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Charitable status restored to African Diaspora organisation

The African Diaspora Heritage Trail Foundation has had its charity status restored, following an appeal to Home Affairs Minister Michael Fahy.

The decision was made, in part, because the Minister agreed that the foundation “was beneficial to the Bermuda public”, according to charity head Maxine Esdaille.

The Charities Commission revoked the ADHT's status because its commissioners didn't believe that the charity “relied on the Bermuda public for a substantial amount of its funds”, she said.

“However, the foundation appealed this decision, outlining a fund-raising plan and stressing the importance of maintaining charitable status in order to carry out its mandate.

“After considering the appeal, the Minister overruled the Charities Commission and granted the foundation charity status for one year beginning 7 August.”

The ADHT was established in 2007 to educate people and to “safeguard the core values and creativity of African cultures and history”.

Sen Fahy said in a letter to the foundation explaining his decision: “I am persuaded by the representations in the appeal that there is a satisfactory plan in place for the foundation to seek substantial funds from members of the public to continue its ongoing work.

“It is therefore clear that the Foundation is beneficial to the public in general.”

Ms Esdaille expressed her gratitude for the change.

“We wish to thank [Mr] Fahy for extending the foundation's charity status and for recognising our role in the development of Bermuda and the African Diaspora. We are also thankful to the Government and people of Bermuda for supporting the foundation from the very beginning. Our eternal gratitude goes to the Ministry of Tourism which provides the bulk of funding and which has promised to continue to make a donation as long as we remain a charity. We look forward to successfully executing our strategic plan, leading to a reduction of our reliance on the Ministry.”

African Diaspora Heritage Trail head Maxine Esdaille

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Published August 26, 2013 at 9:00 am (Updated August 26, 2013 at 12:48 am)

Charitable status restored to African Diaspora organisation

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