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.

Paul McCarthy Explains Why He Cares About Belarus

Hey Paul – Why Belarus?

For many of us, we will only ever truly appreciate what we have when we no longer have it, whether that is a loved one, a friend, a warm home, or some peace of mind. So often, we don’t go very far outside the world we know, and therefore we’re only ever getting a very limited understanding of just how good our lives are in the western world. And with that limited understanding, comes a limited appreciation.

You know, what if your friend/ partner/ loved one told you that next Christmas that she would buy you an iron, and that if everything went well that the following Christmas, she would buy you an ironing board. Most of us would laugh.

In Belarus, at the orphanages that Paul and the team visited, this really happened. And besides that, the person who received the ironing board the second year was so overjoyed that you could have been mistaken in thinking that he had won the lottery.

So different are their expectations from this life.

This is a story that Paul told us when we asked why he continued to return to Belarus. We know that Paul is very philanthropic and that he does his best as much as he can, but why Belarus? And now we know.

Paul explained that the people over there in the orphanages all too frequently have nothing and no one and that it can be very difficult for us to really comprehend this. He explained that many have been virtually abandoned by their families, sometimes because of missing limbs or disabilities and all too often due to addictions.

just sharing some love..

But really Paul is just sharing some love, that will go a long way in a place like Belarus. Whether that is a hug, some gifts or supporting the efforts of the Belarus orphanages to become more self-sustaining by investing in farm machinery.

So why do Paul and the team return to places like Belarus?

Because it matters more than most of us will ever know!



Huge Thank You From Belarus

Paul McCarthy & Friends Thank Everyone Who Contributed to Project Belarus

When we last caught up with Paul, he told us about his big three charitable projects for the year, those being –

  1. Bikes for Madagascar,
  2. A School in Africa,
  3. Returning to support the Belarus orphanages just after Christmas.

And true to his word Paul, his wife Jackie and the whole Team have delivered in spades.

If you’re one of the special people who contributed to support this extremely worthy endeavour, and even more so if you were one of the hardworking individuals who took some time out out of your life to help someone else have a better day, a better week, or maybe even a better year, then you can be very proud indeed.

As the video above clearly shows the journey delivers in so many ways, not least so for the orphans of Belarus who must have an increased sense of self-worth as a planeload of Irish people have decided that they are important and valuable enough for them to spend their time, effort and money on.

As we dig deeper on the details of the trip, further stories, images and videos will be shared here over the coming weeks.. so stay tuned!!

The Big One

Some of us dream of buying a boat or a fast car, but for others, it goes a lot deeper. In a recent interview, we asked Paul about what was on the agenda for 2020, and whether or not he had anything special planned, as usual we were blown away.

“We’re building a school, and I’m over the moon.”

As Paul explained: “I’ve always had a dream of building a school in Africa since I was a kid. I don’t know if it was something that I saw on TV, or what it was, but this idea has always been with me, and just recently I’ve been able to start joining up the dots.

Following a chat with my good friend and business mentor, Stevey McGeown I got in touch with the people at Adsum Foundation, who carry out tremendous works with disadvantaged communities, and I’m proud to announce that we’re building a school and I’m over the moon.”

Now, we should say that this is really just a sneak peek at what’s going on as Paul has shared that he plans to build one school a year, in collaboration with the Adsum Foundation Team, and that key for him is to involve his kids and the kids of his friends and family in this extraordinary project.

More information will follow soon in relation to location, and progress but we wanted to get this out there as really there is no point in sitting on tremendous good news like this that can inspire and motivate others to get involved.

100 Bikes for Madagascar

Paul McCarthy & Friends Collect 100 Bikes for the Good People of Madagascar

We work with Paul on some of his online projects, and when we heard about one of his latest fundraising adventures, taking 2nd hand bikes to the other side of the world, to say that we were intrigued is putting it very mildly.

How, why, what for are all questions that sprang to mind, and so we put these to Paul, and he explains below:

“It has always been my dream or my vision to help people, and to give back and I consider it an enormous privilege. But I suppose if you want to know why specifically, I became interested in the Bikes for Madagascar project when my good friend Stevey McGeown, hit me with some stats that I found pretty incredible, and these are quoted below with sources.

“Madagascar is among the poorest countries in the world with 75% of the population living on less than $1.90 per day. The country’s human capital index is also one of the lowest worldwide and it has the world’s fourth-highest rate of chronic malnutrition, with one child in two under five years suffering from stunting.”


But what I really liked about this idea is that it was something that everyone could get stuck into, from my kids to my siblings’ kids, to friends and associates all over Cork and beyond. You didn’t need to have a lot of money or a big network of friends or colleagues, and it simply needed a few doors knocking.

“getting the kids involved was key..”

Lets face it, we’re in the lucky position in Ireland where we usually have some spare resources even if that is only a bike or two in the backyard or the shed that we haven’t used for a few years, and most us would be glad to get rid of them to clear some space, especially if its going to a good cause, and someone else is doing the work, like collecting the bike.

“Despite a wealth of abundant and diverse natural resources, Madagascar is one of the world’s poorest countries.” 


I have to say it was a fantastic experience, and everyone got so much out it, way beyond my immediate friends and family. And to put things in context, although some of the bikes that went to Madagascar will be for kids to have fun with, a significant portion of the bikes will be used as work bikes, bringing water and other necessary supplies into homes and villages every day.

The project was a huge success for us, and we plan to collect 150 bikes next year and to keep this going as an annual event, so if you have a bike out in your shed, send me a message.

“150 bikes or more next year”

And finally, I’d like to thank everyone who got involved as the good wishes, generousity and kindness of everyone who contributed time or resources will be greatly appreciated in Madagascar.”

Thanks to all my friends & family!


2019 Copyright – Paul McCarthy Cork