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Welcome to another episode of Feminine Wealth TV! Today I am coming to you from Bali with with a change-maker who knows all about using our resources for social change – Margaret Barry. Margaret is the founder of the Bali Children Foundation, an organisation devoted to providing disadvantaged children with the means to get an education.
Margaret has had a very interesting journey, from being a Senior Executive in a large fashion company based in India, to running her own business in Bali, to starting the Bali Children Foundation. She has learnt a lot along the way, including the necessity of being able to “mine your opportunities”.
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Barbara Turley: Hi there, I’m Barbara Turley and you’re watching another episode of Feminine Wealth TV, the show that uncovers the diamond-tips on creating truly conscious wealth from change-makers, world shakers, and world creators. So far on the show, I have had all 3 of those types of women, amazing women out there, doing amazing things. Today, I’m continuing my Balinese trip, with my interviewing women, over here. I have a total change-maker with me, today. Please welcome Margaret Barry to the show.
Margaret Barry: Hi everybody.
Barbara Turley: Margaret is the CEO and founder of the Bali Children’s Foundation, which is absolutely amazing philanthropic effort that’s happening here in Bali, around the education of children. Margaret, to kickoff, tell us a little bit about the foundation, and about the work that you’re doing here, in Bali.
Margaret Barry: Bali Children Foundation, our mission is to educate disadvantaged children in bali, and to educate them. By disadvantaged, in our case, we’re looking at poor and remote, is our main category of disadvantage. On that basis, we work in North Bali and in West Bali, where there are really big pockets of poverty, particularly in the hills, which are dry, as well as poor soil, and …
Barbara Turley: [Ordinary as 00:01:20] much tourism up there, of course.
Margaret Barry: Correct, there’s very … particularly in the west, is virtually no tourism in the area, we’re in. In the north, it is developing, which is helping our sustainability programs. The aim is to get children in these dry, poor hills, educated. To that end, we’ve got to the point where we’ve developed scholarships for over 1,000 students. I mean, currently, we have 1,000 students at school …
Barbara Turley: Wow.
Margaret Barry: … or at University on our scholarships. We work in children’s homes, but our primary work is in communities. We’re working directly in 2 children’s homes. We support another 3 with projects, as in when they need assistance, and we’re working in over 30 communities throughout North and West Bali.
Barbara Turley: That’s fabulous, and when you … The foundation has been in operation now for what, 15 years?
Margaret Barry: Yes, yeah 14 years, yeah.
Barbara Turley: I know, obviously, you’re also a female entrepreneur, so we also have to [inaudible 00:02:23] business [inaudible 00:02:24] show.
Margaret Barry: Fashion business, yes.
Barbara Turley: You’re in the fashion business. Tell me a little bit about your entrepreneurial journey or business-ownership journey. You weren’t always a business-owner. Tell me how you started out in the fashion industry and where it all started.
Margaret Barry: Well, I started in fashion in the mid-70s and very soon, I was in India, working for a company which at that point, was quite small, but later became very large. As that company grew, I had the incredible opportunity to grow with them and always be in a very senior role in that company. That company was called [Melaca 00:02:58], and we went from being a little company to a couple of hundred thousand turnover, to by the end of the 80s, we were turning-over 10 million, and that was very significant.
Barbara Turley: In the 80s in India, that is massive.
Margaret Barry: Yeah, and I was the Senior Executive in the company. My boss and I ran the company, and we talked in tail between Australia and India, but I was pretty good at Asia, and I was running the design and marketing side of the company, so developing collections and also, over viewing production. I ended up spending most of my time in India during that period, based in New Delhi. I was employed by that company. It was an extraordinary growth process, so I had the opportunity to learn the industry very [inaudible 00:03:46], both from the design, which I had no background in, originally.
I started off with designers working for me, and as time went on, I became a more hands-on, in that regard. It was also a very important management role, because we were talking obviously, big numbers, going to department stores, et cetera, so there was a lot of logistics work involved, and just plain Program Management, because these are the days before internet, or …
Barbara Turley: I know, [inaudible 00:04:16].
Margaret Barry: We were working with italics machine that had a punch-tape that ran through it, so if someone fell over, if you had a long message, the tape could be 20 meters long …
Barbara Turley: You just kept [inaudible 00:04:28]
Margaret Barry: If someone fell over the tape, it was like, “Oh my God,” and we would try and put it back together and you’ve lost a whole paragraph of your message while you fix it. We were working with a 5 hour time difference. We were working with incredibly [dote 00:04:43] electricity. I mean, it was …
Barbara Turley: [inaudible 00:04:45] how easy it is, today.
