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Non-governmental organizations

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Non-Governmental Organizations There are many definitions for non-governmental organizations (NGO’s). One common-sense definition is that of Anna Vakil. She defines the non-governmental organizations as “ self-governing, private, not-for-profit organizations that are geared to improving the quality of life for disadvantaged people” (qtd. in Lewis and Kanji 11). From this definition, one could actually think that NGO’s are composed of people who are driven by altruistic feelings and ideologies. Nevertheless, it is contended that such characterization of NGO’s is quite limited. NGO’s are created not just to benefit the disadvantaged people but also for other sectors. For instance, an NGO which is aimed at protecting the environment could actually be established. An NGO aiming to provide social services could also be founded. This goes to say that NGO’s differ in their purpose. Their creation depends on many causes. There is actually no record showing the information of the first NGOs ever to be established. Its history has been generalized. NGOs emerged in the year 1775 (“ NGOs”). This means that the idea of creating a non-governmental organization began during that period. Its creation was triggered upon several national issues such as labour rights, peace movement and slave trade (“ NGOs”). It can be stated then, that the first NGOs could have been organized by activists. For instance, with regard to the issue on slave trade, the people who were against the trade could have formed their own private organization. These people could have realized that they will not be successful if they will be depending upon governmental organizations. Thus, they created non-profit and non-governmental organizations. Obviously, these NGO’s were created for humanitarian purposes. Today, non-governmental organizations are everywhere. Almost all parts of the world have NGOs. The people could have realized the importance of these organizations. An example is the international environmental organization known as Greenpeace. It was established in Vancouver, British Columbia in the year 1971 (Ostopowich 5). The founders are Paul Cote, Jim Bohen and Irving Stowe (Ostopowich 5). It was primarily created for protecting the natural resources of the earth as well as the many kinds of animal and plant life (Ostopowich 4). Stated otherwise, Greenpeace is a non-governmental organization aiming to safeguard all forms of biodiversity. Its existence has been triggered by the issue on pollution, nuclear threats and global violence. Theoretically, it is named Greenpeace for it aims to have peace in the world’s environment. The organization desires that all creatures will live in peace and harmony. To achieve this, it employs non-violent, creative strategies (Ostopowich 8). It conducts campaigns, political lobbying, scientific research and public education (Ostopowich 4). Below are pictures of the NGO’s combat against killing whales. I have observed that there are many people in our locality which could not afford certain medical services. As such, instead of having the needed medication, they opt for personal and traditional forms of healing. Thus, if I could create my own NGO, I would like to focus on giving free medical services to these people. It will be operating both in local and national setting. To achieve my goal, I would be requesting medical professionals to help my NGO. I would ask them to volunteer in my NGO’s medical mission. Works Cited Lewis, David, and Nazneen Kanji. Non-governmental Organizations and Development. Oxford: Taylor & Francis, 2009. Print. NGOs: Meaning, History, and Significance. [PPT file]. Ostopowich, Melanie. Greenpeace. Minnesota: Weigl Publishers, 2003.

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