Tuesday, December 23, 2008

Radio Interview with Monica Tonna Barthet

Monica Tonna Barthet sold all her wordly possessions to build a home for homeless boys in Addis Ababa, Ethiopia.

In this interview with Marlene Galea, Monica recounts how she ended up in Ethiopia and the home she built for the boys. Link to Interview with Monica on the Angel’s Home (this interview is in Maltese)


"Poverty is the worst form of violence" -- GHANDI

"They say it is better to be poor and happy than rich and miserable, but how about a compromise like moderately rich and just moody?" -- PRINCESS DIANA

"The trouble is that rich people, well-to-do people, very often don't really know who the poor are; and that is why we can forgive them, for knowledge can only lead to love, and love to service. And so, if they are not touched by them, it's because they do not know them" -- MOTHER TERESA

"Like slavery and apartheid, poverty is not natural.
It is man-made and it can be overcome and eradicated by the actions of human beings "


Monday, December 8, 2008

Interview with Ross Allan of Well-Wishers

Intercept Poverty interviewed Ross Allan earlier this year.
Ross is Director of Oxfam, friend of Intercept and Founder of Well-Wishers in Ethiopia.

A former property executive, consultant and successful developer, Ross speaks with me on Re-inventing his work, Social Entrepreneurship, Leadership and Solving Problems in the world where it really counts.

At Intercept we are all about new ways of thinking to solve old problems. And, the concept of development struck me as having a few meanings here. If you’ve ever felt resourced and restless but haven’t been sure what to do next, this interview may help you gain some direction and clarity. Ross’s journey has been from developing property in the developed world, to developing people and infrastructure, where it counts, in the 3rd World.

I met Ross while exploring how Intercept might support the work that Well-Wishers are doing in Ethiopia. I found Ross to have compassion, business acumen, strong communication skills and natural leadership presence. He has transitioned his skills and expertise to a place that gives him great meaning.

We meet many CEO’s and Senior Business Leaders who are looking for the ‘what’s next?’. In each of us is a part that wants to make a difference and to use our gifts to fulfil ourselves and fulfil others. Here is one success story of that transition. And this interview may just be one model you’d like to follow, or simply a project you’d like to explore. Here’s some tips from Ross who has journeyed from Business Entrepreneur to Social Entrepreneur.

TL: Give me a potted summary of your business background

After a career with Lend Lease Corporation, I set up my own development & project management consultancy in 1982, concentrating on the redevelopment, extension and/or refurbishment of shopping centres.

Our role was to manage on behalf of our client, the total development process (planning approvals, major tenant negotiations, design management, calling tenders, managing the builder, hand-over etc). Clients were mainly institutional and included AMP, Commonwealth Bank, Prudential Insurance et al. I retired in 1997.

TL: What was the tipping point / catalyst for you to move into this work?

Retiring led to more time to think about the future, which in turn, lead to thinking about bigger issues in the world.
I walked the Kokoda Track in 1997 where my Father was during the war and I think that the physical and emotional depths I reached during those 9 days, was a major catalyst in shaping my future direction, although I did not realise it at the time.

TL: When did you originally have it on your heart to make a difference?

I believe it is always in a person, it just needs something to bring it to the surface. My wife and I have always supported causes, long before 1997.

It’s since 1997 that it has come more to the surface. We are born with nothing and die with nothing. We believe it is far more important to help thousands of those in need, than it is to enhance our children’s life styles – hence our decision not to leave an inheritance to our children (we also believe this will help make our children better people anyway).

TL: What is your definition of fulfilment?

To know that as an individual, I have done my best to help others less fortunate than myself. It has nothing to do with satisfaction but everything to do with knowing that I’ve done something positive to help my fellow human beings. It is pure luck I was born in Australia and bad luck that others have been born in lands where they don’t have the abundance of good fortune we lucky ones do.

TL: How do you define leadership? and How do people react to you when you explain your work compared to your more corporate life?

My current work is like cheese and chalk compared to my corporate life, other than having the opportunity to use my management and financial skills. My leadership is underlined by my utter commitment and passion to help the people of Ethiopia, and hopefully, I’m bringing others along with this amazing journey.

TL: Why did you chose Ethiopia in particular to problem solve?

