About RTÉ Television
The Afternoon Show
The Afternoon ShowRTÉ One, Weekdays, 4.00pm

One Wild Life by Clare Mulvany And Caroline Casey of Kanchi

Tuesday, 22 December 2009

Clare Mulvany, writer, photographer of One Wild Life Born in 1978 in Dublin Clare Mulvany never believed that her life would take her to this point. At only 31 years old Clare Mulvany has packed into her short career a lifetime of wild experiences and achievements. As a sought after social change consultant and documenter she has travelled the length and breadth of the globe, met incredible people who work to make the world a better place, and made her own distinct mark on the world through her social entrepreneurial projects and activities.

From a young age she was always interested in the world and fostered a passion in contributing in some way to a better place. At age 17 travelled to Tonga where she volunteered as a youth worker for a year. On her return she settled down long enough to obtain a degree in Psychology and English from Queens University, following that she moved to the UK where she completed an Msc in Education from Oxford University. A passion for travel kicked in early on and, as soon as she could, she took off to explore the world. First stop was China where she lectured in English in the highly recognised Peking University in Beijing where she also managed to squeeze in writing and publishing a language learning textbook for the Chinese market.

Later pursuing her interest in Social Change she worked as the programme manager for the Suas Volunteer programme, a youth leadership development programme working with schools in India and Kenya, where she spent over three years working with local children, developing their imaginations, improving their educations and, in the process, quickly falling in love with the kind of work that soon showed itself as making a positive difference in life. Clare has spent several years working on social change and youth initiatives around the world; in China, The Kingdom of Tonga and The Faroe Islands amongst others.

She is driven by a curiosity to explore the world, drawing out positive experiences for herself and others. Her work is at its hardest challenging but at its best; more rewarding than anything she has done before. She sees great positive change in the actions of people around the world and is committed to making her own changes and contributing to better society worldwide.

Her work has changed people's lives for the better and inspired countless others to go out and changes things themselves. Clare currently works as a freelance writer for various NGO and social sector groups, and as a researcher, consultant and photographer in the field of social change. She also volunteers with 'Fighting Words' - a creative writing centre for children in Dublin. In her free time she loves to cook, dance, play squash and spend as much time as possible with her family and - the light of her life - her niece Aria.

In recognition of her work to date, Clare received a 2007 Social Entrepreneurship Award from Social Entrepreneurs Ireland. One Wild Life is an account of a journey Clare made in 2007 travelling the globe for 11 months documenting inspiring stories of social change throughout the world. She interviewed hundred of social entrepreneurs and change-makers about their life stories, their motivations and their desires, and sought out individuals who were using their ideas, creativity and innovations to bring hope to millions.

A collection of stunning photography, travel narratives, diary extracts and interviews, One Wild Life offers people of all ages' inspiration and guidance on how to build a better world through their career and life choices. It promises all who read it that - if they are willing and committed to change - they can have a profound effect on their world and the world around them. In the midst of an economic meltdown, Social Entrepreneurship is a growing area and now more than ever it is seeing unprecedented rises in the people coming together to make their mark on the world, One Wild Life is the embodiment of this positive change.

Caroline Casey, - Caroline Casey is one of the social entrepreneurs featured in One Wild Life and is the founding CEO of Kanchi (formerly The Aisling Foundation) and the O2 Ability Awards and is also an international speaker and adventurer.

A social entrepreneur, Caroline sits on the board for several government, business and not-for-profit organisations.

Since setting up The Aisling Foundation in 2000, with the aim of enhancing the relationship between disability and society, Caroline has received several high profile awards in recognition of her work worldwide. She was the first Irish person to be appointed a Young Global Leader of the World Economic Forum in 2006 and was awarded an honorary doctorate from NUI Ireland in the same year.

In 2006 she also became the first Ashoka fellow from Ireland and the UK and received the Eisenhower Fellowship. In 2007, Caroline was invited back to the World Economic Forum in Davos, where she presented on a variety of issues relating to the area of disability.

International interest in the O2 Ability Awards, which were launched in 2004, will see them replicated in Spain later this year, through O2's parent company Telefonica.

A former management consultant with Accenture, Caroline is visually impaired to the degree that she is registered as legally blind.

For 11 months, one woman travelled the world documenting the stories of those who try to change it-This is her Story. One Wild Life: A Journey to Discover People Who Change Our World by Clare Mulvany. For 11 months Clare Mulvany travelled the globe meeting people who have stepped off the beaten path to make a greater difference. Her journey led her to meet a former rocket scientist turned inventor, an economist turned philanthropist and a myriad of inspirational people from all walks of life using their ideas and innovation to make the world a better place.

Armed with a camera and laptop and an unrelenting desire to meet the change-makers of this world Clare Mulvany travelled through Ireland, Africa, Asia, India, the Pacific and the United States discovering the inspiring stories of social entrepreneurs using their business skills and humanitarian passion to bring hope to millions.

