Concern Worldwide

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Concern Worldwide
Concern worldwide logo.gif
Founded 1968
Founder Kay O’Loughlin Kennedy
John O’Loughlin Kennedy
Registration no. 39647
Focus Poverty relief
  • 52-55 Lower Camden Street, Dublin 2
Origins Dublin, Ireland
Area served
Product Long term development and disaster relief
Key people
Dominic MacSorley(CEO)
Slogan "Your Concern Works"
Mission To work with the people living in extreme poverty to help them to transform their lives.
Formerly called
Africa Concern

Concern Worldwide (often referred to as Concern) is Ireland's largest aid and humanitarian agency.[1] Since its foundation 49 years ago it has worked in 50 countries and currently employs 3,200 staff in 25 countries around the world.[2] Concern works to help those living in the world's poorest countries to achieve real and lasting improvements in their lives.[3] Concern is engaged in long term development work, in addition to emergency relief in Africa, Asia and the Caribbean. Concern’s core work focuses on health, hunger and humanitarian response in emergencies.[4] They work in partnership with small community groups as well as governments and large global organisations. Concern is just one of fourteen fully certified members of Humanitarian Accountability Partnership.[5]

Concern Worldwide US is an affiliate of Concern Worldwide. It has offices in New York City and Chicago. Concern Worldwide is a partner of the One Campaign.


Concern Worldwide was set up by a small group of people including John and Kay O’Loughlin Kennedy in their home in Dublin in March 1968, following an appeal for aid by missionaries for the starving population of war torn Biafra. In June 1968 Africa Concern as it was originally called, launched their famine appeal “Send One Ship”. The ship, the Colmcille landed off the coast of Biafra in September 1968 with supplies of powdered food and medicine. In 1970 the public were asked to respond to the cyclone in East Pakistan and Africa Concern became Concern.[6]

Concern’s Work[edit]

Concern has worked in 50 countries and currently employs just under 3,200 staff in 25 countries around the world delivering programmes benefitting 8.5 million people annually.[7] Concern’s work is centered on 5 main programmes, Education, Emergencies, HIV and AIDS, Health and Livelihoods. Concern launched an appeal to tackle the drought in East Africa[8] in June 2011. They also responded to the earthquake in Haiti[9] and the floods in Pakistan.[10] The Chief Executive Officer is Dominic MacSorley. Concern is a member of the Humanitarian Accountability Partnership.


Concern is controlled and regulated by its members who have responsibility for the Articles of Association, election of the Council, appointment of the auditors and approval of accounts. The Council of Concern is elected from membership at each AGM. The maximum number on the Council is 24 and one third must step down every year. They meet at least 4 times per year. The Council is accountable to the relevant government Minister to ensure that the Companies Act is adhered to. They are also accountable to the general public to ensure that donations are put to an appropriate use.[11] Concern is the first Irish Charity to receive certification from the Geneva-based organisation Humanitarian Accountability Partnership (HAP), which works to make humanitarian work more accountable and transparent through self-regulation, compliance verification, and quality assurance certification.[12] Concern is a member of the Irish Charities and Tax Research Reform Group.[13] Concern Worldwide’s annual report and accounts won the charity and not-for-profit category in the annual Chartered Accountants Leinster Society awards for published accounts for 2009, 2010, 2011 and 2012.[14]


Concern raises money from individuals, communities, sponsored events and companies as well as receiving financial support from the Irish government, European Union, the United Nations, the British government and other government agencies, private donors, and major trusts.[15] Concern is one of many charities that use street collectors often referred to as Chuggers (charity muggers).[16] In 2007, the Irish Government announced a 5-year strategic funding programme with Concern which would see funding double from €60 million (for the period 2003 to 2006) to €148 million over the 5-year period from 2007 to 2011.[17] Subsequent to the announcement, Irish Aid announced a series of cutbacks to Ireland's Official Development Aid, including the programme under which Concern was funded.[18]

Current campaigns[edit]

1000 DAYS[edit]

By improving nutrition in the 1,000 days between pregnancy and a child’s second birthday, Concern hopes to help families, communities and countries break the cycle of poverty and hunger.[19]

Ongoing initiatives[edit]

Concern Fast[edit]

The Concern Fast is a sponsored 24-hour fast and programme of events to raise money to fight child malnutrition.[20]

Creative Writing Competition[edit]

Since 2008 Concern has run an annual creative writing competition in a number of age categories.[21] In 2012, they received hundreds of essays from all over the world [22]

Concern Challenges[edit]

Concern runs a number of different physical challenges around the world during the year which provides participants with the opportunity to fund raise.[23]

Further reading[edit]

Tony Farmar, Believing in action: Concern the first thirty years, 1968–1998. (Dublin, A. & A. Farmar, 2002) ISBN 1-899047-81-6

See also[edit]

External links[edit]