Brazilian author of The Alchemist, Paulo Coelho, supports INSP

The International Network of Street Papers (INSP) announced today that world-renowned Brazilian author Paulo Coelho has become its Patron. Coelho joins the organisation’s esteemed figureheads, including Jon Snow, Channel 4 News; and David Schlesinger, Chairman of Thomson Reuters China and former Editor-in-Chief of Reuters News.

Author and new INSP Patron Paulo Coelho.

INSP supports 122 street papers sold by homeless people in 40 countries. The umbrella organisation works with well-known individuals in Scotland and abroad to raise the profile of homelessness and poverty and bring about lasting change.

Speaking of the new appointment, Coelho said, “I am delighted to accept the position of Patron of INSP. By providing dignified employment and by providing a voice for those who otherwise would be voiceless, the INSP street paper movement offers a positive solution to homelessness and poverty, including in Brazil, my country of birth. The INSP is a network of vibrant papers that publishes real, valuable and independent content which educates and empowers. I am proud to be associated with INSP, and look forward to supporting the organisation’s work in whatever way I can.”

INSP’s Executive Director Lisa Maclean said: “Having the endorsement of a highly respected writer such as Paulo Coelho is a massive boost to our work supporting street papers and their homeless vendors all over the world. We are delighted that he supports the street paper concept and we look forward to working closely with him to inspire positive social change.”

Coelho’s endorsement follows a successful month for the charity. INSP’s latest innovation, the digital street paper, got support through an international crowd funding campaign and its news service for street papers was nominated for the Online Media Awards 2012, category ‘Best Specialist Site For Journalism’.