Contextual information for non-Maldivian readers: Maldives is land-poor in urban areas and therefore the concept of ‘house’ is that of high-rise apartment buildings. The video below is also just to add context before we go into what I am to write today 🙂
Wow! So unbelievable!
I finally have a plot of land, and enough money to kick-start my dream project 🙂
I start today. I pull out my archived files from the top of the cupboard and those tucked inside the bookshelf. And out I pull, my draft paper that I had worked on some years ago. I have had sketched my dream house on that sheet of paper. Also, comes out the file with all the ideas about a day care center combined with community library.
I quickly write-up a proposal. I want the building to be 10 floors high. The highest I am allowed to build on the plot of land is 10 floors. And there is such an acute demand for apartments, it will be silly to not make the best use of the plot of land I have been given.
My plan is to rent out some of the floors to generate an income. I will be completing 5 floors in the first phase, and the rest in the next five years. Can’t do it in one go because the jackpot is not enough to complete the entire building.
With my proposal I attach a tentative sketch of what I will be using the place for.
The ground floor has a café and a library. The Café is cozy and can accommodate a maximum of 30 people. The place will be leased out to an interested party, and will be paying me a reasonable (not a handsome) rent. I want the place to be affordable to the low-income groups.
The library portion is also modest. To start with, the collection will mainly consist of donations. When I open up the place, I will call for the community to donate at least one book each. Slowly, I will build the collection and people will start coming in to read. Especially to read in a quiet cozy place. A place that is friendly yet keeps a semblance of order. Each person coming in will be asked for a voluntary gold coin (which in this country is MVR 2.00 – less than $0.20). Nothing extra will be charged. The library will be open to the community and I hope to get a good number of people “to be forced” into coming in – and eventually start reading. The level of reading here in the Maldives is pathetic. The Library will be so awesome that they cannot resist checking out a book on their way out.
How are they “forced” to come in? They are working parents and will be bringing their kids for care when they go off for work or attend other stuff. The library is also the reception area for the new day care center! 🙂
The parents will be my bait to bring in more readers through their positive reviews of this new AWESOME library/child-care-centre/café combo 😉
Note: There is an acute shortage of day care facilities in the country.
Back to the proposal.
The first and second floors of the building is the day care center. We have 4 day-rooms, a common room with dining area and a play corner, laundry, set of toilets – wee ones on one floor, two toilets for older kids and two for the staff. The 4 day-rooms will be used by different age groups 1-2 years, 3-5 years, 6-8 years, 9-13 years. The under-fives will use the share toilets in the pantry area while the other groups will be using the private toilets.
The floor has a safe balcony where kids can go out for a bit of fresh air. The place will be run by a nurse, a teacher, a cook, 4 care givers (can be moms or grannies).
I will take in older kids too. But they will not be babied. The older kids obviously come for the few hours after or before school, and will spend their time in the Library under the guidance of the information officer on duty. It be a great time to catch up on school homework or else just leisure reading or hanging out with other kids – NOT GADGETS !
The third floor will be my living quarters. The fourth floor will be rented out. This will generate some income to kick-start the library and the day care center. Of course, some funds are put aside from the jackpot too. But not much is left 🙂
I hope to generate enough funds from the day care center as well as secure a loan to finish up the rest of the 5 floors of the building within five years after the first phase is completed. When that happens, I will be able to lease out all those floors and generate a handsome income to inject money into the library – to make it the number one public library service to serve the community. The Day Care Center will become the number one choice especially for low-income parents. Yes! I start that project as a community service – more than an income generator. My income will come from the building itself.
A win-win situation. And I will go old and frail sitting at the library (finally) reading and catching up with old friends as well as new ones visiting the Café right next door to the library.
Oh! I forgot to add. The building premises will have rose bushes going all around it except for the entrance. And on the Café side of the building, there will be a small open seating area with some space for plants. I must have green no matter how precious a commodity land is over here!
You’re given a plot of land and have the financial resources to do what you please. What’s the plan?
Now back to readers here. What part of LIS will you take into retirement?