Margaret Barry: … a miracle that anything ever happened, let alone this extraordinary company developed. It developed, because it was a team of extraordinary people.
Barbara Turley: Then you went, you moved to Bali after that.
Margaret Barry: Yes.
Barbara Turley: Was that Bali?
Margaret Barry: I decided to start my own business, because I was in my late 30s. India was very dangerous. It was a bad time of real terror, and we were working in a phenomenal rate and I figured that if I didn’t get out and do my own thing, I was going to spoil my energy and I’d be a [bird to have reckoned 00:05:16], wouldn’t be able to do anything at all, so …
Barbara Turley: You know what’s funny about that, actually? I mean, although you were working in India at that time, I know there’s a lot of women out there feeling that way, who are in the Corporate World right now, and we get into our mid 30s and we start to think, “Oh my God, is this all there is? I’m just going to end up this bitter, exhausted, overwhelmed woman,” and you sort of lose. I was talking to Zoey Watson, who has the Bliss Sanctuary here, about this problem, recently. She was saying the same thing. “We end up sort of losing our feminine side a bit. We end up losing our feminine energy to this sort of overwhelmed burnout,” so this is what brought you to Bali. Why did you choose Bali?
Margaret Barry: Pragmatic, our market was Australia. I knew the Australian market. I couldn’t do India, because the company I was working with was so huge, they would’ve smashed me if I even had an attempt, even looked sideways, at their market. There were huge quota holders, so I needed that friendship. I needed their quota, so there’s no question. There just wasn’t an option to do India. I needed to take my expertise somewhere where it would be of some value, so Asia, I knew how to do Asia.
I’d done 15 years, already. I’d opened up other markets, as well. I’d opened up production in China, Hong Kong, and been involved in other investigations. I’d sort of figured out that what they used to say …
Barbara Turley: [crosstalk 00:06:39]
Margaret Barry: There was a saying in the company, “If you want to do something, you send Mark to the term and in 3 days, she’s got something started for you.”
Barbara Turley: All right, that was your …
Margaret Barry: That’s [inaudible 00:06:48] selling in London and that as kind of my thing. I could do it quite well. I thought, “Okay, Bali’s great. It’s only 5 hours from Melbourne,” which is where I was going to be based. “It’s relatively inexpensive and very quick, only a couple of hour’s time, so in difference …”
Barbara Turley: Plenty of motorbikes, as we can hear.
Margaret Barry: Plenty of motorbikes, but a pleasant place. Why not have a place that’s a bit more ambient, for a change, because India was many things, but it wasn’t ambient, at all. I came here under the misapprehension that it was a reasonably benign business environment. Because India was a quite tough and heavily regulated business environment. I thought that this one was going to be less. In fact, not true.
Barbara Turley: Yeah, because I’m interested to know I see …
Margaret Barry: It was incredibly difficult and …
Barbara Turley: I think a lot of women would have this perception, as well. I know there’s women out there thinking, “I’d love to just move to Bali and start a business,” or, “Move to in Thailand and start a business,” but it’s not that simple.
Margaret Barry: Well, these days, it’s much easier, because these days, the regulation process is quite clear. If you want to come and open a business, you can, as long as you’re prepared to go through the processes. Those days, we still had [Sil Carto 00:08:01] in power. He was the Dictator President at the time. As soon as you got into anything that was vaguely lucrative, suddenly there would be all these obstacles put in front of you. If you interview any of the westerners who’ve been here 20 plus years, you’ll hear this repeated, as a story. Some of them had much more challenging run-ins than I, but you just couldn’t make a buck. No matter what you did …
Barbara Turley: So frustrating …
Margaret Barry: … you just could never quite get there. Then, in 98, we had a big financial crisis, so went through Southeast Asia, and resulted in a complete change of power in this government in the Indonesian government, and at that point, was the beginning of a democracy and the beginning of some opportunity for small and medium businesses.
Barbara Turley: How did you get through those early years? What made you stay? You came, there was this … You couldn’t make a buck, as you say.
Margaret Barry: Well, absolute dogged persistence.
