Archive for the ‘irish social entrepreneur’ Category

BBC Radio 4 Today in Basra

Wednesday, October 25th, 2006

Journalist John Humphrys reported from Basra this week for the influential BBC Radio 4 Today programme.

Listen to the ‘Reconstruction and Corruption’ report as he speaks to the Director of one of the city’s hospitals and describes the conditions there.

Ashoka Ireland Interview

Tuesday, October 17th, 2006

This afternoon I had a telephone interview with Paul O’Hara of Ashoka Ireland.

Although I have not made the shortlist for the Ashoka Ireland fellowship, it was a pleasure to describe the short history of the 4Basra project and enlighten Paul as to the direction I hope it will take. 

The interview was by no means a waste of time; quite the opposite in fact. Paul was kind enough to suggest how I might find a mentor.

What are the qualities needed in a suitable mentor?

This should be someone entrepreneurial who has startup experience – which doesn’t necessarily have to be in the non-profit sector.

They need to have encountered similar issues and problems to those I will face.

And the mentoring process shouldn’t be time consuming for either one of us. Paul, for example mentioned that he arranged to meet his mentor once a month for breakfast.

Paul also suggested some organisations I might be able to approach for assistance. These include: Irish Aid, Dóchas and Boardmatch Ireland.

When I get a moment I will be able to research these organisations further and think about approaching them.


Saturday, October 14th, 2006

The trip to Vienna went well. The New Internationalist magazine might be interested in a small article about the organisation. Follow-up calls will tell whether anyone else will publish a piece about the organisation. 

My hotel lacked a wi-fi connection, and I neglected to take any photos with my camera phone. One or two others taken with a digital camera will be on here when I have had a chance to compress them. Anyhow, I have now decided to embrace the digital photography age properly and purchase a digital camera very soon.

 I am happy to report that I have perhaps been fortunate to make a worthwhile suggestion to the organisation: that recruiting a PR, journalism or media volunteer from one of the universities in Vienna would help them greatly.

We had what I hope was a mutually enlightening chat about the situation in Basra, her important work, and our respective backgrounds. 

On Tuesday evening I had the privilege of meeting one of the children the organisation has helped. She is in Vienna for treatment for her condition, Osteogenesis Imperfecta, known as ‘Gasbone’ (not sure if spelling is correct) in German. 

Essentially, her bones fracture easily and they need to be reinforced as she grows. This has meant she has spent a lot of time in pain, bed-ridden and unable to attend school. The intensive therapy she receives in Vienna has helped improve her condition: not to mention affording her the opportunity to learn german.

Logo Challenge

Thursday, October 5th, 2006

Up until now it has been a challenge to find a designer who had the time, and more importantly had the artistic vision and imagination to come up with a logo for 4Basra. 

That is not to say that other ideas and the time spent on them were not appreciated, I hasten to add: it’s just that they did not feel or look right.  

I am very happy to report that I now have a number of concepts to choose from. The final design might even take the best elements from two of them and combine them. 

Once I’ve done this, I’ll upload it here.

Neighbours in the Media Village

Tuesday, October 3rd, 2006

Both people sharing the office with me are also working in media-related roles: one helps to manage the website of a UK national newspaper. 

Earlier on today, I found this website of one of another media-related company very close by the office. There is also a PR company down the road.

For my part, I have recently been published in one of the UK political weeklies (requires subscription), and am struggling to write other interesting features to help pay the bills. 

It’s interesting finding out who your neighbours are.