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
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 firstname.lastname@example.org NOTE: Video footage and photographs
available. The Berbers will be in Ethiopia June 18-26.