Bow island

Bow island is a living complex more than a community, however it is aimed at meeting a need.

The island gets its name from the buildings on the top that are shaped like a large bow, with living accommodation in the two loops and community facilities within the central knot section, the design continues with a ribbon like effect providing two lifts.

The island was produced by a company that wanted to provide a telephone call center facility, covering both Europe and the USA, and came up with the proposal that rather than building two islands, they would produce one island in two halves.

The lower half of the island is the call center they run and own, the top half is technically owned by the floating kingdom but in practice run by a trust. The trust provides housing and support for single mothers. 

The trusts section has a guest floor above the call center, where we can meet anyone, but above this both community facilities and accommodation are totally restricted to residents of the floor they are on.

The floors are arranged roughly so that younger mothers are in the surface, and older mothers in steps run down the other floors. We do have some common areas we can all use. Splitting the group means that young mothers are not on the same floors as teen sons of older single mothers.

The organization is such that you can go out, get cover while you work, and all have to also help in providing this cover or are paid by the trust for caring for groups of children. The cost of running the trust is split between the residents. The formula is a bit complicated, but basically the longer you are within the trust accommodation the more expensive it gets, so that the long term people pay around 50% more than new residents.

Residents also have to do some compulsory courses, from money management to dating skills.

The objective of the trust is to get single mothers back into families or to work. It does not carry passengers, and other than the trust having to pay just a token rent has no other state aid.

It has proved a very successful way of providing help when needed, and allowing single mothers to get to stand on their own feet, or providing the support they need to form relationships. Most of course need very little encouragement, and with so many people coming out to the kingdom on holiday or to seek their fortune, there is no shortage of suitable new husbands.

Some of the older single mothers who want to stay single, form friendships and then rent apartments for combined families or mini communes, often with one parent then staying home to maintain the family, and others working. Within the floating kingdom there is no state benefit for anyone able to work, so other methods such as bow island and the communes or single sex trusts, tend to fill the need, without the need for the rest of society to fund them.

When divorces occur, parents get to discuss who will look after and keep the children. They have the joint responsibility to make sure the children are happy and well cared for. Here we do not follow the pattern in some other states of one parent being allowed to have control, and the other expected to pay after a break up. Here you pay for what you get, so if you want to have the children you have to keep and look after them. In practice in most cases this means far more agreement between parents and sensible sharing of the time of the children and the costs. Another common practice here that I have not seen widely used elsewhere has been special apartments units which have three parts, a section at each end for each of the parents and a central section for the children. This way the children have their own rooms and can eat or spend time in both of the parents units. 


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Last updated: May 06, 2002.