This morning, Ryan Tubridy interviewed 3 Irish entrepreneurs who had visited Africa recently with Goal. The objective was for each man to identify an opportunity and help set up a business for local benefit.
I sent him the following email which he aired. I had originally suggested the idea about 12-18 months ago to a group associated with helping East Timor but they don't seem to have progressed it.
As you drive into any town in Ireland, you see the signs that tell you that this town is twinned with a community in France, Germany, USA etc..
I’ve always wondered why Concern, Trocaire, Goal etc haven’t set up a similar twinning programme with communities in the 3rd world. Wouldn’t it be great to see those signs on our roadsides?
Your interview with the entrepreneurs illustrate some of the benefits and skills that could be transferred. In addition to obvious fund-raising programmes, there are all sorts of exchange programmes that could benefit both communities. Even transition-year students (suitably supervised) could be involved in support programmes which would greatly benefit their own personal development as well as the 3rd world communities they are assisting.
For the Special Olympics towns and communities around Ireland acted as hosts to visiting athletes and their families. They did a fantastic job and the “host town” signs are still up around Ireland.
This suggests that there is a large appetite out there to do something tangible to help - but people need the organisational structure to get it moving.
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