IODP Looks Back on Time Well Spent

So you when you see guys like Glen McCarthy put themselves through hell, running 26 miles, with an injury, and you wonder why, this might help to explain it.

IODP have been helping to develop farming in poverty stricken areas of Belarus, for over fourteen years, and its the efforts of generous donors, and fundraisers like Glen McCarthy that help to keep this good work going.

The IODP team are particularly proud of the shed newly erected at Saltinafka, to house the agricultural machinery provided in recent years, sticking with their tradition of helping to create infrastructure, and developing a sustainable future for the people of the region.


A Bit of Support Can Go A Long Way

If you want to see just how far, click on the video below:

Now granted, although sore and despite suffering an injury early in the marathon on 26th September, Glen is going to feel good about what he achieved. Because the warrior in Glen refused to give up.

He is going to feel good about the hours spent training and running the roads, and he is going to feel good about all the people who came out to support him, and the cause that he was running for.

But the people who will get the greatest benefit are the kids that he was running for, because Glen set a big goal to raise 10,000 euro and then blasted through it.

A lot of people stepped up to support Glen, and together they achieved a fantastic result, and if you watch the video below, its very clear that Glen’s massive effort made everyone’s day.

Red FM Gives Glen’s Big Run A Boost

Mick Mulcahy of Cork FM interviews Stevey McGeown and Glen McCarthy as Glen goes through his final preparations for the marathon that he’s running on 26th September to raise much needed funds for IODP, who through their donors, support a number of orphanages in Belarus.

Glen is making steady progress towards his goal of raising 10,000 euro for IODP. To support Glen, and to find out how his fundraising is going, please visit –

Glen McCarthy – Go Fund Me Page – Raising Funds for The Orphanages of Belarus and the IODP.

Glen Gets Closer to Target of Raising 10,000 Euro

Raising money for charity gives you a fantastic buzz, and we’re pleased to announce that Glen is getting ever closer to his target of raising 10,000 to support the Orphanages of Belarus, in conjunction with the IODP.

The last time that we checked Glen was up almost 1,000 euro since we last looked before the weekend. To find out how much has been raised so far, please visit –

The Glen McCarthy – Belarus Orphanages Go Fund Me page

When quizzed on how preparations were going for the big run, a mean 26 miles Glen explained that he was relaxing and chilling out with his family, as that’s the best way to get ready for anything.

Because as Muhammad Ali put it best –

“The fight is won or lost far away from witnesses – behind the lines, in the gym, and out there on the road, long before I dance under those lights.” 

And family man Glen, has been putting the time in on the road for months and months, so he is ready.

Good luck Glen!

Glen McCarthy to Run 26 on the 26th Sept.

We’re pleased to share that Paul’s brother Glen is picking up the baton, and deciding to go the distance for Project Belarus by running his own marathon, fittingly on the 26th September, as Glen explains below.

“when the world gives you lemons make lemonade”


Glen has set a target to raise 10,000 euro, and the campaign is well on its way.

In Glen’s own words:

“I was supposed to run the Cork City Marathon for The Orphaned Kids of Belarus. Because the marathon was cancelled, and I am now running my own marathon on the 26th of September to Raise funds for the Orphaned kids of Belarus. Your help and Kind Generosity will go along way.

All money raised will go to providing Santa to disabled orphans, young adults with mental disabilities and child prisoners in institutions across Belarus.

All funds will be transferred to International Orphanage Development Programme, an Irish-registered charity with audited accounts that has worked for the past 20 years to improve the living conditions of disadvantaged children in institutions in Belarus.

Monies raised will fund Santa for these children. It may also be used to improve their living conditions with the purchase of such items as beds, clothing, kitchen equipment, craft room equipment, beds, medical equipment and medicines.


We are a no-cost charity. Aside from some minor expenses, such as the hire of interpreters all monies go to support the children we help. Volunteers pay their own flights accommodation and food expenses either directly or by making personal or corporate donations through the charity for this purpose.

To find out more about the run and to support Glen, visit:

Glen McCarthy Run for the Orphaned Kids of Belarus

Coming Soon – Paddy & Patch’s Playground

Welcome to Paddy & Patch’s Playground, Saltinafka

*The playground shown above is not the actual park in question, and is representative of what it could look like, as development is in progress.

Paul & Jackie McCarthy have been involved in supporting the good people of Belarus for some time, working with and helping to fund the orphanages, assisting with the development of the agriculture program that is reaping fantastic rewards, and generally being there for the community.

And it is noted, so when Paul and Jackie were notified that it had been decided that the new playground would be named in their honour, they were over the moon, and after some consideration decided to name it – “Paddy & Patch’s Playground.”

We have admit the name has quite a ring to it, and as Paul explained these are nicknames that Paul and Jackie have for each other, so this project and honour will have extra special significance for them.

We will be updating the website soon, with updates on development and a scheduled opening date.

The Lesson of Reaping What You Sow

“Whatever a man sows, he will reap in return”

Galatians 6:7

There is a lot that can be learned from the practice of farmers, and that is having the patience, the will-power and the understanding that if they plant a crop today that it will bear fruit.

It won’t bear fruit tomorrow, or next week, but when you have the temerity to wait, and to understand that when you follow the right practices and stick to the plan, that the reward will surely follow.

That is what Paul and the Belarus team talked about when they decided with the guys on the ground that investing in a agriculture program in Belarus would be worthwhile. And to say that everyone is delighted and overjoyed by how how well that the program is going in terms of delivering a valuable crop, would be a huge understatement.