It came from identifying which Australian NGO (Non-Government Organisation) we wanted to channel our savings through and that research led me to Oxfam Australia. (then Community Aid Abroad).
A further year went by before we identified a program that met our basic criteria – save and extend lives, women’s issues and education. This was the water wells project in Ethiopia.
When Oxfam Australia ceased working in Ethiopia in 2005, we decided to try to replace them as funders of the wells programme, having visited there in 2003 to see the results of that programme. We felt that it was too good a programme to let stop and we were determined to do what we could to continue Oxfam Australia’s good work in this area.

TL: What’s the most moving experience you’ve had since doing this work?

The most moving experience was when we visited the first remote village on our 2003 visit. We had funded a well in this village.

We were greeted by about 1000 to 1200 people of all ages – all there to thank us. It was very emotional (many tears were shed), very uplifting and very very humbling.

Our joy was mainly because we could see with our own eyes what it meant to all these villagers, to have been able to assist in beneficially changing their lives forever. As more than one villager said to us, “this is the start of a new life for us”.

The impact on all villages we visited with wells was obvious – clearer eyes, healthier skin, better hygiene, kids going to school, women fitter and less stressed. All resulting in a much happier, more dynamic community.

TL: What tips you would you give someone who has it on their heart to make a difference and wants to do something?

Never believe that one person cannot make a difference. Do not think about it – go and do it. Think of the unnecessary things you spend money on, then think about how that money (through your actions) would make a difference to someone else – often life itself. We all have an obligation to help our fellow human beings – it is our genes.

TL: What is your Vision? What is your end- game?

To bring as many people as possible along on this wonderful journey.
To see a world less selfish than it is today.

My end game? To be doing this until I am unable to do so, then ensuring someone will pick it up and run with it. If I live long enough to see the water problems in Ethiopia solved, then we would simply move on to another project.

For more go to http://www.wellwishersethiopia.com.au/

Tuesday, November 25, 2008

Sister Schools Pen Pal Program

Earlier this year, the junior school council in conjunction with some passionate teaching staff at Williamstown Primary School got behind Interept Poverty's linkages to Kidane Mehret Children's

Home and School in Ethiopia. The aim is to create cross cultural awareness and develop problem solving skills across the world. To build a human chain of problem solving people!

This month, one of Intercept Poverty's volunteers Carol Henderson (A former student of Williamstown Primary School) returned from visiting Kidane Mehret Junior School where she established the first exchange of letters from the African children to children at Williamstown Primary School. Returning will letters and photographs from east Africa!

This is an exciting first step from an idea to reality!

So to Carol Henderson and to Kellie Walker of Williamstown Primary School - Intercept Poverty says a big thank-you for getting this moving... 2009 can now expand into further correspondence and exchange in the Sister Schools connection thought up by the Williamstown Primary School Junior School Council earlier this year!

Carol brought us back an update that Kidane Mehret always needs help with funding for books at the school. Maybe this can be a focus for problem solving in 2009?

Thank-you Everybody from the Intercept Poverty Team for your problem solving skills!


Intercept Poverty Explores Micro-Franchising for Ethiopia

Key Team members from Intercept Poverty's Melbourne team head to East Africa late December for a month. This trip has two aims.

Aim one is to deliver the funds we have accumulated for specific projects, make purchases and deliver these to our partners in Addis.

Aim two is to develop existing partnerships on the ground in Addis Ababa Ethiopia and explore specific opportunities for Micro-Franchising.

"While we have existing relationships, we are receiving enquiries from people in Kenya who are interested in exploring ways to micro-franchise there as well".
Chantelle Zei, program co-ordinator for Intercept Poverty.

The projects to be explored seem to have good viability. Time will tell.
That's what makes this trip so exciting for Intercept Poverty.

It will use this trip to further it's time and resource into replicable systems to do with Water, Food, Wellbeing and Education and the current focus of East Africa.

Wednesday, October 15, 2008

Did I mention the MDG's today?

The Millenium Development Goals

1. Eradicate extreme poverty and hunger
- Reduce by half the proportion of people living on less than a dollar a day.
- Reduce by half the proportion of people who suffer from hunger

2. Achieve universal primary education
- Ensure that all boys and girls complete a full course of primary schooling

3. Promote gender equality and empower women
- Eliminate gender disparity in primary and secondary education preferably by 2005, and at all levels by 2015

4. Reduce child mortality
- Reduce by two thirds the mortality rate among children under five.

5. Improve maternal health
- Reduce by three quarters the maternal mortality ratio.

6. Combat HIV/AIDS, maleria and other diseases
- Halt and begin to reverse the spread of HIV/AIDS.
- halt and begin to reverse the incidence of malaria and other major diseases.