From the slums of India to the remotest islands of Tonga, Clare experienced the hardships and joys on our planet and met those who face the most incredible obstacles and still push through to make a positive change. During her travels Clare met mothers, scientists, Nobel Prize winners, financiers, artists, educators, doctors, politicians, engineers, street children - all ordinary people making an extraordinary contribution to your world.

This unique and lavishly produced book is a documentary of people who contribute social profit to the world they live in through their skills, talents and passion. It's a diary of one woman's passion for social entrepreneurship, a collection of images reflecting the goodness in the world and the ultimate inspiring resource tool for those who are ready to finally say yes to the voice in their heads telling them that they can have an impact on our world.

One Wild Life is an invaluable tool for the growing numbers determined to challenge unacceptable conditions. When money seems to be the ultimate sign of prosperity, this book is a refreshing, inspiring and hopeful account of the people who silently work in our midst to enact long-lasting and life-enhancing social change. When financial profit can seem like the only currency, this is beautiful collection of words and pictures highlights the importance of social profit through the stories of those who contribute to a better world.

Just some of the change-makers profiled in the book, many of whom are Ireland's greatest social entrepreneurs, include: Mary Davis, Special Olympics Ireland; Caroline Casey, Founder of Kanchi and the 02 Ability Awards; Colman O'Gorman, One in Four/Amnesty International; Ruair McKiernan, Community Creations & SpunOut; Youk Chhang, Documentation Centre of Cambodia; and Ian Clarke, International Hospital Kampala.

About the Author: Clare Mulvany, from Dublin, is a graduate of Queen's University Belfast and Oxford. Her working life has spanned a number of areas including teaching at Peking University, working for NGOs and social sector groups, and as a freelance researcher, writer, photographer and consultant on social change and development education. In recognition of her work Clare received a 2007 Social Entrepreneur award from Social Entrepreneurs Ireland.

Why did you choose to do this world tour?
In her time working in Dublin Clare had come across the concept of social entrepreneurship, of people trying to change things, find the solutions to the problems, creating good news stories for a change.

She went travelling in 2006 and 2007, and has since been back to projects in Uganda, India and Kenya since.

What is Social Entrepreneurship?
It is an idea for social change. It is about people who want to bring innovation and passion, and a creative spark to their work for a social sector. A new business idea for the community, combining social and business strengths and ideas.

Did her family help create her awareness of giving back to the community?
Yes, her dad who died a couple of years ago was a fireman, very involved in the community taught sailing to kids. Her Mom has also been involved in the community, Meals on Wheels etc.

Are the Irish people particularly involved in social enterprise globally?
She thinks the Irish are great have a very positive reputation abroad and this is something we have to live up to now, and the government in terms of funding.

She met many Irish people on her travels like Ian Clarke - Uganda, International Hospital Kampala, couldn't see why it couldn't it couldn't be better. Main one in Kampala and branching out. He brings high end services to people who normally couldn't access it. Very innovative medicine in. - Stills of him and the hospital, Ugandan.

Some of the other inspirational people:

Kailash Satyarthi - p.161 from New Delhi India, he rescues children from child labour situations. 1 in 8 children are working across the world. He rescues children from indentured slavery or bonded child labour (similar to Slumdog Millionaire in Mumbai). He rescues them and sets up rehabilitation homes for the children. He talks to government and international organizations and has created Rugmark, a fair trade symbol for rugs, to ensure there is no child labour used in their making. People should be more aware of where our clothes come from. The value of education will break children out of the cycle of poverty, help parents make money in other ways, on condition of children going to school.

Friends International - Sebastian Marot, Cambodia, p.176 This French man runs a massive project, helping the mothers of children work, so that the children don't have to work. The Moms make bags and aprons which are then sold in shops on condition that the kids get sent to school. The shops are in good areas so people/tourists come in and buy and there is a high turnover, and a good reputation.

Microfinancing - - an online organization in USA -This is about using technology overcome poverty. If you (anyone) have 20€ to spare you can loan it to someone in a developing country and millions of people around the world have benefitted from this. They specifically target the woman, as usually when she gets the money, the woman looks after the family, education, healthcare, clothing, food, and the needs of the family are put first. The money goes through local micro finance companies.

Has all the money and aid that has been given through the years made any difference? Or are things getting worse?
The world is improving, health, food, clothes etc. Disease is being eradicated small pox is eradicated polio is on the way out. Advances in technology are supporting this development.

The government need to pay the development aid, political will is very important, but there are many good ideas out there. We have to be optimistic. Need massive resources - they are there, may be going to

€25m cut in the last budget. Approx €600million p.a.5%
0.7%UN Target 2015. Now 0.52% about a 500million cut until 2015.

This is about finding innovative ways and finding solutions to problems, and use private resources from private individuals and businesses. Everyone

Caroline Casey -

Named her organization after her elephant Kanchi that she crossed India with in 2001. The challenge she took when she was told she had very bad sight. Also had a dream to be Mowgli from the Jungle Book and it was her dream to have a big adventure. Always loved elephants. Always brought up to believe that it is up to you yourself, we're all responsible for our own lives.

