A dossier on the Tvind Teachers Group. Are Humana People-to-People, Planet Aid, the Gaia Movement and DAPP siphoning off cash through tax havens? Is it a cult?

A dossier on the Tvind Teachers Group. Are Humana People-to-People, Planet Aid, the Gaia Movement and DAPP siphoning off cash through tax havens? Is it a cult?

The ten names the Teachers Group uses for its charities and good causes. They are all apparent good and progressive causes. All are part of the Teachers Group and are controlled by it.  They tend to work together, internationally, on several levels.

These are a mixture of registered charities, not-for-profit 501(c)(3) enterprises, and commercial private companies, But they all share an apparently progressive, humanitarian and environmentally
-aware ethos.

They are also all connected by a common thread of the Teachers Group’s international network of offshore tax havens, many intermediary companies, and nominee directors and trustees who are TG members.

1.   HUMANA PEOPLE-TO-PEOPLE

Humana People To People logoHumana People-to-People is a ‘development charity’ founded in the 1970s by Amdi Petersen and the original members of the Tvind Teachers Group.   It collects used clothing (‘for foreign aid and environment projects’) using volunteers recruited through Tvind training colleges. As a charity, it also collects grants and donations, including large sums from official bodies and business.

In the Third World, especially Africa and India, its ‘development projects’ with names such as DAPP (Development Aid from People to People), ADPP, Hope Humana, TCE (Total Control of the Epidemic), Child Aid and Farmers Clubs handle the money, a serious conflict of interest as they themselves are Teachers Group-controlled.

From small beginnings in Scandinavia and it now has a presence in 43 countries, including the USA and all of Europe as well as the Third World, and is estimated to have a ‘turnover’ of donations and revenue in excess of $80 million a year.

We have established that Humana People-to-People is essentially an offshore entity which benefits the Teachers group more than it does ‘African development’.  Its parent body, The Federation for Associations Connected to the International Humana People to People Movement, is a private trust based in Switzerland.  More than 30 member organisations, all Tvind Teachers Group-run, each pay a significant ‘membership fee’.   In 1996-7, the UK Charity Commission investigated and closed down Humana People-to-People UK in Britain for ‘serious financial impropriety’ and it remains closed.

Humana People-to-People is connected through Tvind to the US clothes broker Garson & Shaw (see below), a Teachers Group company which facilitates international clothes sales.

2.   PLANET AID

Planet Aid logoThe largest Tvind Teachers Group ‘charity’ and used-clothes enterprise in the United States, claiming to have 13,000 used-clothes bins earning more than $30 million.       In recent years Planet Aid has attracted large donations from the U.S. Government and well-known multinational companies.  Planet Aid routinely denies it is connected in any way to the Tvind Teachers Group, but we know that all four leading directors are Teachers Group members, that Planet Aid is in business with the US clothes broker Garson & Shaw (see below), and is an affiliate of a Swiss money box, the Federation for Associations Connected to the International Humana People-to-People Movement.

More on Planet Aid >>>>>

3.   USAGAIN

USAgain logoUSAgain is a private Teachers Group-controlled profit-oriented company that collects and sells used clothes across the USA.  This is a private company but makes bold claims to be both protecting the environment and aiding the Third World.

We have traced its ownership to an offshore Belize-based trading company run by the Tvind Teachers Group, with addresses in Jersey and the Cayman Islands.   Although its managers, Mattias Wallander and Janice Bostic deny it is part of ‘Tvind’, both admit they are converts to the Teachers Group and have failed to disclose the extent of their involvement with the cult. The company was originally founded in 1999 by a Tvind Teachers Group veteran, the Dane Allan Foighel.

Like its sister charities, Planet Aid US and Humana People-to-People, USAgain is connected to the Tvind-run used clothes broker Garson & Shaw, based in Atlanta, Georgia.  The brokerage company buys used clothes cheaply from the clothes-collection enterprises, and sells them privately for a profit on world markets.