Barbara Turley: Brazilian …
Margaret Barry: I got used to living in Asia, and I really didn’t want to live back, all that much, in the west. I preferred living in Asia, so I was happy to be here, physically. I certainly considered going back and getting in-paid work. That was something that had to be considered on a number of occasions. I had very good support from my family. They helped me through more stages than they probably like to think about, but they did.
Barbara Turley: Yeah, but they were there.
Margaret Barry: They were there for me, and I had a very good supporter here, a guy called [Agul Sutama 00:09:37], who’s a local lawyer. I’d met him like the first week I came to Bali and when I think of all the absolute idiots that I could’ve met, including some of those …
Barbara Turley: You got lucky.
Margaret Barry: … who’ve been recently interviewed on what really happens in Bali, I was very lucky. I had a guy who’s always had my back and been very good to me.
Barbara Turley: He was a lawyer?
Margaret Barry: He was a lawyer. He was a Law Student at that stage. He’d gone back to finish his degree. He’s now a lawyer, because he’s the Chairman of the Bali Children Foundation in Indonesia.
Barbara Turley: Okay because what’s really fascinating about that, and what I love about that particular part of your story, is that a lot of what I coach women business-owners into thinking about, is that you need to have, I call it, your Dream Team. You need to have certain, a few people, on your Support Team. You need a really good accountant. If you’re somewhere like Bali, I think, a really good lawyer or a legal person’s really important, so …
Margaret Barry: In Bali, the legal side is more important …
Barbara Turley: … you’re not on your own.
Margaret Barry: … than the accounting side.
Barbara Turley: Absolutely, yeah.
Margaret Barry: The accounting side is certainly very important once you’re going, and real challenge here, one that I’m still dealing with on a daily basis.
Barbara Turley: Oh really? This is the amazing concept of don’t want to move to Bali.
Margaret Barry: A new savior, it’s called Zero software.
Barbara Turley: I know, I’m using Zero. Please, anyone out there, use Zero. It is fantastic.
Margaret Barry: I’m not being paid for this. It’s great.
Barbara Turley: Zero’s fantastic, zero.com, brilliant [inaudible 00:11:00] software.
Margaret Barry: The great thing about Zero is that they’ve got a marvelous Support Team.
Barbara Turley: Yeah, they do.
Margaret Barry: 24 hour Support Team, and we’re actually setting up Bali Children Foundation on Zero at the moment.
Barbara Turley: Yes, brilliant.
Margaret Barry: It’s really hard, because the staff always, in any situation, when they’ve been using one system, they will come up with so many objections why …
Barbara Turley: The resistance …
Margaret Barry: … it won’t work. Well, you can imagine in Bali, when we’ve got multiple currency, we’ve got half-trained staff for everything else going on, the objections are …
Barbara Turley: Endless.
Margaret Barry: … humongous. The Zero Team have been able to work through those objections and we’re getting it. It’s going really well, now. As soon as we’ve finished and we’ve caught up with, sort of, we’ve got it on another system, which is similar to [inaudible 00:11:49], but it’s local system. We’re running them, of course, in-tandem for this year, but as soon as I’ve got them balanced and working together, absolutely in-tandem, I’m putting my business onto Zero, too. It’s great.
Barbara Turley: You mentioned your team, there. That’s another thing I’m really a big fan of. Obviously, in a business like yours, which is the retail business, you need to have teams and staff and people. Obviously, you’re pretty good at … I think a really important part of business is learning to lead our team and inspiring them to sort of take control of things …
Margaret Barry: Well, one thing you have to learn here …
Barbara Turley: … to get on with, you know?
Margaret Barry: … is you’ve got to learn to mine your opportunities, because the situation …
Barbara Turley: Do you think that’s anywhere, though.
Margaret Barry: Probably.
Barbara Turley: I mean, in some respects, you have to hunt your opportunities out.
Margaret Barry: You’ve got to mine your opportunities and this applies to [mag 00:12:36], on one hand, but it particularly applies to Bali Children Foundation, because now when I look back, we haven’t built 1,000 scholarships and for the big education programs we’re doing in the communities for English and Computer Studies, and teaching the kids how to go out and get themselves jobs. That’s called Work Ready. That’s another whole part of our program.
Barbara Turley: That’s very grand, yeah.
Margaret Barry: It works really well, just a little bit of a [skite 00:13:03], we’ve just had 69 kids graduate, year 12, and when I say just, I mean literally, 3 weeks ago, and 60 of them are already employed or accepted at Uni.