7. Ensure environmental sustainability
-Integrate the principles of sustainable development into country policies and programmes; reverse loss of environmental resources.
-Reduce by half the proportion of people without sustainable access to safe drinking water and basic sanitation
-Achieve significant improvement in lives of at least 100 million slum dwellers, by 2020

8. Develop a global partnership for development
-Develop further an open, rule-based, predictable, non-discriminatory, trading and financial system.
-Address the special needs of the least developed countries, landlocked countries and small island developing States.
-Deal comprehensively with developing countries' debt.
-In co-operation with developing countries, develop and implement strategies for decent and productive work for youth.
-In co-operation with pharmaceutical companies, provide access to affordable essential drugs in developing countries.
-In co-operation with the private sector, make available the benefits of new technology, especially information and communication technologies.

Saturday, September 20, 2008

Something About Mary

Mary has been on board with the Intercept Poverty team for some time.
Mary gives talks to Schools, Womens Groups and Community Groups.
She speaks about Leadership and Personal Resilience, drawing on personal
experience as a refugee from Ehtiopia.
She offers insight into the cultural nuances from the African, Ethiopian perspective.
Mary speaks a number of languages including Russian, Arabic & Amharic.

In addition to assisting with co-ordination of trips to Addis Ababa,
liasing with our contacts on the ground there, she is renowned for her traditional Ethiopian Coffee Ceremony.

If you are interested or curious to hear Mary speak - get intouch.

Thursday, September 18, 2008

Intercept Volunteer Program - Victoria Australia Auditions

Intercept Poverty exists to

1. take problem solving skill and ideas from extreme(unusual) to mainstream
2. create movement that will intercept poverty at root cause
3. build a chain of problem solving people

There are Problem Solving Strategies we can all adopt to intercept poverty.
Depending on your capacity you can take on something that fits your own style, time and resources.

We attract like minded people who are interested in doing this work and sharing the message, educating others, being a light and getting the world's juices flowing to intercept poverty.

We see the amazing opporutnity in developing world for business as well as making a difference, we call this make a difference, make a buck.

We educate and promote awareness on:
1. The UN Millenium Development Goals on path for achievement to 2015
2. High impact entreprenership with a social purpose (Social Entreprenurship)
3. Root cause problem solving activities that are happening in the world now
4. Support Problem Solving People in the third world
(Our on the ground partners) a) Coach them - Phone/Speak (b)Visit them
5. Support Communities, Schools, Business, Franchising with ideas and insight
6. Share specific models that work and have worked
7. Take high impact people delegations on trips to our partner locations

In Australia:

We do this by firestarting community programs driven & delivering presentations in:
1. Schools
2. Local communities
3. Business'
4. Home

Our Search
We are searching for 6 Star energetic presenters who are willing to be lights in the
Victorian community and be trained to present both the 20 minute and 40 minute Intercept Poverty message.

This is a pilot, if this works, you will potentially be training people in other states.

You will use your initiative and innovation to work on ways with us to get our message out there in all media forms.
This is a fabulous way to get business experience.

In return - you will be *trained and given support in
- presentation skills
- coaching skills
- global awareness
- strategic thinking
- management thinking
- working in a team

As part of the problem solving crew you will be asked to:
Follow the InterceptPoverty method and message for delivering presentations.
wearing the message (Intercept poverty & Problem solving people tee shirts)
consider volunteering and travelling to East Africa to our on ground partners & understand opportunities
learn about franchising as a key instrument to interceptpoverty

If you have some time on your hands and believe you have what it takes and you live in Victoria Australia and are prepared to give time in exchange for skills:

Please contact by email: Heading in Email - "Application to Audition"
Chantelle Zei - Intercept Poverty Volunteer and Program Co-Ordinator
We are ramping up for a big 2009, so get your emails in now:
Tell us about you and your skills and talents
Auditions start December

*Our Parent Brand - Intercept - has for 12 years been in the coaching and speaking market, building leadership, problemsolving skills and capability in business leaders in Autralia and Overseas.

Saturday, September 13, 2008

Problem Solving People Song

Problem Solving People is a very catchy song, it stays with you. To learn more about the Problem Solving People Song, in particular lyrics to the kid's version of- Problem Solving People go to www.problem-solving-people.blogspot.com

P.S. If you live in Williamstown, CD's are available for sale at Seagulls Bookshop in Nelson Place

Tuesday, September 9, 2008

Enough Funds For 2 Wells Raised for Ethiopia!