4.   THE GAIA MOVEMENT TRUST

Gaia logoGAIA MOVEMENT LIVING EARTH GREEN WORLD ACTION is the name of a Tvind Teachers Group not-for-profit ‘environmental charity’, based in Chicago, which places drop-boxes for clothes and shoes across the United States.

We have established that it is linked to a Swiss offshore trust with a similar name, the Gaia-Movement Trust Living Earth Green World Action. The trust President is a well-known member of the Tvind Teachers Group, Elsebeth Soendergaard.

GAIA claims to promote environmental projects, wildlife reserves and rainforest schemes, but all the projects listed on its websites, especially in India, Mozambique, Zambia and Brazil, are Tvind Teachers Group-controlled. Gaia courses are all conducted in Humana’s 14 teacher training colleges in Malawi, Mozambique and Angola.  It is led by Teachers Group veterans Eva Nielsen, Boerge Mors and Josefin Jonsson,

The Gaia clothes bins state that a logo of the Swiss flag used on its boxes are ‘licensed’ by the Swiss Gaia Trust, an offshore entitybased in Geneva.

The same name is used on drop boxes run by the Tvind Teachers Group in Britain, mostly operated by a West Midlands company, Green World Recycling.  Gaia-Movement Living Earth Green World Action is also one of the 32 affiliates of the Swiss-based Humana Federation.

5.   GREEN WORLD RECYCLING

Green World Recycling binGreen World Recycling is a Tvind Teachers Group company based in the English Midlands, which collects used clothing and shoes apparently for environmental causes and aid for the developing world.  It is effectively the UK branch of the Gaia Movement trust – the company operates ‘Gaia’ bins scattered throughout the United Kingdom.

The company – which is not a charity – is led by Teachers Group veteran Torben Soe, whose wife Birgit Soe is also a Teachers Group member who runs the British sister company Planet Aid UK

 

6.   DAPP

DAPP logoDAPP or Development Aid from People to People is a name used by the Tvind Teachers Group since the 1970s for local charities it controls in Africa and other developing countries.  In Portuguese speaking Angola and Mozambique the organisations are known as ADPP (Ayuda di Desolvimento da Popolo a Popolo).   These charities collect and use money from old clothes sales, but are controlled by Tvind.

In the UK, a registered charity called DAPP UK has collection bins and two old-clothes shops, and maintains links with the Tvind Teachers Group clothes collection company Planet Aid UK.

Our investigations suggest that the DAPPs in Africa are an integral part of the Tvind Teachers Group ‘hot money-go-round’.  DAPP in Angola was at the heart of a scandal when it was revealed that volunteers were used as ‘money mules’ to transfer hard currency from Angola bank accounts to Denmark.   The money allegedly came from clothes sales and donations by international oil companies.

7.   TCE

TCE logoThese are typical names for Humana People-to-People and DAPP-sponsored schemes in Africa. TCE and Hope Humana are Aids-HIV education projects partly staffed by unpaid volunteers. Child Aid projects are for orphans and children and often linked to orphanages. The Tvind Teachers Group also runs projects called ‘Children’s Towns’.

‘Farmers Clubs’ are agricultural projects. The Tvind Teachers Group has landholdings in several African countries, and commercial agricultural enterprises.

 

 

8.   FRIENDS FOREVER

Friends Forever logoFriends Forever is a Tvind Teachers Group enterprise that commissions expensive African artwork from sculptors in Zimbabwe, and sells the sculpture for large sums to collectors all over the world.  Exhibitions of stone sculptures arranged by Friends Forever have been held in Washington, Vienna, Berlin, Moscow and elsewhere.

In promotional material, the Friends Forever company fosters the impression it is semi-charitable, helping raise Zimbabwean sculptors from poverty, provoding a regular income and health benefits and reinvesting profits into Zimbabwe society. However our investigations suggest that the sculptors hardly benefit from their work and the real financial beneficiaries are the Tvind Teachers Group.

