FREQUENTLY ASKED QUESTIONS
Faith Families of African Descent Meeting for Marriage (FFAMM) contributes to positive social change through education, political advocacy and counseling services which support family-building, for people of African-ancestry. We create opportunities for like-minded individuals to meet, exchange ideas and actively pursue mutual goals - the greatest of which are the preservation of religious, cultural and family values.
Why is FFAMM important?
The two most important roles in a person’s life can be that of a spouse and a parent. Yet, we are never formally taught how to fulfill these roles.
As the world is now, even the family examples and support that we’ve traditionally leaned on for help, are slowly eroding.
FFAMM hopes to create easy-to-access services and resources that can educate, mediate and facilitate positive relationships.
Why is the organization’s focus people with predominate African ancestry?
As part of our historical legacy, Black people have been scattered and often disconnected from most cultural foundations. Too often, young and Black couples find themselves grasping for the elder-support, historical knowledge and healthy traditions that make successful family-building possible.
Our introduction services and activities are planned to meet the needs of people of African-descent, who have been historically disenfranchised. The Village-Builder’s service, for instance, helps young families create lifelong bonds with people they may never have found who may make parenting and family-building just a bit easier.
Why not provide the service to all people and all races?
Our programs and services are tailored to the cultural and social mores of African-Americans, West Indian/Caribbean peoples and Africans.
We believe that shared cultural (not "racial") and religious values can be an important part of any marriage or parental support. Through our introduction services, we help families identify people who share many similar experiences.
Our group is reflective of our world’s existing and historical divisions and disparities. We hope to address the factors that have led to disproportionately high compromises of familial, cultural and socio-economic foundations.
Do families have to be religious?
Our Family Match Profiles require information regarding the religious faith of families, as religious beliefs are a strong foundation upon which families may be built.
We hope to strengthen and build families and communities by helping to preserve religious, cultural and family values.
Our knowledge-base currently supports matches from the following religious preferences;
REQUESTING THE SERVICES
How do families get matched?
For each match request, we will attempt to find up to three (3) families who meet the following criteria for Marriage-Minded Introductions:
- Are adherents of the same faith
- Whose preferences for the "marriage-minded" son/daughter's age, gender, cultural heritage and location are complementary
- Have three or more secondary profile features in common
- Have had fewer than three (unique) family match profiles submitted
The family match profiles are active and submissions are reviewed on the first Sunday of every month, to help control the flow of applications.
Most matches are completed within the month. More detailed requests may take up to three months for our administrators to recruit suitable families. Visit our Services page at www.ffamm.org.
All match communication is done via the United States Postal Service, email and/or private Facebook message.
No personal or profile-specific information should be shared in the Facebook group, to maintain privacy.
How much is the introduction service?
Our fees fluctuate depending on the size of our current database of Family-Match Profiles and the ease with which families may be matched. Most families are matched with between 1-3 other families for a nominal administrative fee of $25-$50 (as of March 2018).
Service administrative fees are not refundable, unless no family matches were found in 180 days. Donations are encouraged to help offset fees for families who are experiencing financial hardship. If we have not found a suitable match within 180, families may request a refund of the administrative fee.
What happens after the match/introduction?
Once families are matched through our introduction services, contact information is provided to both families. Once matched families have had one contact (virtually or in person), FFAMM’s responsibility for introduction is complete. FFAMM has a recommended and tested process for the getting to know the other family. We offer a plan for communication as part of our service.
Why was the profile form closed when I tried to access it?
Profiles are reviewed on the first Sunday of each month. Occasionally, the form will be closed for responses until any backlogs are cleared. Our profiles are password protected, for access, call 443-595-7748 or email firstname.lastname@example.org.
How much information is given to matched families?
We do not share the profile particulars between matched families. We suggest that an introduction might be mutually beneficial, but make no guarantees.
Who can be matched through Village-Builders?
