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Is ABC One Charity or Two?

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Is ABC One Charity or Two?

A child in Bamako, Mali

Photo: Páll Stefánsson.

One of Iceland’s biggest charities, ABC Children’s Help, is experiencing an identity crisis.

“Yes, there is rivalry between us. In recent years there has been close partnership between the organizations but now the ways are parting,” says Þórunn Helgadóttir, chairman of ABC Children’s Help in Kenya, saying that ABC Children’s Help in Iceland has unilaterally decided to cut ties with its Kenyan partner.

“We can’t have cut any ties because we own ABC Children’s Help in Kenya,” says Fríður Birna Stefánsdóttir, director of ABC Children’s Help in Iceland. Fríður adds that the press release sent by Þórunn, in which she states that “Although the organizations share the name they are two independent organizations, one registered in Kenya and the other in Iceland,” is simply not true, Vísir reports.

Þórunn believes the reason for the cutting of ties is that the Icelandic ABC decided to unite with Children’s Mission, a Swedish charity, while the board in Kenya did not want to take that route.

“We sacked Þórunn at the beginning of May,” Fríður retorts; saying that it is not true that the Kenyan organization is independent of the Icelandic one.

The parties cannot even agree on the concrete matter of payments, with Þórunn insisting that the Icelandic ABC hasn’t sent any money to the children it supports in Kenya since the two organizations fell out. That is simply not true, Fríður says.

ABC Children’s Help posted a notice on its website recently saying that Þórunn is no longer working for the charity in Kenya. “This notice is simply wrong,” Þórunn counters. “I and my husband are still employed as the managers of the operation in Kenya.”

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