The company is not a charity and is registered in Zimbabwe and Britain.

9.   THE DRH COLLEGES or TRAVELLING FOLK HIGH SCHOOLS

One World UniPrivate colleges in at least eight countries that offer a ‘volunteering abroad’ syllabus to older teenagers and young adults.   They claim to prepare students as volunteers or ‘development instructors’ abroad for Planet Aid, Humana People-to-People and the Gaia Movement.   The colleges follow the model of the original ‘Travelling Folk High School’ format devised for the Tvind Schools Cooperative in the 1970s, learning through travel and hands-on experience.

Students pay a substantial fee in advance and are also obliged to ‘fundraise’ – begging on the streets of nearby towns and cities, selling pamphlets and seeking donations towards the cost of their foreign travel.   There have been hundreds of complaints about poor teaching, a lack of proper care,  inadequate or dangerous facilities, and fundraising.   Most ‘teachers’ are unqualified and were themselves students at the same colleges.  Students are often provide free labour for used clothes collection and sorting.

These are the main DRH Colleges:

  • IICD Massachusetts
  • IICD Michigan
  • CICD, Hull, UK
  • DRH Norway, Lillehammer
  • Richmond Vale Academy, St Vincent, Caribbean
  • KNEC, South Africa
  • College in India
  • College in China
  • DRH Colleges in Denmark

→ Using the DRH Colleges to launder money

10.   THE TVIND SCHOOLS MOVEMENT

DNS Tvind logo‘Tvind’ is both the name of an organisation and the place where it was founded in 1974, on a farm outside Ulfborg in western Denmark.   Originally the Tvind Schools Co-operative consisted of two private junior schools, an Efterskole and the Travelling Folk High School, and a college for adults, the Necessary Teacher Training College.

The campus is both the original headquarters of the Tvind educational movement and the spiritual home of the Tvind Teachers Group, which has since become international.   Today the site is still occupied by several Tvind schools and administrative buildings.  The name ‘Tvind’ has since become synonymous with the Tvind Teachers Group and the movement as a whole.

‘SMALL SCHOOLS’

Small schoolTeachers Group ‘small schools’ are boarding schools designed for children aged 10-18 with severe ‘behavioural and emotional difficulties’.  Children and teenagers exhibiting very challenging behaviour are supposed to benefit from the Tvind Teachers Group’s educational programme of learning through travel, practical activity and strict discipline.

Fees are usually paid by local authorities and the amounts involved can be very high – even though the staff are rarely qualified, and the schools may depend on volunteers.   The schools have made very significant amounts of money for the Tvind Teachers Group, fed into tax haven accounts through wages, rents and services paid to offshore companies.

Following complaints, several of the schools have been officially closed down.  In the 1980s there were 14 small schools around the world, but today few remain, mostly in Denmark.

Aka Pecha, Virginia, USA – closed down

Richmond Vale, St Vincent – closed down

Red House, Norfolk, England – closed down

Winestead Hall, Hull, England – closed down

Small Schools in Denmark

SCHOOLS AND COLLEGES IN AFRICA

The Tvind Teachers Group dominates education in several African countries, notably Zimbabwe, Malawi and Mozambique.  Since the 1970s the Tvind Teachers Group has opened schools, orphanages, vocational schools and teacher training colleges throughout sub-Saharan Africa.   It also runs a ‘One World University’ in Mozambique, which it claims will offer ‘degree level’ education in co-operation with DRH colleges in the West.

The university and vocational colleges such as the Zimbabwe Frontline Institute have become fertile recruiting grounds for older teenagers by the Tvind Teachers Group, which has recently recruited many young black Africans into the organisation   Unemployed young Africans are attracted by the promise of travel, work and training.  In reality, our investigations show that many African recruits to the Teachers Group are sent to fundraise, or used as free labour for commercial operations.

One World University, Mozambique

Frontline Institute, Zimbabwe

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