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In May, I succeeded Tom Arnold as chief executive officer of Concern Worldwide.
Tom wrote a letter every December to the Irish Examiner, thanking readers for their support. It’s a tradition I’m continuing.
I thank your readers for their extraordinary support, which has been a remarkable statement of the generosity of the Irish people.
The responses to the typhoon in the Philippines, and to the consequences of the ongoing war in Syria, prove the generosity and kindness of Ireland.
I am conscious of our difficult financial times.
People are weighed down with myriad financial issues, and yet Irish people continue to support the most vulnerable and poor in the world.
The relationship of trust between Concern and our donors is vital. Last month, we won, for the fourth consecutive year, the Published Accounts Award for charities and not-for-profit organisations. The award, organised by the Chartered Accountants’ Leinster Society, is for excellence in financial reporting. We strive to be as transparent as possible. People often ask what percentage of donations goes to beneficiaries. For every euro Concern receives, 89.8 cent goes to the work in the field.
A few words about myself. I grew up in Belfast, in a big family, with seven siblings. I studied law and, at 26, volunteered with Concern, working in the refugee camps along the Thai/Cambodian border. That was in 1982 and I’m still with Concern.
It’s a privilege to lead a team that is committed to delivering real, meaningful change in the lives of the poorest. Today, we have more than 3,500 Concern staff on the frontlines, directly impacting the lives of seven million people in 26 of the poorest countries.
Your generosity enables us to deliver life-saving assistance today, not next week, and to stay on long after the cameras have gone, transforming lives by building the capacity of communities to help themselves.
Chief Executive Officer
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