, allotments, parks ... etc. Each topic in turn has different levels, as they can be made in all groups. The sole purpose of these hierarchies is to distribute the information in several or single groups, if necessary. So people who are generally interested in nature will be informed about a possible meeting in the same way as permaculture people and those who are interested in parks (theme group hierarchy all themes from the theme nature, all the way down, but only the local groups that are registered near the meeting place). On the other hand, a seminar that is only about permaculture can be limited to this group, while all local groups are addressed globally (with the same language of course)
The professional groups are, in effect, like the topic groups, except that members are entered there who are in a particular profession or are extremely knowledgeable about it. As a strategy, each group should have different professions in the local groups to better handle different situations. For example, each Helfa local group should have at least one doctor, one gardener, one mechanic, one psychologist, one healer, etc. This way each group can take care of itself without having to travel long distances. What is no good is if a group has many doctors and very little else. Nor does it do any good if one group has only the best of the best, but the surrounding groups have nothing. Only a balance leads to the groups doing well.
In a supra-regional or global context, professional groups can join together and create new organizations. They can use this to build concepts, create plans and blueprints to share with the groups. For example, different kinds of concepts can be made for schools, where each group can pick what it needs from several proposals. Doctors could start their own medical association to help and heal people according to different standards. No matter what, these experts could help humanity locally, regionally, supraregionally and globally.
The professional groups can, but don't have to, have a pre-group - we will call them "Support of". This group has the advantage that the expert groups are not disturbed again and again and they can work within their groups on concepts, tasks or what is at hand. The members of the professional groups can be in the support, but also people who want to support the group - but they should have a little bit of knowledge about the subject.
These groups are special groups and are different from the other groups because they do not include themes or anything like that. They only serve another dimension so that really all people can participate in the project.
5 + 1 most important cornerstones for survival
There are 5 important cornerstones that we need to survive. These should be able to be offered by the Helfas at some point, preferably completely free of charge.
3. shelter (incl. warmth or cold resistance)
5. mobility like car
And of course
1. fun and joy
Decentralization - Centralization
Centralism has the advantage that resources are optimally utilized. Everything is decided, implemented and finished in one place. If something needs to be changed, it happens in only one place and is thus implemented immediately. The disadvantage of this is that the center means that the outside areas are very far away - the transport routes are very long and therefore the logistics have to be put under a lot of strain. If there is a breakdown, be it due to wrong decisions or an abortion of the work for whatever reason, the whole project has to be paused. In addition, all exceptions to all local conditions must be taken into account in the central office at this one point.
Decentralized systems have the advantage that they adapt to the local environment, keep distances very short, and should one system fail, the surrounding systems can help out. The problem is that they are redundant systems, each consuming its own resources and leading to duplication of effort.
When the two systems work together and the benefits are combined, the result is fail-safe systems that don't consume a lot of resources or require long transport distances. To accomplish this, it is necessary that information is passed on quickly and that cooperation works very well. In contrast to our current system where only own groups benefit from this kind of collaboration (companies), in Helfa it should take place in all areas. This allows an open, not overly redundant, cross-functional collaboration between different or even all groups.
Examples of this type of work would be:
Helfa groups, power grids, emergency assistance, seminars, storage of goods, information sharing.
Decentralization - centralization based on an example
If a piece of information is only with one member, then there is a problem if that member is indisposed or overworked - because then the information is no longer accessible. To avoid such cases, information should be disseminated as quickly and efficiently as possible. The more people have the information, the less likely it is to be lost. In computer science, as well as in other fields, it has been shown that when more than one person works on something, the results improve. Collaboration not only increases efficiency and security, it also increases the bottleneck that otherwise causes a bottleneck to occur. For example, a member who can enter the locations of groups on a virtual map is the only one with access to the technology, reaches its limit at 5,000 requests, and is unable to complete the task adequately or at all. If we split that up, multiple people can work on the task simultaneously. If the 5,000 people work on their "positions" on the map themselves, not only is the request processed faster, but if there are changes or additions, it is ensured that it happens immediately and everyone is "happy".
Names of Helfa and other organizations
The names of the projects and organizations are all well and good, but they have a problem:
They are pigeonholes that divide society.
While the local groups are divided only so that they can form a small unit of size corresponding to the human boundaries, a name of an association and other organizations is a demarcation and sooner or later leads to a division in thinking and then also in reality. The name Helfa is taken only as an example of it, in order to have a catchy term. But the groups themselves have nothing to do with the name. So other organizations can use their names and logos ... as long as nobody acts against the basic rules and principles in any way.
We have to get away from this pigeonholing at some point, because it leads to a lack of perception of reality. We put characteristics on a group that definitely do not apply to every member and thus we do people an injustice. With this thinking, we facilitate an "ad hominem", a "no true Scotsman" argument to others, which only aims to exploit this inaccuracy in order to impose one's worldview on others. For this reason, it is important that sooner or later we abandon just that, or we adopt whatever name is somehow appropriate.
OpenSource and Open Access Principle
In the Helfa project we try to adopt as much of the OpenSource or Open Access principle as possible. So the software that is used should be OpenSource. Why? The idea is that we work together transparently. But that also means that our tools should be free - and transparent.
