Charity chief condemns 'sect' recruitment drive

Sunday Life, Belfast/July 30, 2000
By Jackie McKeown

A campaign to attract young Ulster people to schools in Denmark and Norway was condemned last night. Humana People to People is actively recruiting volunteers to undergo up to six months training in Scandinavia, before travelling to Mozambique and central America to help with aid and educational work.

But Sunday Life has learned that the group was forced to abandon a similar recruitment drive in Glasgow after it was exposed as having been stripped of its charitable status by the Danish government.


And last night young Ulstermen and women were urged to be ignore (sic) any approaches by the organisation, which plans to hold a meeting in Belfast next month. Trocaire's Derry representative, Fr Eamonn Graham, said: "I would urge young people to be very wary of unknown groups. "There is a danger of young people being drawn into groups like this.

"My advice is for people to always concentrate on recognised organisations." Humana, which has been officially branded a sect by the Danish government, already has a base in Dublin where it focuses on fundraising through second-hand clothes collections.

Once inside the organisation, it has been claimed that students are indoctrinated into a strict new lifestyle - with hours spent in communal singing, chanting and "aggressive" fundraising. Former members have also said that, in their view, their independence had been weakened.

Derry councillor and youth worker, Phil Kelly, warned: "I would be very, very concerned about this since there have been stories recently about people being snatched by sects.

"I have been personally advising people not to have faith in these organisations - just don't get involved.

"It is of even greater concern that this group now has a southern base."

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