Barbara Turley: That’s so fabulous, yeah.
Margaret Barry: We’ve got 9 to go, and then that’s in 3 weeks.
Barbara Turley: That must just light your heart up. Is that what lights your soul up?
Margaret Barry: Well, it makes it much easier to get support from the communities, because they can see their kids going out and being employed, and bringing in real money, where these families live on … Like, an average family lives on $30 to $50 a month.
Barbara Turley: Wow, that’s just nothing.
Margaret Barry: One of their children going out, as a graduate, this is high school graduate, not Uni graduate. One of their kids going out as a graduate is going to bring in between $80 and $120 a month, so the change …
Barbara Turley: Which is still so nothing, but for them, it’s 4 times their [inaudible 00:13:55]
Margaret Barry: … to that family income is just humongous, and it totally changes their life of that family, so as long as we can get the kids jobs, the families will … because, we help. You know, we’re helping with school fares and uniforms and books and special training and all of that, but the parents have still got to feed the kids and these children traditionally dropped out of school at grade 6. In these communities, in our communities, we look at 35% to 65% dropout at grade 6, primary school, as the norm.
Barbara Turley: Really, they have no benefit from going to school at all, then, because really the 6 years, what is it?
Margaret Barry: Well, they’re literate.
Barbara Turley: Yeah, but that’s it.
Margaret Barry: They can speak Indonesian, because remember, their primary language is Balinese.
Barbara Turley: Oh, so the [inaudible 00:14:44]
Margaret Barry: They have to learn to speak Indonesian to get into the main workforce, anyway. They’ve got those advantages, but with our program, they can go on and do very well. The trouble is that the parents have got to keep them in school another 6 years. When you’re on $30 to $50 a month, and you’re feeding your whole family, even if it’s only a family of 4, and plenty of them are more than that, it’s a huge thing to ask. We need to be able to prove that …
Barbara Turley: It works.
Margaret Barry: … we can deliver, and fortunately, our performance does prove that. We now have absolutely no difficulty. Our pledge, originally was, my pledge to my Board, was originally that it, within 3 years, I’d promise we would have no dropout at grade 6. Well, in fact, we have found that it’s in 1 year we can get it to 0. Basically, as soon as we appear in the community, everything changes. In many cases, because they’ve been waiting for us to come …
Barbara Turley: There’s way more communities that you could help …
Margaret Barry: Oh, yeah.
Barbara Turley: … even now, today? Because the foundation’s been running 14 years, now?
Margaret Barry: Yes, but we’re really just starting to hit our straps, volume-wise. We’re at 1,000 now. I hope we’ll be at 2,000 in another couple of years. Our estimation, and the stats, are really rubbery. Even though we can get official stats, if they’re still a bit rubbery … but my estimation is that somewhere between probably around another 15,000. There’s somewhere between 12,000 and 15,000 of children who are out there, in the north and the west, alone who would qualify for our program, …
Barbara Turley: Wow.
Margaret Barry: … which means that they’re economically deprived, they’re in [crosstalk 00:16:39]
Barbara Turley: 15,000 [inaudible 00:16:39] 15 times of what you’ve got, already.
Margaret Barry: Yep.
Barbara Turley: Of course obviously, this … I’m very interested in the money side, so I’m a firm believer, and the reason I really wanted to get you on the show is, I love when I see somebody who’s channeling money in the right way. You’re harnessing money from lots of different areas. You’ve got some corporates. You’ve got some [inaudible 00:17:00] Bali …
Margaret Barry: Corporate sponsorship, local businesses in Bali …
Barbara Turley: Local businesses are channeling money into this, as well.
Margaret Barry: … and philanthropic assistance from Australia, significant philanthropic support from Australia.
Barbara Turley: Those philanthropic trusts or whatever, are those funded by businesses or family money or a combination? Do you know?
Margaret Barry: A combination, mostly to do with business, but there is some situation of family trust, as well.
Barbara Turley: Yeah, which would’ve come from business or something [inaudible 00:17:32], yeah.
Margaret Barry: Yeah, it’s come from some situation [inaudible 00:17:34].
Barbara Turley: This concept of, as business-owners, we can really harness what we’re doing in business and if we’re making money, than there are areas where we can really channel that money into just creating the next generation of growth for our world.
