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Tributes to our outgoing CEO Michael Kiely
Jan 5, 2018

We wanted to share with you some of the many tributes to outgoing CEO Michael Kiely that have flowed in from sponsors, colleagues and friends over the holiday period.

Michael Kiely on a visit to Zambia, earlier this year


Dublin, January 4th, 2018: Brian Mac Neill

Our outgoing Chief Executive Officer of some fourteen years, made the decision to step down from ChildFund at the end of 2017.   Although we posted a tribute to Michael before Christmas, we wanted to share with you some of the many warm tributes and personal reflections that have flooded in over the last few weeks, and which are testament to the high regard Michael is held in.

A selection of comments from ChildFund sponsors…

“Thank you for your huge contribution to our fellow people in our world who are less fortunate than most of us. I wish you every good wish with your career change whatever that may be – it does not have be work related. May you enjoy a  happy, healthy, rewarding and blessed New Year in 2018 – and many more of them. Best regards.” Michael

“Michael, I couldn’t let this opportunity pass without a word of thanks and praise for your outstanding contribution to ChildFund.  I do not know you personally but you did write a personal letter of thanks to me some time ago, which I greatly appreciated. I decided to sponsor a child in Mexico a year or so after my dear husband died and even though I have four grown up children and ten grandchildren I just wanted to reach out to someone less fortunate.  That was in 2008.  My Alvin is now a teenager and I can truthfully say that I am the one who has gained most in this arrangement.  I have got to know him and his family and we write to each other in Spanish (Google translator, thanks).  It is a joy to hear from him and I love and care for him like one of my own grandchildren. So thank you once again for all you have done for the children and for us the sponsors.  And I wish you every happiness and contentment in your retirement.  Yours gratefully.” Colette


“Michael, enjoy your retirement and many thanks for all the great work you’ve done for children around the world! Kindest regards and best wishes.” Michael

“Happy retirement Michael, and well done on all the hard work. I hope a worthy successor has been found.” Catherine

“You and your team have done and continue to do a wonderful job. Thank you for providing my family and I with the opportunity to help a child in need. Warmest regards.” Peter


“We all wish Michael Kiely a very happy and well-deserved retirement.” Georgiana

 “Dear Michael, thank You for the great opportunity that you gave me when I met the Childfund in an adv. which I’ve seen it in Dublin many many years ago. Thank you for your work and your faith in Humans. I wish the best for the rest of your life with health and love. My best regards.”  Evangelia, Doctor and sponsor mother.

“Dear Michael, I wish you a happy and healthy retirement.  I am happy to continue to sponsor a child through ChildFund Ireland. Kind regards.” Margaret

“Our best wishes go to Michael on his retirement as CEO.” John and Mary

“Wishing Michael the very best in his retirement. He has done a fabulous job over the last fourteen years and will be a hard act to follow. Kind regards.”  Anne.

“I would like to send my best wishes to Michael for health and happiness in a long and active retirement.” Michael and Helen

“Well done on your hard work for Childfund Ireland. I  wish you very good luck on your retirement. Regards.” Fran


***************And some tributes to Michael from ChildFund colleagues across the world.****************

“ I want to express my appreciation for the invaluable support you have given to this office and I.  Your impact and footprints are here to stay and will always evoke positive memories.  I count myself lucky for having had an opportunity to meet you and be together out working in the field albeit for a short time.  Nonetheless, I learnt a lot from you and cherished the time together”. Chege, Ethiopia


“ It is with regret that I learned of your upcoming retirement at the end of December.  May I take this opportunity on behalf of the Camogie Association to thank you for all your work over the years but in particularly the partnership with Camogie.  You ensured that we as an association and our members became more aware of the opportunity we have to highlight how each of us can make a change and help those less fortunate than ourselves.On a personal note it has been a pleasure to know and work with you and I wish you every success as you move to the next phase of your ‘career’”. Catherine Neary, The Camogie Association

“You’ll be missed by many. Diana, ChildFund Alliance

“Dear Mick,  I would like to take this opportunity to personally thank you for sharing your departure. When I received your email, I had mixed emotions about your leave. Since I joined Alliance families, we met several time and different places and we spent many time to talk about many meaningful thing for children and their communities so as to end violence against children and achieve their full potential. Over the past years, we have made good progress towards valuable Children with ChildFund Alliance. However I think there are still many journey to go for reaching our final destination, so I feel like I lost my dear good friend who always support the enormous help given to me.  With all the experience we did it together, I really appreciate for your continuous interesting and concerning on our program countries, especially, South Sudan for handling this project with just the right touch. I remember you were wonderful friend I have ever met and you have shown much passion and brought positive energies into Alliance with your experience and humble manner. And I still remember you always welcome ChildFund Staffs who visited your office and regard ChildFund Staffs as your own families. Even though we cannot meet in our Alliance meeting, I hope our paths will cross again in near future. Once again, I would like to express my heartfelt thanks to you for the support and concern you have showed and I wish you and your family good health and happiness. Best regards.” Jehoon Lee, ChildFund Korea