We’re not the most biblical bunch in the world, but what is being achieved in a small part of the world, named Saltinafka in Belarus with the support of a group of like-minded people is pretty epic. And it just proves that it is so much better to invest in infrastructure, tools, machinery and learning, than it is simply to hand out food and money, as valuable as that it is.

Because, circumstances permitting this small farm, properly tended, will continue to provide food to the good people of Saltinafka and those that they support for a long time to come.

And despite how we often grumble, many of will never be any happier than we are during, and after a good days work.

So, What Did You Do During Lockdown?

One a recent catch up with Paul, we enquired how things were going through lockdown and what he got up to and he explained –

“I put a 100 acre farm into a centre for adults with special needs.”

As Tony Robbins explains, its never what happens to you that defines who you are in this Life, but more about how you respond to what happens to you, because good and bad things happen to all of us.

When Paul and the guys visited the orphanages of Belarus earlier this year, there was a tremendous amount of excitement about the new initiative to begin supporting farming in the region, as by assisting the good people of Belarus to become more self-sustaining, and improving the yield from their agriculture they become so much stronger as individuals and as a community, and less vulnerable.

IODP Supporting Sustainable Farming in Saltinafka

And now a short six months later the yield from the initiative is clear to be seen, as the picture below of the first potatoes from Saltinafka shows. Expectations on the new seed will improve the yields from potato seeds from 2X to 10X.

In business, we’re always if not chasing, we’re certainly paying attention to ROI or yield, and when you can turn a 2X yield into a 10X yield well then that’s pretty epic.

Additionally our video shows early potatoes being planted at the new tillage farm in Saltinafka using the new tractor, new potato planter and top of the line seeds, all provided by the IODP.

Other successful initiatives include planting over 100 fruit trees at the new orchard to support the same institution.


Corona Virus Lockdown Guide

Tips For Surviving Covid-19 Lockdown In Ireland

We are all faced with a brand new reality due to the devastating spread of the Coronavirus. While lockdown measures are there to protect us, it doesn’t make it any easier to stay at home and abide by the new regulations. Some tips from Paul McCarthy for surviving the lockdown include:

1. Stop Waiting

Stop waiting for everything to return to “normal”. Things are never going to go entirely back to the way they were before this outbreak. Even when lockdown is finally lifted, it is unlikely that daily routines will simply resume where they left off a few months back. Accept that this is the new “normal” and live in the present making the best of the situation that you can.

2. Earn An Income

Perhaps the biggest impact that lockdown is having is on the ability to earn a living. Starting a home industry is a good way to earn a little extra income and stave off the boredom. Making face masks or hand sanitizer is a good way to boost your income and are in high demand at the moment. Alternatively, research some ways that you can make money online. These business options are ideal for the short-term of lockdown and to boost an income over the long-term.

3. Get Into A Routine

Human beings fear change and find security in routine. Creating a new routine is a great way to keep yourself occupied as well as provide the mind with a sense of safety and security. Set an alarm to get up in the morning, shower, get dressed, eat regular meals (curb the snacking) and have a plan for the day ahead. This is especially important for those singles out there who are spending lockdown all alone.

4. Tackle A DIY Project

There simply could not be a better time to tackle those DIY projects that you have been promising to get around to and have never had the time. Now that you have nothing but time on your hands, get the necessary materials and tackle one project at a time. Keeping busy is the way to stay sane.

5. Think Before You Speak

Spending extended periods of time in the same space as others is inevitably going to put strain on relationships and result in arguments. A good way to prevent this is not to air your views and opinions and rather keep them to yourself. This is especially important if you, or the people enduring lockdown with you, are irritable and argumentative. Take time to calm down by doing some breathing exercises or meditation. A time-out is always a good idea when an argument ensues.

6. Stop Watching the News

When the outbreak started, you may have found yourself glued to the telly watching every news report and update even though most of the information was simply repeated over and over again. Stop watching the news for updates and rather set aside an hour a day to get the updates about the Coronavirus, lockdown as well as other news. Social media and other channels of communication will let you know if anything urgent has happened that requires your immediate attention.

7. Stay In Contact

We are all lucky enough to live in a digital world where staying in contact with friends and family is possible. Take advantage of social media, Skype and even Zoom International to stay in touch and nurture those relationships so that they are still intact after lockdown. Reach out to friends and family who you have been meaning to get hold of for a while and even take the time to make some new friends.

Stay safe and keep your chin up. Surviving lockdown is not so difficult when you keep busy.

Is Giving Sustainable?

The Future for the Orphanages of Belarus is All About Sustainability

As Paul recently explained to us, the goal for the places that he visits like Belarus is all about sustainability. In terms of the support that Paul and the team bring, all that it really does is to level the playing field a little, and as Paul has said before it can be hard to grasp that those they help really have nothing.

When we talk about levelling the playing field, we’re not really talking about physical things but more about some human support and encouragement.

In Ireland, like much of the western world, we have advanced social welfare and healthcare systems, and although they can have their shortcomings, these are so much better than the options available in places like Belarus.


In seeking to help communities like the Belarus orphanages develop sustainability, some of the initiatives that the team helped to fund include greenhouse and farming programs. Buying farming machinery and equipment in order to help people learn to fish, instead of standing with your hand out waiting for the fish.

There is pride and dignity in seeking to raise your living standards, even with the help and support of others as you are taking an active role in your own rescue, and that is where the magic lies, in that just like giving, producing can be an addictive emotion.