World NGO Day – February 27
World NGO Day is celebrated annually on February 27th to recognize the work of Non-Government organizations (NGOs) around the world and celebrate the work of people behind them that contribute to society all year round. The day recognizes the importance of NGOs, their value to society, and the dedication of all individuals behind each NGO, that works all-year-round for the benefit of society – locally, nationally, and internationally. World NGO Day is a day to recognize the amazing work of NGOs and inspire more people to get involved! The theme of World NGO Day 2021 was aligning the NGO’s work to sustainable development.
What is an NGO?
Non-governmental organizations, or NGOs, were first called such in Article 71 in the Charter of the newly formed United Nations in 1945. They are nonprofit entities independent of governmental influence who work for, environmental, social, advocacy, and human rights work. NGOs play a critical part in developing society, improving communities, and promoting citizen participation. The main objective of NGOs is humanitarian and cooperative work rather than commercial purposes.
Among the wide variety of roles that NGOs play, the following six can be identified as important.
Development and Operation of Infrastructure – Community-based organizations and cooperatives can acquire, subdivide and develop the land, construct housing, provide infrastructure and operate and maintain infrastructures such as wells or public toilets and solid waste collection services
Supporting Innovation, Demonstration, and Pilot Projects – NGOs have the advantage of selecting particular places for innovative projects and specify in advance the length of time which they will be supporting the project – overcoming some of the shortcomings that governments face in this respect.
Facilitating Communication – NGOs use interpersonal methods of communication upward from people to the government and downward from the government to the people.
Technical Assistance and Training – Training institutions and NGOs can develop technical assistance and training capacity and use this to assist both CBOs and governments.
Research, Monitoring, and Evaluation – Innovative activities need to be carefully documented and shared – effective participatory monitoring would permit the sharing of results with the people themselves as well as with the project staff.
Advocacy for and with the Poor – NGOs become spokespersons or ombudsmen for the poor and attempt to influence government policies and programs on their behalf.
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It was in the midst of the global and Eurozone financial crisis of 2009, when Marcis Liors Skadmanis was just 24, that his determination to improve the lives of the world’s citizens and his passion for finding new solutions to global development problems led him to initiate/establish World NGO Day.
World NGO Day was first recognized on 17th April 2010 by the IX Baltic Sea NGO Forum of the Council of the Baltic Sea States. The member countries of the Baltic Sea NGO Forum were Denmark, Estonia, Finland, Germany, Iceland, Latvia, Lithuania, Poland, Russia, Norway, and Sweden. World NGO Day was officially adopted into the X Baltic Sea NGO Forum’s Final Statement Resolution on the 23rd-25th April 2012, part of the German CBSS Presidency of the Council of the Baltic Sea States.
Mrs. Sung-joo Kim becomes the first Patron of World NGO Day. The awareness of World NGO Day was increased through a Roundtable at the House of Commons, UK Parliament, a Leadership Meeting at the UK House of Lords. On 27 February 2014, hundreds of NGOs and the UN, UNESCO, EU, international leaders gathered in Helsinki, the capital of Finland, to celebrate and mark the first World NGO Day. Now it has become a global celebration of the more than 10 million non-governmental organizations (NGOs) that exist worldwide.
The objective of NGOs is to improve the welfare of humanity. World NGO Day is being celebrated with activities in cities across the country, and members of the public will have an opportunity to interact with NGO staffers to gain an understanding of the issues they face.
Organize World NGO Day in your city
→ A day for NGOs around the globe to share knowledge and experiences with one another.
→ An opportunity for education, enabling individuals worldwide to understand more clearly what NGOs are doing for society locally, nationally, and internationally.
→ An international symbol that displays the efforts and achievements of all NGOs from all sectors.
→ An opportunity to inspire people to consider a career within the third sector.
→ An opportunity for individuals to learn more about the people behind NGOs.
→ An opportunity for NGOs to discuss the issues that affect their work, and form partnerships that can resolve a mutual problem.
Find out more at worldngoday.org