Text by Alistair G. Speirs

Mike O’Leary had a business which he gave up under under unfortunate circumstances, as I remember, and left him determined to do something better for himself and for the world. What was business’s loss was the environment’s gain as Mike decided to set up the R.O.L.E Foundation in Nusa Dua.

 

Text by Alistair G. Speirs

Mike O’Leary had a business which he gave up under under unfortunate circumstances, as I remember, and left him determined to do something better for himself and for the world. What was business’s loss was the environment’s gain as Mike decided to set up the R.O.L.E Foundation in Nusa Dua.

ROLE literally stands for “Rivers, Oceans, Land and Ecology” but stands for much more than that, it stands for the preservation of Bali’s environment both on land and in the sea, it stands for the training of illiterate women up to employable standards, under their WISE programs, for the creation of an impressive park on the rocky ground of the Bukit, to the finding of solutions to waste management, practical farming, water management, recycling, finding products that local impoverished people can turn into cash crops through permaculture and a whole load of other projects.

What I like most about both aspects of the organization is that they actively invite school children to come and learn what they are doing, and to encourage them to adopt these environmentally friendly processes into their future lives. This is where a real change can be made.

Mike falls into a category I call ‘people who give more to Bali than they take‘ who are an extreme minority these days as most people come to take whatever they can through villa development, opening every sort of business, building endless rows of horrendous shop houses, that destroy the structure of Bali society and environment. What he is doing is commendable and absolutely necessary if Bali is to survive the current pillage, which shows no sign of diminishing.

If you are interested in either doing something directly to help Bali or at least to find out what he is doing, have a look at their Island Sustainability Education Centre on www. rolefoundation.org or www.baliwise.org to look at what they are doing for the poor women of Bali, including getting them trained in the 5 star Ayana hotel and becoming “role models”. For a real role model I can see no further than the man who made all this happen, Mike O’Leary.

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