12 December, 2003

INFLUENCES: St Johns Anglican Church, Toorak - Aspire Summer 2003/04


INFLUENCES:                                             St Johns Anglican Church, Toorak

But some one will say, “You have faith and I have works.”  Show me your faith apart from your works, and I by my works will show you my faith. James 2:18.
Philip Wollen is a remarkable and talented man.  His success as a management consultant is attributed to both good business acumen as well as years of experience and expertise in economics and company structure.  Yet there is another dimension to this man who might, as first glance, be just another business executive.
Named after his mother and grandmother, The Winsome Constance Kindness Trust was established by Philip to “promote kindness and humane treatment towards all other living beings and enshrine it as a recognisable trait in the Australian character and culture”.
Entirely funded by Philip, his aim is to give away, through the Trust, 90% of his income instead of the prescribed 10%.  There are no overheads, no tax benefits, no staff, just one man who gives away with both hands to make a difference wherever there is a need.
“I am simply fulfilling my side of the bargain with God,” says Philip, “to work hard, love God, love my neighbour, and privately practice my faith.
We support active working causes to help the powerless, not bloated passive institutions.  The only funds disbursed are my own, so I don’t answer to anyone.
I developed the “Venture Capital for Good Causes” concept using a “Foundations and Roof” principle.  I provide grants to pay for building the “foundations” and the “roof” of the project – hospitals, shelters, clinics, sanctuaries or schools. The local project team, knowing that up to 40% of the total project cost is “in the bag”, gather momentum and fundraising for the “walls”.
Philip’s involvement is totally anonymous; there is no overriding control from the trust, no strings, no prior submissions or formalities.  The motto is “The Powerless are Precious”.
Philip currently has 200 projects he has assisted under the Winsome Constance Kindness Trust. 
A small sample include:
·         Construction of a primary school in Pan Law in Myanmar for 120 children
·         A Bear hospital in China (caged bears are rescued from bear bile factories)
·         Humanitarian Education and Christian Outreach programs in several countries.
·         Health Education and Welfare of 20 children in 14 countries. Target is 100 by 2005.  Vision 20/20 – to save the eyesight of 10,000 people in Africa and Asia with Christian Blind Mission.
·         Grants - Cancer, Asthma, Cataract, Trachoma, Multiple Sclerosis, Cancer-Palliative Care Hospital Equipment, Library, Australiana Sanctuary and various productive churches
·         Animal shelters, ambulances, rescue boats, hospitals, clinics, rescues, bio gas plants, feeding and veterinary  programs in China, Romania, Cambodia, Australia, Argentina, Calcutta, Bangalore, Chennai, Chandigarh, Viet Nam, Cape Town, The Ukraine, Kenya, Korea, Agra, Jaipur, Udaipur, the Philippines, Ethiopia. 
·         Pro bono counsel and financial grants to enterprising women starting in a business incubator. Legal funding and computer equipment for various humanitarian groups.
·         Mentoring program for young Australians.
“Donald Horne said that we were the Lucky Country.  Bob Hawke said we were the Clever Country.  My dream is that we become the Compassionate Country.
To increase a man’s share of happiness do not increase his possessions; simply decrease his desires. For the first time in my life, I feel that what I do makes a real difference, to be alongside the lonely, the beaten, and the powerless and walk where Jesus walked.  For me, it started at St John’s.
Anyone can do what I do. The model is a template anyone can copy.  And it can be bolted on any type of project – hospitals, sanctuaries, or schools. One man can change the world and every man should try. 

Photo:  Children assisting the laying of the foundations for the construction of a school in Pan Law.             

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