Hope for our char­i­ties

The Irish Times - - Comment & Letters -

Sir, – The re­sults of the Char­ity In­sti­tute of Ire­land’s “Char­i­ties 2037” sur­vey makes for both mea­suredly wel­come and sober­ing read­ing for char­i­ties in Ire­land (“Peo­ple do not trust char­i­ties”, sur­vey finds”, News, Oc­to­ber 26th).

It is deeply sad­den­ing for fully reg­u­lated NGOs to not only read of but ac­tu­ally ex­pe­ri­ence the de­cline in trust over the past num­ber of years, and we ea­gerly await and ac­tively en­cour­age fur­ther en­force­ment of reg­u­la­tion within our sec­tor.

As a sec­tor that con­trib­utes ap­prox­i­mately ¤5 bil­lion to­wards so­ci­ety on an an­nual ba­sis, we should be proud of the great record of pos­i­tive change that Ire­land’s char­i­ties have achieved with and for peo­ple and com­mu­ni­ties in Ire­land and abroad.

How­ever, it is de­flat­ing to read of so much un­cer­tainty in pub­lic opinion show­ing no ev­i­dence of trust re­cov­ery, de­spite in­creas­ing reg­u­la­tion in the sec­tor.

To be recog­nised as a char­ity is a great hon­our and priv­i­lege but also a great re­spon­si­bil­ity, which must be re­spected and up­held.

At Ch­er­nobyl Chil­dren In­ter­na­tional we take th­ese re­spon­si­bil­i­ties ex­tremely se­ri­ously be­cause of the trust donors, con­trib­u­tors and our vol­un­teers place in us.

The Char­ity Reg­u­la­tor is now in place and we whole­heart­edly em­brace the greater trans­parency he is bring­ing to the sec­tor and hope in time that trust will be re­stored.

As a fully Char­i­ties Reg­u­la­tory Author­ity-com­pli­ant NGO, Ch­er­nobyl Chil­dren In­ter­na­tional has been deeply wounded by the knock-on ef­fects from the ac­tions of a few “bad eggs” who abused the pub­lic’s trust.

Speed­ier im­ple­men­ta­tion of the reg­u­la­tor’s author­ity and quicker pros­e­cu­tion of non-com­pli­ant char­i­ties will hope­fully strengthen the sec­tor from the in­side out.

I truly be­lieve that the hon­esty and in­tegrity of so many or­gan­i­sa­tions, which are forces for good in our in­creas­ingly doom-and-gloom world, will shine through.

Ir­ish peo­ple con­tinue to do­nate above their weight and are an ex­am­ple to the in­ter­na­tional com­mu­nity for such generosity in a cyn­i­cal world.

I live in hope and trust that the pre­dic­tions of “Char­i­ties 2037” will be proven wrong through strong gov­er­nance and reg­u­la­tion, and that the sec­tor will be one that the Ir­ish peo­ple will be em­i­nently proud of well in ad­vance of 2037! – Yours, etc,

ADI ROCHE, Vol­un­tary Chief Ex­ec­u­tive, Ch­er­nobyl Chil­dren In­ter­na­tional,

Al­fred Street,

Cork.

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