Congratulations to all involved in fantastic event raising money enough for 2 wells for 2 Villages in Ethiopia. It was just fabulous being there on the night with Graham, Ross and Paul - the original dream team - only months after an initial cup of coffee a few months ago to get the event in Melbourne going!

A fantastic night was had by all. Trully a memorable evening. A big thank-you to Leonie and Rod from Melbourne Sea Planes and Chantelle Masci for Masci Hair for their generous contributions of donations that assisted in raising much needed funds for WellWishers.

Thank-you for being supporters of WellWishers through Intercept Poverty!

A special mention to Chantelle Zei for all her organising for us.
And once again, a big thank-you to Richard Margolis and the Intercept Victoria for doing Intercept Business proud and representing Victoria!!

Good Works Work! Tanya

Wednesday, August 27, 2008

WellWishers FundRaiser at Harambe Sold Out!

On Thursday 4th of September Harambe Ethiopian Restaurant, Footscray, Victoria, Australia, will play host to a vibrant gathering of peoples from all walks of life. They gather together to raise funds and awareness for WellWishers and the wonderful work it does installing water wells in Ethiopia, East Africa.

Money raised will go towards placing a Well in the ground to provide running water for around 1000 villagers in a remote part of Northern Ethiopia. With very special thanks to Chantelle Masci of Masci Hair, and Rod and Leonie of Melbourne Seaplanes for their genrous donations as well as Colin and Vivienne of Carma Cellars in South Melbourne. Thank you to Mr.Tessema Restaurant owner.

Intercept Poverty is proud to support this fantastic work being led by Ross Allen founder of WellWishers.

We look forward to listening to East African Grooves and Tasting the Traditions of Ehtiopian Food.

A big thank-you to our Intercept Victoria Business Team for putting together a table of 9 to support this worthy cause and great event!

We trust this will stimulate more good will in the world, innovation and ways to problem solve in the world where it counts.

For more information on WellWishers visit www.interceptpoverty.org or www.wellwishersethiopia.com.au

If you are interested in running a fundraising dinner in your area - please get in touch via our websites.

Friday, August 15, 2008

Monica to be interviewed by SBS Radio - National Maltese Radio Program in Australia

We've had it confirmed this week that Monica of Malta, founder of Angel Children's Home in Addis Ababa Ethiopia, is soon to be interviewed by SBS Maltese Radio for their National Radio Program in Australia.

This means that Monica's message and her story will be heard by the Maltese Community within Australia.

With special thanks to Jacinta Portelli for introducing me to Marlene Galea of SBS Radio.

Thank-you Marlene for making the time to invite Monica into your program.

Marlene is the Senior Producer with the Maltese group. She was born in Sydney in
1969, adopted by a Maltese couple and brought up in the island of Gozo.

In 1989, Marlene was a Broadcaster with PBS Malta, in the weekly program from Gozo, Mill-Gzira ta' Calypso.

Marlene joined the Maltese Language Team in Melbourne in 1998.


Photo courtesy of Georgia Metaxas

Keep you posted of the podcast when it happens.

Really fantastic news - thank-you on behalf of Monica and the children in her home!

Tanya Lacy

Thursday, August 7, 2008

WellWishers Ethiopia - Practical Immediate Solutions That Save and Extend Life

Ever been thirsty? I mean really thirsty. In parts of Ethiopia, in some remote villages, thirst, sickness and death are a way of life. All because they just don't have access to water like we do. Now, I don't know about you, but I am not really happy about that. How come, in this day and age, when we can send rockets to the moon, we can't get water to everybody? Hmmmm?

When I stop and think about it. Really think about it, I'd like to do something to change that. Wouldn't you?

Next time you are thirsty and you go to pour yourself a glass of cool refreshing clean drinkable water - can you please think about that just for a second?

This is not a guilt trip so much as a way to get you to think about it so you can then move to action and help solve the problem. Because there is a solution.

It's not hopeless you know. We are the solution.

There are many ways you or your organisation can help to build towards a Water well on the ground. You can add tremendous value. You can cut through red tape and have some direct inputs here.

Imagine if you had a project team at the office who just got together and decided to raise some funds? What about an afterwork drinks fund? Instead of having that extra one more drink' after work, you popped the coins that you'd normally slip into the hand of a barman into the tin? And then week on week, build that little tin fund up with your colleagues?

