NEWS REPORT

 

A Glimmer of Hope offers solutions to

Bono and O'Neill in Africa

A Glimmer of Hope

May 29, 2002

 

 

              AUSTIN, Texas (May 29) - As rock star Bono and U.S. Treasury Secretary Paul O'Neill arrived

              in Ethiopia on the last leg of their ten-day, four-nation tour of Africa, an Austin, Texas-based

              family foundation, focused on Ethiopia, believes it can supply many of the answers both men

              are looking for.

 

              A Glimmer of Hope - formed and funded by high-tech entrepreneur Philip Berber and his wife

              Donna with a $100 million endowment- has been operating with remarkable initial success in

              Ethiopia. In 2002, the foundation plans to implement more than 70 projects throughout Ethiopia

              aiming to impact the lives of more than 500,000 people - all for a little over $3 million or $6 a

              head.

 

              O'Neill and Bono were challenged by President Bush to find effective ways of administering aid

              in Africa. Education, health and water have been hot topics on their tour.

 

              A Glimmer of Hope is already helping by building schools and classrooms, providing desks and

              books, supplying medicines, restoring a hospital, and providing potable drinking water in rural

              villages throughout Ethiopia.

 

              The family foundation helps indigenous people in rural areas to help themselves. It gives to

              Humanitarian causes, invests in Development projects and lends to Social Enterprise. It deals

              directly with local organizations and uses an entrepreneurial and business-like approach to

              project selection and management.

 

              Three years ago, while trying to decide what to do with their windfall from the dot.com boom, the

              Berbers were drawn to Africa - specifically, Ethiopia. They decided that if their money was going

              to have any real impact, they would do it themselves.

 

              "The more we learned about the international aid business, the more appalled we were at the

              inefficiency and misuse of funds," noted Philip Berber. "We work with governments, not through

              governments, and deliver aid directly to local indigenous NGOs"

 

              "The sad fact is 50 percent or less of international aid and private donations get to the cause for

              which it's intended." explains Donna Berber. "Part of our motivation is to make sure all the

              money gets to where it is needed and that it is used effectively."

 

              The foundation offers a unique guarantee to donors that 100 percent of their donations will get to

              where they are needed - the donor selects which type of project as well as which region of

              Ethiopia to help.

 

              Berber, who, like Bono, is also Irish, said he is encouraged and inspired by Bono and O'Neill's

              efforts. "They did not wait for a major famine or crisis to occur before going to Africa. Theirs is a

              strategic approach to the issues and challenges, not a knee-jerk reaction," he said.

 

              "The new model of international aid involves social entrepreneurs and social investors seeking

              long term, sustainable social impact" says Berber. "The days of handing money to governments

              and bureaucratic aid organizations, and only a small part of that aid getting to the people, must

              be put behind us. There are new approaches drawn from the commercial, entrepreneurial and

              technologies fields than can and are making a real difference - and we are already seeing this at

              A Glimmer of Hope."

 

              For more information or to set up an interview contact: Michael O'Keefe A Glimmer of Hope

              (512) 328-9944 Ext. 105 michael@aglimmerofhope.org NOTE: Video footage and photographs

              available. The Berbers will be in Ethiopia June 18-26.