Any family with at least one guardian of African-descent may use the Village Builders service. Our matching system is designed to identify traits that people have in common and is best suited for families who adhere to Abrahamic faiths.
The Village Builders service is recommended for families with children who are less than 16 years old. Families with older children are encouraged to use our Marriage-Minded Introduction Service.
We do not have any income, education or interest affiliation requirements, to use our services. This removes a huge barrier that many families have to being collectively socialize and make new family-friends.
How can Village-Builders help my family?
Our Village-Builders Introduction Service creates opportunities for like-minded people, whose children are at the same stage of development to support each other.
What we do is simple: We help you find more family-friends.
We’ve heard that it takes a village to raise a child, but some of us are lacking great people to build villages with! FFAMM makes it easier.
Are there age limits for the marriage service?
We accept Marriage-Minded Introduction service requests from families with sons/daughters who are aged 16 years or older. There is no upper age-limit.
We only require "guardians" for people under age 25 to help ensure that the process is one for which the young couple will have family support. Guardians can be anyone who is familiar with the candidate, and need not share the same faith. Ideally, guardians would be blood (or legal) relatives, with whom the candidates spent their early years. Any male or female relative can be invited to participate in the process.
Does FFAMM encourage arranged marriage?
FFAMM does not suggest or condone forced marriage for anyone, at any time.
Although, historical evidence shows that arranged marriage between adults often results in beautiful and happy relationships.
We trust that the families who join our organization and use our Marriage-Minded Introduction service are seeking to empower their sons and daughters, not oppress them. We require consent from the candidate before the application for the Marriage-Minded Introduction service is processed.
Throughout the diaspora, there are Black families who wish to help their children escape the many struggles that can come with autonomous marriage (couples finding lifelong mates, with no family input).
Our intention is to help those families make it easier for young adults to identify their relationship priorities, find suitable mates and fall in love with the confidence and security of family support.
Can single parents use the Marriage-Minded Introduction service to help their children find mates?
(Launched Dec 2016-March 2018) Phase I of our match process did require guardians, who live in the same household - unless we extended a personal invitation. Currently, we have lifted this requirement for people over the age of 25.
We are creating a network of families from whom we can all draw support.
Our Facebook group membership is open to everyone and our services will change to reflect the demographics of the majority of our clients/community.
(Launched March 2018) Phase II:
We will expand the marriage match process to include families of African descent with candidates who are represented by one guardian, or none at all.
We will accept profiles from families of any ancestry. Our services would match culturally similar families who are interested in Black Marriage-Minded female candidates ONLY.
Can single adults apply to be matched?
Couples who have the benefit of the two families knowing and understanding each other are better supported. This is valuable as they transition to blend their lives and began the family-building process - with God’s guidance. While we hope that all prospective clients will find a blood relative who is willing to be included in the process, we do assist clients above age 25 without a guardian-involvement.
Is the Marriage-Minded Introduction Service really a dating service?
We do not encourage the potential marriage candidates meeting or communicating before the family has met and established a relationship. We introduce people solely for the purpose of marriage and family-building.
How should we expect to proceed after the match?
For families who opt for our "Focused" matches, we offer a two-step introduction process. This includes recommended activities for the families to get to know each other first, then the candidates' becoming acquainted. Clients who follow our process have more expedient and pleasant match experiences. There is not additional fee for the acquaintance plan.
Does FFAMM offer any training or preparation to couples for marriage?
As we expand our services, we will offer online-training and other information web-based resources as a community service to couples and individuals who wish to prepare for their role within a marriage.
PARTICIPATING IN THE FACEBOOK GROUP
Families do not have to be users of the FFAMM services to join the Facebook group and stay in touch.
Please do contribute:
All other uses of the group’s page are UNACCEPTABLE, such as:
Religious, political or “hot topics” debates. No exceptions.
Advertising, selling, multi-level marketing and event promotion is also prohibited. Researchers who wish to recruit participants should contact the group administrators via private message.
Any group members violating these guidelines will be deleted, without notice or warning.