You know, did some stuff to get some money together towards a waterwell?
Bottom line?

About $6,000 puts a well in the ground.

I recently interviewed Ross Allan, Founder of WellWishers Ethiopia. Here's a Social Entrepreneur doing something to make a difference. Let's give him a hand.

To find out more and exactly where the money goes -
visit www.wellwishersethiopia.com Why? Because water is life.

Thanks guys, Tanya

Tuesday, August 5, 2008

Chantelle Zei volunteering with Intercept Poverty

In this candid encounter, Tanya Lacy speaks with Chantelle. We learn about how this vibrant and passionate 20 year old woman is so inspiring to many and learn how fortunate we are to have her working with us at Intercept Poverty. Welcome aboard Chantelle. Thank-you for sharing the passion.

TL: So tell us about you Chantelle?

CZ: I am 20 and have an older sister.I grew up in Altona Meadows and attended Queen of Peace Primary School then went on to complete High School at
MacKillop College in Werribee. I am currently studying International Development at La Trobe University while working part time as a Display Coordinator for World Vision Australia as well as a swimming Instructor at Shawn’s Swim School. I enjoy being with my friends and eating at restaurants with exotic cuisines around Melbourne, I love travelling and am always planning my next adventure.

TL: What was the turning point or defining moment for you when you decided you wanted to make a difference in the world?

CZ:I began having an interest in social justice in primary school when I started running the 40 hour famine. This niggling interest only further developed as I began to find out about the injustices in the world and I came to the point where I was unable to look in our fridge or enjoy a home cooked meal without feeling immensely guilty for the luck I had received. I knew I had to do something so I began volunteering with World Vision at the age of 15, which even further opened up my eyes to the world’s problems and ignited my passion to continue with this work.

TL: What is the work or projects you have done so far?

CZ:I have organised and assisted in many varying projects over time. From running simple fundraisers such as trivia nights and auctions to being on the team of co-ordinators that organised and managed the Global Leadership Conventions, an annual World Vision, three day, youth advocacy and awareness camp.

On my first journey to Africa I visited the Maria Romero Children’s Home where I began collecting data and information that enabled me to set up the Maria Romero Children’s Charity fund. The main aspect of this fund was child sponsorship and monthly contributions from donors whilst also raising awareness on issues regarding orphans and poverty in Kenya.

TL: What do you feel you were put on the earth to do? What's the biggest problem you'd like to fix on the planet?

CZ:I believe the biggest problem in the world is the detrimental mindsets that people in today’s society have towards issues of poverty and people living in poverty. The world has the power, the resources, the food, the money, the knowledge to end world poverty. The world even has set targets and a timeframe, (Millennium development goals) but what we don’t have is the desire. I believe that once people’s hearts and minds are opened up to the cause then they will also have a passion ignited to change the world that they are apart of. I believe that I was put on this earth to help ignite passion amongst people who can make a difference, whilst working alongside the worlds poor in our fight against poverty.

TL: What is the most memorable experience or defining moment for you so far?

CZ: Whilst in Kenya I was visiting a World Vision project in the remote district of Makueni. When we arrived at the office I met employees from four separate NGO’s and an employee from the UN, that had all come to meet and discuss the drought crisis in the area at that time. This really brought home the fact to me that on the ground every organisation was working together, without rivalry, just coming together for a common goal. As I was also there and doing similar things on a much smaller scale, I felt like I too had a role in this big problem that is poverty. I felt part of a worldwide team, connected by the same passion, fighting the same cause and it was in that moment that I knew this work would become a career for me.

TL: What is your vision for the future?

CZ: Firstly my vision for my own future is to continue in my studies to complete my degree and then use my knowledge in some way, in the field, on a grassroots level in developing countries. My vision for the future of this world is to see individuals becoming more aware and more empathetic to other individuals. I desperately want to see the Millennium development goals achieved in the timeframe set out as we can not let these problems go on for a second longer.

TL: Why have you felt connected to Intercept Projects and Intercept Poverty?

CZ: I feel that Intercept Poverty is able to make a sustainable difference directly and efficiently. With the world in the situation it is we do not have a single moment to waste being caught up in red tape that many of the large NGO face. I feel Intercept will work with some of poverty and developments biggest sceptics, changing habits and mindsets of organisations that are looking to make a difference. With its direct and immediate approach at a grassroots level Intercept poverty is an organisation that matches my personality and personal goals.