On behalf of all your ChildFund Alliance colleagues, I would like to thank you for your great contribution to both ChildFund Ireland and ChildFund Alliance over the last 14 years.  Your contribution has been significant and much of it has been behind the scenes, with you providing encouragement and personal support for colleagues particularly our Secretaries-General and other members of the Alliance Secretariat.  Your commitment and thoughtfulness have been much appreciated. Congratulations on your 14 years with ChildFund Ireland and thanks again for all that you have achieved for children and their communities around the world. Best wishes.” Michael Rose, Chairman ChildFund Alliance

“I’ve always enjoyed working with you and really can’t imagine a ChildFund Ireland without you.  I wish you all the best in your retirement and if I ever make it back to Ireland, I’ll look you up”. Craig, United States

“I have worked with Michael for most of his 14 years in ChildFund and witnessed his dedication and passion first hand. In many respects Michael lives and breathes development work.  He will be sorely missed by staff and colleagues here in Ireland, and indeed across our international alliance of sister organisations.  On behalf of the board, I would like to thank Michael and wish him and his family the very best of luck and a happy, contented retirement” Gerald Doherty, Board Chair

“Mick we will miss you very much. You’re a wonderful slice of humanity, and you will have an awesome retirement”.


Happy retirement!!! It has been a pleasure meeting you, most enjoyable indeed. I have a lot of love for ChildFund Ireland, its a great organisation with wonderful people. My only regret is not being able to visit in person!!!! One day. So New Years Eve, the fireworks will be going off, sending you onto more great days. Well earned retirement”. Diana, Australia

“let me simply say: we will miss you! You always brought a special (Irish) voice to our table, and we will certainly keep in mind your deep commitment for sponsorships as well as your exciting stories from your previous professional experience especially in emergency hit countries.” Joern, Germany

“We have so enjoyed working with you who have always been so trustworthy and faithful. I have never a doubt that under your leadership, ChildFund Ireland has been a strong supporter and contributor to the benefits of needy children in the world.  Please accept my heartfelt thanks for your good work. And I sincerely wish you good health and every happiness. I will always cherish our friendship. Please keep in mind that you are the most welcome if you come to Taiwan to visit us in the future.  Thank you Best wishes for a very happy retirement”. Betty, Taiwan


Congratulations. After lots of years with children and doing a very good job, you get to retirement in good shape”. Jose, Spain

“Mick – you have been an incredible servant to ChildFund Ireland, and more importantly to the kings and queens – yes the children who we do all that we do, for.  We are privileged to be able to work in these roles.  That being said, it is rewarding and exhausting at the same time.  You must be very proud of your 14 wonderful years of slog and service”. Paul Brown, NZ

“Mick – wow – what a life – well lived my friend!! You have done so many amazing things and had so many adventures”. Cheri, USA

“And we shall miss you Mick”. Anne, United States

“It will be a grand person with integrity and heart who will step down as CEO. Rest assured you will be missed”, Annette, Denmark:

It  was such a pleasure to meet you. For my first time in CFA you were very kind and welcoming. It has helped me a lot! Thanks a lot, good luck!!!” Joëlle, France

“You and Ann have been part of our lives for these many years and frankly with out you being around there is going to be a hole in our lives and something very special missing from May and November.”     Paul and Barbara, Canada

“One word.  Devastated. Mick, it has been an absolute pleasure.  I wish you all the best as you move into retirement.  But am sorry to see you leave the ChildFund family”. Sarah, ChildFund Alliance

“There are only but a few people who provide energy, intellect, passionate and experience to any organisation, to do so with such a sense of fun is rarefied company.  For ChildFund to have such a person for such a long has been an enormous  blessing. ChildFund will loose one of it greatest assets today but through his wisdom and compassion I am sure such experience will be passed down to the team in Ireland. In all seriousness the world is a better place for your decades of service to children in all corners of the globe. I am eternally grateful that I got to work with, learn from and have a great crack with Mick during my time at Childfund.” Andrew Johnson, Melbourne Australia & former Sec Gen ChildFund Alliance


“Just got the notice of your retirement. Congrats on your long and successful tenure Mick and particularly the changes for good you made in so many children’s lives. We greatly value our friendship with you and Ann and the support you gave us during my time with the Alliance.  Keep enjoying life to the full and remember to visit and stay a while if you ever make it back to this part of the world!  Go well and may the wind be always on your back!With love to you and Ann.”  David Taylor, former Chairman of ChildFund Alliance, and wife Jean.

Finally, the ChildFund Alliance CEO group which gathered for the body’s AGM in El Salvador in November 2017 noted entered the following comments about Mick’s departure into the official minutes;

“Nigel noted that Michael (Mick) Kiely, the CEO of ChildFund Ireland would retire as of 31 December 2017. Mick was a founding CEO member of the Alliance and actively served in the group since it was formed. Several CEOs and the Secretariat expressed their appreciation for Mick’s steadfast dedication and support to the Alliance during this time, including his infectious enthusiasm and engaging sense of humour.”  

Everyone at ChildFund Ireland would like to wish Michael an excellent and fruitful retirement, and express our deepest gratitude for his years of service.

ChildFund Ireland

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