Margaret Barry: We can, for even … It’s not even so much our own money. It’s because most women are not Oprah Winfrey. Most women are not wealthy entrepreneurs who’ve been very successful and are able to fund their own foundations. Most women who’ve got foundations and … I mean, this foundation came out of lessons from the Bali Bomb, as did many others in Bali. We are not unusual. In fact, almost every foundation in Bali has been developed by a member, someone, who probably almost all of them my friends, who were active in the process after the bomb.
Barbara Turley: After the Bali Bomb.
Margaret Barry: It was an experience.
Barbara Turley: It was an awakening of something.
Margaret Barry: Well, it was an experience where in my case, I saw the combination of working with the Balinese community, working with the expert community, and working with tourists who have considerable expertise, enabled us to get a very positive outcome, out of what was an appalling tragedy. It was that formula that I’ve used and towards education in Bali, and that’s how we work and that’s how we’ve been effective. The members of my Board have all come from … They’re all visitors. They’re all tourists to Bali. Now, they may have met me in other ways, like their accountant recommended me, back to accountants, or one of the doctors that I worked with during the bomb knew of my work and recommended me. It came through a lot of sources, but all of them are tourists who come to Bali. Many of them have properties in Bali, …
Barbara Turley: They’d like to give back a bit more to [inaudible 00:19:29].
Margaret Barry: … and they’re interested in giving back. The fact that they’ve got a relationship in the society, they know a bit about what’s going on, here. They’re able to know what I do and trust it, and that enables them to be big supporters. It’s not all that. It’s people that I’ve been knowing through business for years, like in the Melaca days, it was the days of ethnic clothing, so there were lots of ethnic clothing businesses around, then. Now, my mates from that period, who were technically our competitors, but they were our friends, virtually all of them are supporting me, either through individual scholarships for tursury education, or through corporate scholarships, where they might be doing 1 or 2 villages.
I’m in significant support. When I talk about mining your friends or mining your resources, mining your opportunities, it’s not just about your own money. I think certainly in the Bali situation, where we’re not well-off, your money, your own business, enables you to give you staff, and bricks and mortar, and all of those things to get going. It’s that you get a pro bono situation developing there, now, once you do do, what you do. Because I’m in the rag trade, I’ve got a lot of staff, so when I need a big job done, like we distribute goods to the communities every 6 months, people bring their donations here, to the BCF office. We save them up. We’ve got a big store, next-door, and then every 6 months, we get the Mag staff in and we lay them out all over the floor in that big front area, and we break them up into 30 communities, so that everyone gets a fair share.
Barbara Turley: Your staff, from your business?
Margaret Barry: My staff, from my business, come in and do that.
Barbara Turley: Come in, yeah.
Margaret Barry: Because it’s a big job.
Barbara Turley: Well, that’s a resource, too, when I say money, I suppose I mean resources.
Margaret Barry: Yes, that’s what I’m saying, basically …
Barbara Turley: Yeah, you have more than money.
Margaret Barry: … in Bali, and I think many women, have more than money. Money is something that it’s great if we’ve got, but the other stuff we’ve got as a business is actually more important, reputation, where your business is based, your staff, who can help you. It’s a great way of including this staff in this sort of work, usually provides them with great satisfaction.
Barbara Turley: And fulfillment. They love the fulfillment.
Margaret Barry: Yeah, they enjoy it, so it gives them a life, beyond just their work life [inaudible 00:21:58].
Barbara Turley: Well, I guess it means that then, you’re harvesting the resources, all the resources, that you have. You have your business. It has resources in there, and then there’s money and your time and passion and all these different things.
Margaret Barry: Then, there’s the tourists …
Barbara Turley: Tourists coming out …
Margaret Barry: … and the family, and there’s people you’ve done business with, and there’s your contact list on Google.
Barbara Turley: Oh, you figured that out.
Margaret Barry: I figured that out, and when they said everyone you know is on Facebook, so there’s this enormous, and particularly …
Barbara Turley: Communities and people.
Margaret Barry: … modern situation, there’s always communities.
Barbara Turley: A question I’d love to know and to ask you, if there is someone out there who does have the resources to create a foundation … Let’s say there’s a woman out there who’s running a decent sized business and could create a foundation, or maybe there’s a few women together that could create. How difficult is it to create a foundation? Because that’s something I think is a new area. It’s not a new area, but it’s a new for a lot of [inaudible 00:22:48].