TL: If there a key message you would like to get across to people?
What is your key message for the world?

CZ: My key message for people is just take a moment to look around you, look beyond their shores and look at the world that we live in. If this is the kind of place that you would dream up without making any changes then do nothing. But if you see social injustices that you disagree with, if you see unnecessary suffering and pain, then do something, do anything that will make the changes you want to see in the world.

TL: What key lessons do you think we can learn from big organisations working with 3rd world countries? What have you seen first hand?

CZ:I believe the most important aspect of development is self empowerment. Encouraging local communities to assess their needs and desires for there community and having active participation in the changes they want to see. This is definitely happening in big organisations in the field otherwise development would just not work and would be rejected by communities. I also believe big organisations work in the field work in partnership, alongside each other and that is a big key in sustainable development as it unites all the power and resources we have to generate larger, more sustainable impacts.

TL: What part do you think youth have to play in this work in the world?

CZ: The youth are our future. Past generations have failed to end world poverty so it is now up to us. We cannot let this be the failure of our generation. The youth of today have the voice to be heard and the world is starting to listen. The youth have new ideas and a fresh passion that can truly, without fail, achieve the Millennium development goals.

Chantelle joins Intercept Poverty in a leadership capacity of Program Co-ordinator

Monday, August 4, 2008

Intercept Red Tape - Supporting Kidane Mehret Children's Home Ethiopia Africa

Support takes many forms including: sponsorship, donation, volunteering and adoption.

Adam our son, lived at Kidane Mehret until we collected him from there in 2004.
Sr. Lutgarda and Sr. Camilla have become like our Maltese Family in Africa now.
Family is our initial connection to Ethiopia. Our hearts have grown for the many other children still there, who in some ways become family.

This recent trip forged long term bonds and we are expanding these connections through Intercept Poverty.

The Babies room and Junior School are our support focus now.

Here is the place for a very special mention to Williamstown Primary School who have just run with "Milk-Powder for Chocolate Babies" Program.
Raising funds for the supply of baby forumlae for the babies at Kidane.

The problem solving and initiative that comes from the minds of the children at Williamstown Primary has been extraordinary.

The initiatives have included, a film festival and designing wrappings for used formula tins which will become gold coin collection tins.

The children, the teachers, the parents, the community have really got behind this project.

Our aims are to create a supply of money to the orphanage for the specific purpose of baby formula.

The children are benefiting from understanding life in Africa and specifically Ethiopia.

We have friends whose children come from Ethiopia. If it had not been for formula,the children were just so very sick. Formula is the opportunity to get nourishment into these babies who then have a chance to develop into a better standard of potential and life.

Formula is one key ingredient in the self reliance chain.

If you would like to know how you could help us get to our target please contact us at www.interceptpoverty.org

Tools For Teachers Program: We have just had our first Volunteer do a needs assessment for Intercept Poverty. She spent two weeks with the teacher at the junior school. Carol trained as a teacher and is from Williamstown. On her return we will evaluate how to prioritise next steps and move to action.

Sending other volunteers to establish and replicate our teacher development programs in partnership with Kidane is a very exciting prospect.

We have establised links with Carr's Travel Service (American Express Travel Service) in the smooth travel arrangements to Addis Ababa.

Our people on the ground in Addis, take care of the volunteers when they arrive, ensuring they have touch stones in Addis on arrival.

If you are interested to understand more, please email us at www.interceptpoverty.org

For more information on Kidane Mehret Orphanage

Weblink: www.fcj-kmch.org

Intercept Red Tape Inspiring Model - Monica of Malta in Ethiopia

At 71 years of age, Monica Tonna Barthet asked herself "How will I feel, if I don't do something more?". And more she did. Monica has lived a full life. For many years worked for the UN, NY, London, Paris, travelled the world.

In this time, she was inspired by Mother Theresa and the Sisters of Charity. Monica worked with the poor staying with the Sisters of Charity for three month 'retreats' in India and Africa. Along her life journey she has met some incredible people who have inspired her. The Dalai Lama, Pope John Paul II, Mother Theresa herself.

After a busy and full life Monica looked into the mirror and still wanted to do more. She then took a leap of faith and sold all her worldly possessions including her home in Malta and based herself in Addis Ababa Ethiopia.

