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It was a little boy called Peth and a helper at 'Missionaries of Charity' that Josh affectionately called Mamma who subsequently changed his life forever. 

Updated: Feb 7

CHAT SESSION 41 with Josh Porteous

Topic- Climbing the corporate ladder to raising money forThe International Brothers & Sisters House’. Josh’s life changing experience!

Catch up and listen to our chat session

Monday 5th February 2024 1pm

Peth, Josh and Ashley

Josh Porteous was like any corporate man in Sydney. He worked long hours and didn’t have much of a work life balance, rarely seeing his family or friends. After 12 years of climbing the corporate ladder, one fateful Sunday morning, he was walking down the Corso in Manly and started to question what he was doing in his life. Was he adding any value to support others in need?


He had explored and researched volunteering before, but it was never seriously considered. But, one afternoon, he locked in 2 weeks in Cambodia on his return leg from a 5-star conference in New York. When he landed Phnom Penh, he was greeted by Toby Gardner, a fellow volunteer who had travelled from Adelaide. Toby was studying primary school teaching and for the first time in a long time, Josh felt like he was around people that actually cared for other people – it was a refreshing change. Toby and Josh roomed together and were posted at the same orphanage for their volunteer duties. Their assignment was a Missionaries of Charity (Mother Theresa) orphanage that looked after children with HIV. It was a confronting fortnight but one that brought a lot of joy and happiness to Josh. 


Toby and Josh

Peth was an extremely sick little boy, dying from TB and HIV. Seeing Peth suffer was tearing. Without hesitation Josh had a calling to do something about it. At the same time, Toby and Mamma were showing Josh firsthand what it was like to help others. Prioritising others first was truly a moment he will never forget.


Josh had learnt that Peth needed special medications from Europe and the 3rd string HIV drugs he required were getting caught up in the bureaucracy of Cambodians government and the Bill Clinton foundation. The 2 weeks went in the blink of an eye and after a tear-jerking departure, he vowed to return and save Peth.


It would have been easy for Josh to go back to his corporate life, putting materialistic possessions first, prioritising promotions over people but, on the plane ride home he decided to resign and like everything he’d done in his life, he took it to the extreme. Josh sold his home and all his possessions and packed up for what turned out to be a life defining 2 years in Cambodia, Thailand, Nepal, India, Uganda, and Tanzania. His first port of call was back to Phnom Penh and back to Peth. It took him 1 month to get connected to the right people in the government to be able to push through the drugs that Peth needed. He got them just in the nick of time and to this day Peth is alive and thriving from the treatment. After this, Josh decided that his time spent away in these developing countries was for 3 reasons:


1. To be 100% present with the children, volunteers, and helpers and to focus entirely on their needs, Josh didn’t touch his phone for 15 months.

2. To be able to share his story back home, inspire others about his journey and experiences, and to circulate messages of hope about the importance of supporting the people he was helping.

3. To think long term and figure out how he could help these children escape the cycle of poverty and rejection they had experienced since birth.


After nearly 2 years in developing countries across Asia & Africa, in September 2015 Josh registered The International brothers & Sisters House (IBSH). 

The International Brothers and Sisters House is focused on working with disadvantaged and orphaned children in three focus areas:

 ~Working for the relief of poverty by providing low-cost housing to underprivileged youth affected by poverty in Tanzania and Nepal. The International Brothers & Sisters House (IBSH) provide education and activities to disadvantaged young people to help them gain skills in life.

~Working for the relief of sickness by forming strong partnerships with local government agencies in Tanzania to assist in providing better HIV medication for sick and underprivileged children.

~Working for the relief of suffering in collaboration with foundations in Nepal and Tanzania to construct homes for the disadvantaged and schools for the uneducated.


Josh Porteous

Nearly 10 years later, Josh married Ashley Porteous (a Californian Girl he met and fell in love with who was also a volunteer in Tanzania back in 2013). Josh and Ashley have 4 children, Indie 8, Ava 6, Maple 4, and Ziggy 2. He has a wonderful board supporting (IBSH). Toby from Adelaide, Brian from Boston, Rishi from Nepal, and Elyse from Byron Bay. Together they oversee the programs, support one another and each year together they fundraise around $20,000USD which is required for ongoing support to those in need.


This year Brian completed a 200km bike ride and Toby completed a 100km walk in one day. On February 9th, 2024, Josh will be walking from Portsea Hotel to Mt Martha and will return back to Portsea Hotel to raise money for his charity. It’s an 80km walk predicted to take 16-20 hours that will be completed in one day.


For those interested to learn more, please click on the link below:


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