Margaret Barry: Well, Australia, I can’t really comment on, but I can comment, here. Well, I can talk about Australia. If you’re interested in doing something in Australia, have a look at what’s already there, and try and partner up with someone, because there’s thousands of organizations, some of which are good, that need different kinds of expertise. If you can find something that’s existing …
Barbara Turley: You should give your expertise, as well.
Margaret Barry: … that’s in your field, and that you can find people are open, because that’s important, that would definitely be the way to go. It saves you time. You’ve already got some traction, and they’ve already going to have some sort of an infrastructure to help you with. If you can come into that, develop a trust model between you, then get your friends involved, you can move quite quickly. Here, same thing. There’s already quite a lot of organizations going. Check who’s about. Try and partner up. I’m a huge believer in partnership. It …
Barbara Turley: Because you’ve got quite a few partnering with you, now.
Margaret Barry: Yes, I do.
Barbara Turley: You even have Australians partnering with you, too, at the foundation, here?
Margaret Barry: Well, my Board are all Australian. I don’t really partner up with any [NGOs 00:23:55] in Australia, but I do here. We do education, 100%. That’s our job. Bali Kids, who … Oh, they’re not up there, but they should be …
Barbara Turley: No, we’ll get some pictures and put them in there.
Margaret Barry: Bali Kids do help. They’re fantastic. They do thousands of children in the communities for health. They look after our children’s health, really, really well, which means I’m not distracted with no nutrition issues, TB issues …
Barbara Turley: Yeah, of course, you can get on with the educating.
Margaret Barry: … skin disease issues, HIV, cancer, all … You know, when you start doing 1,000 kids, all of these things pop up. If you don’t have the expertise to deal with that stuff, it’s incredibly time-consuming and just zaps your energy from what you don’t need to feel [inaudible 00:24:42].
Barbara Turley: I was going to say, you probably feel a bit defeated, because you start to think, “Oh my God, I can’t make a dent in this problem.”
Margaret Barry: Exactly, so you don’t need to do that. In Bali, we’ve got Bali Kids, which is a health organization. They do a brilliant job of what they do. They’re well-audited. They tick all the boxes. They’ve got tax-deduction, all the things that one needs, and so how we work with them is that through one of our board members, Angela Young, who is the Managing Director of Strong In Australia, a big, international dental company. Strong In want to do things to do with dental health. Angela’s partnered them up with Bali Kids, so they help setup a big dental facility at Bali Kids.
Through Bali Children Foundation, we pay for the dentist and the dental nurse and I think this year’s [inaudible 00:25:38] are working to develop a mobile van situation and that’s in process at the moment. Then, of course the request will come on at another dentist, and we’ll need another dental nurse. Then, that’ll come back to us. My Board and sponsors are perfectly happy to provide the sort of capital that’s needed to do that, if that means that we don’t have to worry about our health or our dental care for our children.
Barbara Turley: You can get on with educating them.
Margaret Barry: That is a great partnership and one I’m very happy with.
Barbara Turley: There’s quite a few statement … It’s one thing to educate the kids, but actually there are all these other things that can impede their [inaudible 00:26:12] …
Margaret Barry: Yes, oh we’ve got children with disabilities, so that’s YPAC, you know? There are other organizations doing good work here, and it depends, as an individual, or as a corporate presence, what you’re interested in, then you need to research and find out who’s doing stuff in that area. I’m always happy to answer any e-mail, if it’s a question of pointing someone in the right direction.
Barbara Turley: Do you feel, because I feel … and it might be just a naivety or a hope on my part, but I just feel there is the money in the world, and there is the resources. In order to solve every problem that we have, right there. How do you feel about that? Do you think …
Margaret Barry: I think that’s totally true.
Barbara Turley: Yeah, that if we just wake up a bit more.
Margaret Barry: Well, it’s empirically true. There’s no question.
Barbara Turley: If we have more people just waking up to what’s possible and feeling like … Because, I feel like a lot of people think, “Oh, well what can I do by myself?”
Margaret Barry: I think that’s a big issue. That’s where if you’re leading a project, we’re mining opportunities. It’s really important. I just wrote an e-mail to my family today, about something that came up and reminded me to thank them for something. My sister is a midwife in [Teralgon 00:27:25] in Victoria. When I was trying to get kids to go to Uni, because it was really hard at the beginning to get anyone to imagine going to University …
Barbara Turley: Imagine what’s possible.
Margaret Barry: I came from a town where …
Barbara Turley: [inaudible 00:27:38] water.