So programs are used like:
The OpenSource principle, or the Open Access principle does not only end with the programs, but also goes into our way of working. Meetings are recorded and the minutes are put online so that others can see what has been decided. Of course, not everything has to be put on the web, but the important information should be read by everyone - even if it is only for the sake of transparency.
Other data that belong on the web are documents about concepts, ideas, scientific papers, seminars, etc. The more knowledge is shared, the better it will be for everyone - because knowledge must not die! Knowledge must reach as far as it can. That is why we support OpenSource and Open Access.
Problems and solutions
Disputes within groups
There is a possibility that members misbehave and that the group does not know how to deal with the disagreements. Well, this kind of thing happens all the time and is quite normal. In such a case, the member in question should be approached by the facilitators or a specific mediator and they will talk about what happened and how it can be avoided for the future. What tool can be used to resolve this is up to each group - the important thing is to work through the issues rather than push them to the back and eventually it becomes irreparable.
If there are frequent complaints and it can't be resolved through a face-to-face conversation, at some point the group will have to decide how to handle the situation. The point is not to "finish" anyone off, but to allow the issue to be worked through and for everyone to find a solution. The moderator is not the leader in this process, but simply a facilitator who ensures that things run smoothly. We call this procedure a "vote of no confidence" because at some point it comes down to the fact that one or more members are no longer trusted. The extent to which the "meeting" goes is determined by the groups themselves. For example, the group may disassociate itself from individual members and cooperation may not be possible. As long as the member does not act against the Helfa community, she can be taken out of a group, but can continue to be part of the Helfa community by going to another group. If she harms the community, she has to be removed from the whole project. This does NOT mean that this person cannot live the Helfa idea anymore - it only means that for the time being, due to lack of alternatives, he/she is no longer sustainable. If the "attitude" changes, it is possible that the person will come back at some point. Because we firmly believe that we humans must all stick together to create peace. And this cannot be done by separating some people from others. However, this cannot always be done and at all times. Therefore, as written, a first separation is sometimes indispensable.
What does not work at all is that people, members, are simply removed from a group without warning or reason. This is against each of the 10 principles. Therefore, let's work together to learn a new way of being with each other and to apply it.
Of course, money is also a topic at Helfa - after all, the whole society works with it at the moment. Also in the project it is allowed to talk about money, to give people tips how to do it better and if someone absolutely needs money, it can be given to him. But what we prefer is that all other methods should be tried first before money comes to the fore. We have already learned as children that the only solution is money and we have to learn again to get away from these ideas in order to be able to try new ways. For example, instead of being bought new, a tool can be given or at least borrowed from another member. This not only saves money, but is also recycling at a very high level. In the process, social competence and social responsibility increase, because we are dealing more and more with our fellow human beings again. At first, we will have problems with this because we are not used to dealing with people at all. "I know my drill. I don't know how others handle it." These sayings and views make us isolate ourselves more and more. The background is clear: capitalism has made it so that we can afford everything, at least some of the people, the larger part cannot,
We cannot live without money in the current situation. Nevertheless, we should try to find ways to deal with how we could do it. Because if we don't take the time to try, we will never manage to get away from money. In the end, it's not even about whether we work with money or not, it's just about whether we manage to finally give up our habitual patterns in order to save our future and that of our children.
A first start is that we separate the work from the money. The reason is very simple:
A human being is valuable because of who he is. And every human being should have the right to live. With the current monetary system, this is not possible, because whoever does not have money does not have the right to live. We see this with the people who cannot afford food on this earth and therefore starve. It is not work that makes us human, but life. This also applies to all other living beings on this planet, including the planet itself, which is our home.
However, without our own money, these living beings degenerate into things that we can buy, trade with, etc. For this reason it is important that we start to see and value life and all its possibilities without money. Since society needs it nevertheless, we at Helfa are still forced at the moment to see this means as a thing too and to use it. But then not as a vital element, but only a thing that society needs. Therefore it is alright, if then not only money can be talked about, but it is also given away - but not in return for a work, a favor or sons tein exchange, but only as a gift.
Possible problems to start a group
There are always launching problems in groups to either elect moderators or for the group to start meeting. Here are a couple ideas on how groups can start to grow:
- Classically advertise so that more people come into the group and so that the group grows larger. This will also bring more active people into the group, who can then enliven the group.
- At each meeting, ask people what they would like to see happen and try to create those requests as a local theme group and then try to implement them.
- Create several local topic groups that members might be interested in.
- Look at the surroundings and try to improve the town, village through actions such as cleaning up the streets.
- On various platforms things that are sold, make a special price for Helfa members - and of course mark it that way. If inquiries come, can be cleared up about it.
- Ask for help every now and then. By helping the ice breaks and a contact develops.
- The groups, which do not want to elect moderators, are pointed out that they can be represented only thereby in all the other groups. This is important so that information can be sent to and from other groups.
- Decisions are made as transparent as possible. This creates a sense of community
- Meetings with other groups are always a nice event, fun and enliven any group.
- Don't just offer work, schedule fun days as well. For example, game nights, wellness days and joint hikes can strengthen the feeling of togetherness and thus revitalize the group. Actions that weld together are always good - instead of just doing "normal" meetings that get boring with endless discussions. Get more into reality instead of getting caught up in ideologies.