A letter from the OMF International Leadership Team

It is with deep sadness that we write to advise you that complaints have been received by OMF UK relating to harm caused to former Chefoo school pupils by a number of alleged perpetrators.

This will be distressing for our OMF colleagues to hear, as well as all those connected to OMF. As an organisation, we take all allegations of harm of all forms very seriously as we believe that every person has immeasurable value and deserves to be treated with dignity and respect.

A formal investigation, initiated by and on behalf of OMF UK and led by senior members of the OMF International team, has been launched in response to the complaints. Interviews are being conducted and information is being collected adhering to strict safeguarding procedures, protocols and accepted best practices. Such investigations are very sensitive and will be conducted in a careful and discreet way. The relevant legal authorities are aware of the complaints, and we will continue to update them when appropriate.

Regrettably, this is not the first time that OMF has faced similar complaints. Between 2014 and 2016, OMF International investigated historic allegations from the 1970s at two Chefoo Schools. The findings of an inquiry upheld the allegations of harm. OMF International accepted the findings of the inquiry and acknowledges the pain and suffering caused to these individuals while under the care of OMF.

We grieve when we hear of harm and abuse that continues to take place in societies, institutions, and organisations in our world today. Our thoughts are with all survivors who have suffered in this way – and continue to suffer – from the effects of such abusive and immoral behaviour.

If you are affected by events at a former Chefoo School and or have any information to share which could help with this investigation, please contact: chefoo.safeguarding@omfmail.com. All communication will be conducted sensitively and in accordance with relevant protocols, including OMF’s Safeguarding procedures, which can be found here. If you are finding this subject upsetting, if you are a survivor of such harm, or if you are distressed by this news, please seek help.

Chefoo School was a Christian boarding school established in 1881 by OMF’s predecessor, the China Inland Mission. It provided education for the children of missionaries and the business and diplomatic communities in China. After WWII, Chefoo Schools were established throughout East Asia. As local alternative international educational facilities became more prevalent, the need for boarding schools decreased. In 2001, Chefoo School Malaysia, the last of the OMF-run boarding schools, was closed.

In grief and hope,

Dr Joseph Chang (General Director) and Faye Hohaia (Assistant General Director), on behalf of all of the members of the International Leadership Team.

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