So no option but to go for it, to change the way you were doing things. Hiding her disability from herself and everybody. Not wanting people to think of her the way she didn't feel. Didn't feel pathetic, be defined by what she couldn't do. It is her insecurity that drives her. We try to present our best to the world. When you peel back the layers a lot of people have low self esteem underneath. If you have the entrepreneurial spirit it will drive you forward, all of us manifest our drives in different ways.

How do we challenge ourselves, what is the best way for us?

Never feel we've done nothing, but so much more to be done. Feel very proud of the partnership with government, businesses etc the O2 ability awards. RTE were a sponsor for the last 4 years. Caroline was the 1st Irish/UK Ashoka winner - for global change. We now have a voice to call CEOs of over 200 Irish businesses, disability community. Real impact? When Aisling does not exist anymore is when they will have succeeded, when we see disabled people on boards, same as with women, when that difference is valued - business, social, etc. We are right in the middle of

Great social welfare system, starting to understand disability, the Ability Awards are unique in the world - businesses that work with people with disabilities as employees and businesses etc. the companies who win go well above legislation. Try to replicate these companies models - Microsoft, Bank of Ireland, Hewlett Packard, Aura Sport and Management, Eye Cinema etc.

Putting together the companies at the moment for 2010, awards in April. 70% new companies.

They're internationalizing the awards - going to Spain, planned international organization. Getting the business stronger, great team - 10. Motivation is contagious, but keeping up with her changing her ideas is a nightmare.

We need to send a message to Irish people and government, it's about an attitude. When we achieve what we achieve, believe in ourselves and our energy. Think big. When we're the under-dog we always punch above our weight. Stop feeling sorry for ourselves, we have extraordinary people skills and drive and use them brilliantly internationally but we forget to use them at home. She believes we have something very special - a natural way with people in Ireland that we should be very proud of.

Prices/Stockists/Relevant Information:

One Wild Life by Clare Mulvany, The Collins Press - €20

Dear supporter of the We Do Care campaign,

First things first: a big THANK YOU for helping us put pressure on the Government to ensure that Ireland honours its aid commitments. Over the past number of months, your letters and activities have generated a great amount of attention for overseas aid.
And now for the news from yesterday's Budget announcement:

The good news: Unlike at the beginning of the year, the implications of Government decisions here for poor people around the world are now part of public discussion about the crisis. In February and April there was very little protest when the Government made savage cuts to the aid budget - since then, we have managed to raise the stakes considerably. As a result, the cut to the aid budget in euros was limited.

The bad news: Yesterday, the Government announced another cut to the aid budget
This time of €25 million. This cut comes on top of the savage cuts to the 2009 budget, which totalled €224 million. Yet again, programmes that serve the world's poorest people will need to be cut or scaled down. Yet again, progress made in the fight against poverty will be undone.

The ugly news: The Government also announced that it will not keep its promise to spend 0.7% of our national income on aid by 2012 and has moved the target date to 2015. This is the third time our Government has made and then broken this solemn promise: first in the 1970s, when it failed to act on UN General Assembly Resolution 2626 establishing the 0.7% target; Then in 2005, when it reneged on the 2007 target; and now in 2009, when Ireland dropped the 2012 target.
By moving the date for achievement of the 0.7% target, the Government has sent out a stark message to the world: that Ireland feels it can make and break promises as it sees fit.

Still, we would argue that yesterday's Budget announcement was not all bad news. In many ways, the Budget also proved that people power does work.
We know for a fact that the Department of Finance were looking for much bigger cuts to the ODA programme. And we know that your pressure made a difference. Our leaders did hear the message from you, and tens of thousands of people like you, that we expect our government to take serious action against world poverty. They have shown that we can make it difficult for politicians to take the axe to our overseas aid. They have admitted that the calls, coming from all sides, for Ireland to honour its aid commitments did have an impact.

Therefore, amidst our enormous disappointment that the Government has chosen yet again to cut the aid budget, and to renege yet again on our aid promise, we take heart from the impact that we are having. We knew it would not be easy. We knew we would be up against very powerful forces. But we now also know that we can make a difference.

The organisations united in the We Do Care campaign have already expressed disappointment at the cuts, and shock at the yet-again delayed target date for Ireland's 0.7% commitment.

In the coming year, we will continue to campaign to ensure that our Government receives a strong and clear message from all of us that we expect them to finally deliver on their 0.7% commitment and put the necessary steps in place to ensure that there no more broken promise.

We hope that you will continue to support us.
In the coming weeks, we will develop suggestions on how we can maintain, and increase, the pressure on the Government. And we would hope to receive suggestions from you. And let's make sure that 2010 will see a triumph for people power.
Thank you,

On behalf of the We Do Care campaign,
Hans Zomer