Her aim is to take in Street Boys. She looks after their material needs and then gives them love, a sense of family and re-stores their faith in people and their faith in God. She has created a nurturing environment where these children can live together as a family. When the young boys are built up, she reaquaints them with their God given gifts.

While I was there earlier this year, I saw one young man who had a leg missing - sitting outside, crafting bamboo furniture. Fine joinery details using tools supplied by Monica. "I have worked out an arrangement with the German Consulate" she told me. "They purchase this furniture from us". So, an enterprise has started.

Apart from all of the obvious benefits of love, support and care, better health, and a safe environment. The element of this story that gives me hope for it's sustainable nature is the self sufficiency element.

The entrepreneurial spirit and opportunity that sits underneath this work. Our aim at Intercept Poverty now is to do a number of things with and for Monica's home:

*Supply Volunteers who wish to stay in Addis Ababa, Ethiopia in a safe and clean environment.
*To give support to Monica. Coaches, Therapists, Psychologists, HR Change Specialists from the corporate or private sector who can visit Monica and the boys. The aim would be to provide emotional support and assist us in setting up ongoing support and case management.

*Setting up Life Skill integration programs that will be translated into Amharic (local CBD Ethiopian dialect.)

*Have people be aware of this program and potentially sponsor individual children for their needs or simply tell others about it.

*Set up business programs where we teach business and entrepreneruial skills to the young men at the home.

*Set up HIV/Aids education and awareness in this centre.

Each element mentioned above can be replicated and streamlined so that it is self perpetuating. It is simply people resource and business saavy that's needed to make this happen.

If you are open to exploring how you or your organisation may add value working with us on Monica' project, please contact me at www.interceptpoverty.org for more information.

Thank-you on behalf of Monica

Intercept Red Tape Inspiring Model - Steve Mariotti's NY Story

When Steve Mariotti got mugged by teenagers on a New York City Street, he didn't start agitating for better police protection. Instead, he started thinking of better ways for kids like the muggers to make a living. He had a hunch that streetwise kids could make it the way he had - by starting their own businesses. They were tough, assertive, and used to taking risks. What if the high energy levels some of these kids invested in illegal destructive behaviour could be channeled into legal entrepreneurship? Mariotti left his import-export business and became a business teacher in a ghetto high school.

To his great frustration he found that "business" in the public schools meant typing and bookkeeping. The kids were bored and so was Mariotti. Again and again, he was told to stick to the text. Again and again he got fired for insisting that he had a better idea. "The system doesn't want real entrepreneurship," he says, "because it's so hard to control. Think about it - where else but school do they tell you which spot on the floor you can lay for your naps? Entrepreneurs need to get out into the world and act".

Using his own savings, Mariotti set up the non profit National Foundation for Teaching Entrepreneurship. In 1985 he was finally hired by a principal who understood and supported his program. That led to contracts with schools throughout the city. Five years later, the guy who got canned nine times was chosen High School Teacher of the Year by the National Federation of Independent Businesses.

Mariotti's students learn real world skills like product development, marketing techniques, and financial planning. He takes classes on guided tours of New York's wholesale markets. The students each get a grant of $50 to buy items that they then resell. Mariotti says this experience is "almost like a religious awakening.....they'll never pay retail again."

Since 1985 Mariotti's students have started more than 45 new companies, ranging from chore servics to rap-song writing. Mariotti sees them helping with the economic regeneration of their neighbourhoods. "I'm trying to produce a community of merchants' The program isn't all about making money. It's about making people's lives better.

As for him, he says, "When I come home from working with these kids, I feel great. I never used to feel that good when I was just making money".

Weblink: The National Foundation for Teaching Entrepreneurship (www.nfte.com)
Source: John Graham - President of the Giraffe Heroes Project

New Ways to Solve Old Problems

Small Change, By Lot's of People = BIG Changes

What do you care about?

One of the great liabilities of history is that all too many people fail to remain awake through great periods of social change.

Every society has it's protectors of the status quo and it's fraternities of the indifferent.....But today our very survival depends on our ability to stay awake, to adjust to new ideas, to remain vigilant and to face the challenge of change.
M A R T I N L U T H E R K I N G J R.

"Politics and Conscience"

It is becoming evident...that a single, seemingly powerless person who dares to cry out the word of truth and to stand behind it with all his person and his life, ready to pay a high price, has, surprisingly, greater power...than do thousands of anonymous voters. VACLAV HAVEL, "Politics and Conscience"