Jackie McCarthy & Friends Go Christmas Shopping

Wishing You A Happy Christmas to All At Edel House & The Simon Community Cork

At this time of year, people love to know that someone cares. Especially if things have been tough over the last few months, or the last few years.

And this year Jackie Mc Carthy and her friends and family decided to do something about it by going shopping, and the list started with 300 sleeping bags..

You see this year, Jackie and co. were going shopping for the good residents of Edel House and the Simon Community in Cork, who do a fantastic job of supporting the homeless, and people getting out of abusive relationships.

And with a little experience in this area, they started by asking Edel House and the Simon Community what they needed, so that the funds raised were put to the best effect, and would have the greatest benefit and real-time impact for the residents of Edel House and the homeless people of Cork.

And just like the A-Team, their plan worked to perfection and the final sleeping bags have been delivered!

NEW School Project at Fonenana Updates!!

Paul McCarthy Confirms Fonenana School Project, Madagascar

An expression of interest or even a promise can be nice, but its not until someone follows through that you really know what they’re made of and the McCarthy family are following through in spades.

Paul first mentioned the Madagascar School Project to us about one year ago, and despite coronavirus, despite the turmoil that so many people are going through all over the world, and from all walks of life, Paul is following through on his promise.

What is so impressive in this situation is that Paul and the team at Adsum are meeting a very real need. Its not some vanity project that won’t mean anything to anyone.

In Fonenana, the parents, the kids, and the teachers want education, so much so that due to the lack of space, Fonenana Primary School has two daily sessions.

And its a credit to everyone involved that in Fonenana the education experience is going to get a timely, and well-deserved upgrade.

The project will be managed by Adsum, and we’d like to share some of the details about the project below, prepared by Adsum –

• to build 3 classrooms that are bright, welcoming, light, airy and dry
• to furnish the classrooms with locally made furniture
• to build a latrine block with 3 compartments and boys’ urinals
• to contribute to the alleviation of poverty
• to provide a healthier working/studying environment
• to motivate the teachers and to give the children a greater sense of

Madagascar is an island located in the western Indian Ocean off the east
coast of Southern Africa. It is the fourth largest island in the world.

The village of Fonenana, is in the Rural Commune of Imerintsiatosika, District of Arivonimamo, Itasy Region and is located about 33 kilometres on the national road RN1 from Antananarivo.

473 pupils aged 4 – 15


Fonenana Primary School was built by the government in 1958. It has three
classrooms. Due to the increase in pupil numbers, each classroom has been
divided in two as to accommodate as many children as possible.

State schools usually only have classes in the morning, however, due to the
lack of space, Fonenana Primary School has two daily sessions. Half the
children attend in the morning from 7h30 to 12h30 and the rest from 12h30
to 17h00.

In 2000 an NGO (Vatsy) built an office for the Head Teacher. This was later
divided into 2 rooms to accommodate pre-school children. The school is in relatively good condition in comparison to other rural schools.


The main problem of this school is the lack of space. Furthermore, the number of children attending the school is expected to increase in the years to come.

The school has 10 teachers. The Ministry of Education pays the salaries of 4
civil servant teachers. 4 teachers have their pay subsidised by the
government and the other 2 teachers, recruited locally are paid partly in
cash and in kind (cassava and sacks of rice) in principle by the members of
the Association of Parents who have children who attend the school.
The school has a well but it needs to be fixed.

Mrs Nivo, Head Teacher;

“The reason of my request is that I want to give the same opportunities to
all children.

Those who come in the afternoon have a greater chance of failing their exam as they are only taught for 25 hours a week instead of the standard 27 1/2, and even less during the rainy season when classes have to be suspended so the children can return home safely.”

Deputy Head Teacher;

“We have 10 classes including the preschool. Most children prefer to come
in the morning. It is unfair not to give all children the same opportunity.
But in present circumstances, due to lack of capacity, we have no choice.”

This community has shown its willingness to educate its children. Their full
cooperation and participation are assured. Improving conditions for these pupils will in due course make an important improvement to their future employment prospects and contribute to better living conditions and the fight against poverty.

Because One Good Pledge Deserves Another..

We’re delighted to share that another fantastic project has come to fruition, and the new playground sponsored by Paul & Jackie, AKA Paddy & Patch is being used, providing fun and looking good as the images below demonstrate.

But that’s where the story begins and not where it ends because when Paul shared how great the playground looks on his social media and just how much good that a well designed and attractive play space can do for an area, (especially one that is economically and socially deprived), someone else stepped up to the plate and pledged a fantastic 5,000 euro playground donation.

So if you’ve ever been unsure of whether or not to share some of the good that you do, well the message from Paul is don’t be afraid of sharing, because the little things that you do can inspire someone else to get involved and contribute, and the more people and energy involved in a project the more good that will be done as a group.

Ultimately benefitting those a little less fortunate than ourselves.

When people realise that someone else cares, and they get that spark of realisation that they matter, not only will it make their day, but it will make your day too!

So never be afraid of stepping up, its very rare that you good intentions will not be met with open arms and a spirit of gratitude.

To find out more about IODP and the fantastic works being done in Belarus and other deprived areas of the world, stay tuned to the Paul McCarthy Blog.

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.