Margaret Barry: … with maybe no water, but a district where it was normal for kids to leave school at grade 6, so it’s a huge thing to ask them to imagine University.
Barbara Turley: To be a doctor or something, like that.
Margaret Barry: Like 4 years ago, was our first real intake of Uni students. We had a couple 5 years ago, but the majority were 4 years ago, so it’s taken a long time to get … We’ve been going 14 years. It took 10 years, really, to get the first decent lot of kids to Uni. I was keen for nursing to be part of it, and I was keen for accounting to be part of it.
Barbara Turley: Oh yeah, the accounting [inaudible 00:28:16].
Margaret Barry: Because I’ve got a brother who’s an accountant, as well. Nelly, my nursing sister, came up and she talked a lot about nursing, when we were on a project visit. She managed to do in a way that encouraged a couple of girls to get interested. 3 years ago, we put our first 2 girls into nursing, into Nurse’s College in Northern Bali, at [inaudible 00:28:40]. One of those was funded by my family, Barry Family Scholarship, and another one was funded by another organization. Then, Nelly became friendly with [Ratna 00:28:53] on Facebook. They’d already met, and because Ratna is an adult, I allowed them to communicate separately, rather than via the foundation. Now, they don’t communicate a lot, but enough that Nel has this line of mentoring going back to Ratna and her colleague, Kutort, who started in that year.
It comes the next year, and I want a couple more to start. Nelly happened to be here for the holidays. We had a big sort of pizza/coke afternoon club meeting. She talked about nursing. The girls who’d done nursing talked about nursing. The next 2 confirmed they wanted to do it. This year, we’ve got our next 2, and they’re funded by Ishca Shops in Victoria and New South Wales, and another friend has retired from the Ethnic Game, a guy called John Burn, who had shops called Ogers in Victoria. The important thing is that Nelly’s mentoring on Facebook, modest as it is, has been enough to grow a program where we pushed to get 2 girls in, to a program where we’ve got 2 girls every year.
Now, that sustainability is really important, because I need partners to work with, partners again, that word. I need partners to work with on the internship side for these girls. At the end of third year, they’re going to have an opportunity to do an internship. We’re working to get a local western-connected hospital to do the internship and that’s BIMC. We’re hoping that BIMC will do the internship which is in July of 2015, for our first 2 nurses. An important part of this work of developing this is that I have to have something that’s ongoing. Because setting up something like this is really a lot of work. [crosstalk 00:30:44] They’re not going to do it for one off. I don’t want to do it for one off. Because we’ve got 2 girls, now, coming through for 3 years, guaranteed, it’s going to be much easier to setup that deal.
Once we’ve got to the point of I would feel quite confident we’ll have 2 more next year and this will be an ongoing thing, so we don’t need to ask BIMC to do anything that’s a waste of time. All we need to ask them to do is to do 2 a year and in that timeframe, which suits them anyway. We’ve got something to build on, so that the continuous nature of programs is really important, and even though I’ve got quite a big team at BCF, it’s not just me. I’ve got the 2 staff members you’ve met upstairs, Robyn and Agnes. We’ve got a full team in the villages. We’ve got an office in the villages, similar to this, out of [Banja 00:31:38], which is near Lavena. We’re running our programs out of this. We have paid staff and we have voluntary staff. Robyn, you met upstairs, is a full-time volunteer. Besides the organizational structure, you have to have mates and people to help. You’ve got to have your supporters and Nelly … What Nel’s done is really, really important.
Barbara Turley: That’s gotten this into the sustainability [inaudible 00:32:06].
Margaret Barry: Yeah, so I was sending a letter out to the family to thank Nel and actually, to try and get my nieces and nephews interested, because they’ve all got great degrees and really flash jobs. I want to start partnering them up with …
Barbara Turley: Well, they’re students. I mean, that’s brilliant, now, because I was going to say, my next question was obviously going to be for people watching, how could they, if they want to connect with you, connect with the foundation, get involved … There’s obviously the financial end, but there’s the mentoring end, as well. If somebody wants to sponsor a child or donate to the foundation, first of all, where should they go if they want to do that?
Margaret Barry: Well, they can go to our website, and I think at the end of this program, you’re going to put up the website address …
Barbara Turley: Yeah, it should be there, right now.
Margaret Barry: … and my e-mail address.
Barbara Turley: Yes, yeah.
