17 August 2015
Gudrun Margret Palsdottir has stepped down as chairman of ABC Iceland and has resigned from her work for ABC children‘s aid. Gudrun Margret informed the staff of ABC about her decision after the board meeting last Tuesday evening. Alternative board member Pall Elfar Palsson has been elected as the new chairman of ABC Iceland.
Gudrun Margret, one of the founders of ABC children‘s aid, says that with her resignation she is taking responsibility for the situation that has arisen in Kenya and expects her decision will maintain the credibility of the work the organization performs and firmly establish it for the unforseeable future.
A statement from Gudrun Margret:
Early this spring I announced to the ABC Iceland board my decision to resign as chairman and my plans of resuming studies. Last Tuesday Pall Elfar Palsson was formally chosen chairman and assumed the position. I also announced to the board my decision to resign as an employee of ABC children‘s aid, for the time being at least. Although my reasons are partly due to interest in resuming studies the main reason for my departure is the current situation that has arisen in Kenya where the general manager has abused the trust that she was granted.
As chairman of ABC children‘s aid I should have heeded the concerns many had directed towards me regarding the general manager‘s work performance and stepped in earlier. Instead I put my faith in the general manager‘s explanations and defended her. In light of recent events I see this was a great mistake and I apologize for that. Since the general manager‘s dismissal, an official government agency in Kenya has instigated an investigation into financial affairs and other matters regarding ABC‘s operations in Kenya and consequently has closed the school in Kariobangi due to health concerns. Despite us successfully relocating the school, and therefore ensuring the continuation of school work, this has caused difficulty and has been harmful as financial support for the children has decreased. This has been upsetting for me and the work as a whole because it adversely affects the children.
Ever since I founded ABC children‘s aid along with other good people some 27 years ago I have been a full time employee for the organization, there of 23 years as a volunteer. My vision, and ABC‘s, has always been to provide poor children a way to educate themselves, help illiterate people to read and to help street children make a life for themselves by providing a home and education. Today I can rejoice over the fact that good work has been done in the name of ABC regarding poor children all over the world for many years. The work has to be preserved so that the children under ABC‘s wing will continue to have the support neccessary and more poor children can have the opportunity for a better life.
I‘m extremely grateful for the new chairman, the board, the general manager and all of the staff at ABC. They are all very fine individuals who I trust completely. I am also very thankful for the cooperation with the Children‘s Mission where I will still be a board member taking part in planning the future and watching the vision be fulfilled. My wish is that ABC children‘s aid will have all the support it needs and people will not let my mistakes prevent them from becoming sponsors.
With sincere gratitude for all the support ABC has been granted through the years.
Guðrún Margrét Pálsdóttir