World NGO Day 2017
by Sheree-Ann Jooste
Today we celebrate World NGO Day (Non-Governmental Organisation) for all the NGO’s worldwide and the individuals behind them to celebrate their work and share their positive impact on society with others. This day is also an important annual marking point which is acknowledged by the United Nations as an official international observation day.
Important Role in Society
Non-Government Organisations play a pivotal role in society. They have taken up a position of extreme importance and relevance in society. I believe that they’re also the main reason for improvement in the lives of underprivileged people. They also create an impact especially in the underdeveloped and developed countries.
Purposes of an NGO
NGO’s exist for a variety of purposes, usually to further the political or social goals of their members. Examples include, improving the state of the natural environment, encouraging the observance of human rights, improving the welfare of the disadvantaged, or representing a corporate agenda.
Why do we need NGO’s?
I believe that NGOs have certain primary roles in advancing modern societies. NGOs can facilitate communication upward from people to the government and downward from the government to the people. Communication upward involves informing government about what local people are thinking, doing and feeling while communication downward involves informing local people about what the government is planning and doing.
NGOs also provide opportunity for the self-organization of society. They enable citizens to work together voluntarily to promote social values and civic goals, which are important to them. They promote local initiative and problem solving. Through their work in a broad array of fields – environment, health, poverty alleviation, and culture & the arts, education, etc. – NGOs reflect the diversity of society itself. They also help the society by empowering citizens and promoting change.
In some cases, NGOs become spokespersons for the poor and attempt to influence government policies and programs on their behalf. This may be done through a variety of means ranging from campaigning and pilot projects to participation in public forums and the formulation of government policy and plans. I believe NGOs have a clearer link to a guiding purpose, after all, there’s more happiness in giving than receiving; NGOS truly embody this thought.
- The term “non-governmental organization” was created in Article 71 of the Charter of the newly formed United Nations in 1945. An NGO can be any kind of organization provided that it is independent from government influence and is not-for-profit. Source: The Global Journal
- If NGOs were a country, they would have the 5th largest economy in the world. Source: John Hopkins University, Center for Civil Society Studies
- Nearly one in three (31.5%) people worldwide donated to charity in 2015 and one in four (24%) volunteered. Source: CAF World Giving Index 2015
- Eighty-four percent of Canadians donate to non-governmental organizations with an average individual donation of $446 per year. In total, that is $10.6 billion donated to NGOs by Canadians every year. Source: Imagine Canada
- As of 2015, there were 136,453 registered non-governmental organizations in South Africa and on average, 68 new NGOs are registered every day. Source: Republic of South Africa