Margaret Barry: They’ve got those 2 points of contact with us. That is the first point of view. Tax-deductible donations can be done either by [inaudible 00:32:58] municipal, going directly onto the website. Sponsorships for primary child is $200 a year, junior high, $300, senior high, $400, University, $1,500.
Barbara Turley: Very doable.
Margaret Barry: Very doable.
Barbara Turley: Very doable, you know?
Margaret Barry: We do encourage our sponsors to consider it, before they do it, because we hope that relationship will be with the child for their whole education. If the child decides to go to tursury, there is no expectation responsible take that opportunity on, because it’s more costly. They can choose to. Some do, some don’t. We really do look to our sponsors to take the child through to senior high school. It is a commitment and it needs to be thought about. If that doesn’t feel right for a sponsor, than a one off contribution which can be towards and English program or a computer program, or just general …
Barbara Turley: Anything.
Margaret Barry: … setting up the community project work, would be of course, very welcome. That’s another thing.
Barbara Turley: What about mentors? If somebody’s interested in doing this Facebook mentorship …
Margaret Barry: Everyone always asks about volunteers. Now, volunteering is really tricky for us, because we’re a long way away. You really need some form of functioning Indonesian to work in the communities. The kids have got some English, but mom and dad doesn’t have, and it’s really difficult if you haven’t got functional Indonesian. Volunteering is a bit tricky. You’re very welcome to come and visit our projects. We’re open. We have an open village there every month. That’s very accessible if you’re in Bali. You can come up and see what we do. Mentoring is much more interesting. For mentoring, we would have to know the person. They would have to have police clearance. They would have to have something to offer that we vetted and decided fitted our model.
Barbara Turley: Somebody could e-mail you if they were interested in potentially doing that, yeah.
Margaret Barry: Yes, particularly if they’re Victorian, where I’ve got more Board Members on the ground, because we have to be very careful about how we approach this for all sorts of reasons. A mentoring process is definitely an opportunity and particular, it’s not a lot of work. It’s a question of staying in contact with the kid, on Facebook, and it’s an adult child, not a child, underage. It’s a child who’s already in University. There are certain guidelines that have to be followed, but I’m just discovering how valuable this can be,
Barbara Turley: Yeah, and this could be the future.
Margaret Barry: … and I’m hoping to develop a policy towards this for future.
Barbara Turley: I like that idea, just as another avenue for people to potentially stay … Even if somebody is funding it, but also to stay more connected, because sometimes you give money to these things and you think, “I don’t even know what’s happening with it.”
[00:35:47] Yeah, well sponsors, of course, can send messages, but they’re sent via the foundation so that they’re not … so that there’s no direct interface, which is just the correct protocol. Our sponsors also receive letters twice a year from the student, their latest school report, and they know what’s going on. They can know what’s going on with the child, if they choose to. If they wish to communicate, they can. If they wish to visit, they can.
Barbara Turley: Margaret, thank you so much for coming on the show because you know, I really … This is a real element that I want to introduce to the show, is the whole philanthropic thing, and I’m just … the giving back, so I really, really appreciate your time on the show. Thank you so much and thank you for the great work that you’re doing here in Bali.
Margaret Barry: Thank you very much. I’ve got one final comment to make.
Barbara Turley: Yes, go ahead, yes.
Margaret Barry: You put out the message that it’s important to grow your wealth, to grow your dream, and I think that is very true, but sometimes the fact that you’re doing the dream is you just have to make money to keep the dream rolling. That can be a powerful incentive as well, so it’s not so much green base or money based or something like that, it’s just the empowerment you need if you’ve got a big dream. Absolutely involves money and some are vetted in your own.
Barbara Turley: Absolutely. Thank you for making that comment, because I am very passionate about … I’m trying to change the perception of money in society. I think after the financial crisis you’ve got films like the Wolf of Wall Street and they paint a very ugly picture of money and I think if we can change the perception or we can channel it in the right way and get everybody dreaming a bit bigger and having bigger visions for the whole world, it’s amazing thing when we can do amazing things with it.
Margaret Barry: No doubt.
Barbara Turley: Yeah. Thank you everybody for watching again for another week, and I’ll be bringing a final episode of Feminine Wealth TV to you, from Bali, next week with my friend Ness, who has a jewelry business here in Bali and she’s flying it. Thank you and see you then.
For anyone who aims to be able to use wealth and resources to make a conscious contribution to society, Margaret’s story is inspirational!