Audette Exel’s Adara Group Celebrates a Milestone
Established in Bermuda in 1998, The Adara Group is the brainchild of former Bermuda Commercial Bank managing director, New Zealander Audette Exel, whose business acumen and passion for social justice has raised millions of dollars and brought healthcare and education to people living very difficult lives in some of the most remote parts of the world.
“Everyone has a passion for something, and mine was the extreme poor, particularly women and children living in the world’s remotest places,” Exel said. Adara was born out of her belief that everyone is entitled to the same health and education services, whether you are born in Bermuda, Sydney or the Tibetan/Nepali border and it is for this reason that in 1998 she established a non-profit organisation, alongside a business, whose sole purpose was to support the poor.
Fast forward 20 years and Adara has well-established projects in Nepal and Uganda, where the organisation has become a leading expert in maternal, newborn and child health, and remote community development. In the course of their work, Adara teams have stared down child traffickers, run medical camps in the aftermath of an earthquake, operated through Ebola outbreaks, become leading experts in how to get blended oxygen into a newborn baby when you don’t have consistent electricity, taught communities how to get a greenhouse going above 3000m and worked with people in remote parts of Uganda living with HIV/AIDS. They are currently dealing with an outbreak of Congo haemorrhagic fever.
Of equal importance to Exel is Adara’s commitment to knowledge-sharing. “In the last 20 years, we’ve become quite expert in a couple of particular areas. For instance we are now amongst the world’s leaders in care to pre-term and low-birth-weight babies in places without consistent electricity supply.” They share this knowledge through training and various international networks.
Looking to the future, Exel wants to build on Adara’s knowledge-sharing pillar in order to help as many people as possible and also to bring the business model into Wall Street because she thinks “the model itself has applicability that’s way bigger than Adara.” In the meantime, she has themed the 20th anniversary year “a year of gratitude – it’s about being grateful for every single person along the way that helped make the Adara story what it is.”
Original article by Annabel Cooper, The Bermudian, January 27, 2019.