A HAPPY WORLD NGO DAY

It is also worth noting that NGOs/NPOs are deeply rooted in local communities, which gives them a better understanding of the specific challenges and needs faced by marginalised and vulnerable people.  Their grassroots presence enables them to implement targeted and context-specific interventions that contribute directly to the SDGs.
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  • World NGO Day, celebrated on February 27 annually, serves as a global platform to recognise and honour the significant contributions of Non-Profit Organisations (NPOs) worldwide.
  • NPOs, also known as the Third Sector, play pivotal roles in addressing various societal challenges, including poverty, inequality, and environmental degradation, while actively contributing to the achievement of the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs).
  • Despite facing financial constraints and operational hurdles, NPOs remain dedicated to creating positive change and driving progress towards a more sustainable and equitable world. Minister Lindiwe Zulu extends warm wishes to all NPOs on this special occasion, emphasising the importance of collaboration between government and non-profit sectors to achieve shared objectives.

World NGO Day is important for raising awareness worldwide, and to recognize and pay tribute to those who work in this non-profit sector.  Today, the Minister of Social Development, Ms Lindiwe Zulu, wishes all Non-Profit Organisations (NPOs) a Happy World NGO day.

Every year on February 27, the world celebrates and recognises the immense work done by NGOs worldwide. People throughout the world recognise this day as World NGO Day.  It is an international day intended to honour, acknowledge, and celebrate non-profit organisations. It is also a day meant to inspire philanthropists to support NPOs worthy cause.

NPOs also referred to as the Third Sector, Non-Governmental Organisations (NGOs) are significant players in the fields of development, human rights, humanitarian aid, gender equality, the environment, and numerous other areas of public good.

The theme for World NGO Day 2024 is: “Building a Sustainable Future: The Role of NGOs in Achieving the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs).”

The Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) provide a comprehensive framework to address the most pressing global challenges, ranging from poverty and inequality to climate change and environmental degradation and NGOs are vital partners in advancing the SDGs.

It is also worth noting that NGOs/NPOs are deeply rooted in local communities, which gives them a better understanding of the specific challenges and needs faced by marginalised and vulnerable people.  Their grassroots presence enables them to implement targeted and context-specific interventions that contribute directly to the SDGs.

Therefore, collaborating with the NPO sector is one key strategic objective. The Department of Social Development is the custodian of NPO Act, and a duly authorised competed regulator for the Non-Profit Sector. As of 15th February 2024, the number of registered NPOs was 285 055.

From this number there are 253 827 Voluntary Associations (VAs) which are normally referred as Community Based Organisations (CBOs) with only a handful of employees/volunteers expected to wear all the hats within their organisation, are operating in areas where communities need the most help.

Government spent over R10 billion funding NPOs in their efforts to contribute meaningfully in the fight against social ills. While NGOs/NPOs play a pivotal role in advancing the SDGs, they also face challenges that hinder their effectiveness.

Firstly, the limited funding and resources constrain the scope and scale of NGOs/NPOs initiatives. Dependence on donor funding and uncertainties in fundraising impact their long-term sustainability.

Secondly, lack of skills, infrastructure, and institutional support hinder their effectiveness. Therefore, building the capacity of NGOs/NPOs is essential to ensure sustainable and impactful initiatives.

In recent times, globally it is a known factor that Non-Profits are struggling financially, and this is predicted to continue do so for the foreseeable future. Equally in the country,  reductions in public funding have resulted in budget cuts for many non-profit organisations, and these have adversely impacted service provision by NPOs.

The bulk of funding for non-profits from the private sector often tends to focus on building and expanding programs and not investing in NPO’s organizational growth, and leadership development.

As a result, many non-profits are short of the kind of support that can strengthen their operations to enable them to deliver their services more effectively. Despite all these challenges NGOs/NPOs continue to create positive change and drive progress towards the SDGs.

Their commitment, innovation, and dedication provide a strong foundation for achieving a more sustainable and equitable world. Non-profit organisations are extremely valuable to society because they are able to serve the community directly.

These NPOs are seen as an investment for people who wish to do something meaningful with their lives while helping others. By strengthening support to NPOs we can make a difference which will help bring awareness towards causes that need it most.

Similarly, if more people were able to work directly with non-profit organisations, the world would be a much better place for everyone, “We need to expand our notion of support to include capacity-building investments, skills-based volunteerism, and network creation,” said Minister Zulu.  She said the business sector can use its power and networks to facilitate opportunities to ensure non-profits could participate in conversations about addressing community challenges.

In doing so, this can help to make sure that we all benefit from the expertise and understanding strong non-profit leaders can bring to the table.

“As we move towards 2030, the combined efforts of collaboration between government and NGOs/NPOs will determine the success of the SDGs and the legacy we leave for future generations,”

Minister Zulu also on this day wishes to remind NPOs to remain compliant by submitting their annual reports to avoid deregistration.

Despite the commendable work that NPOs continue to render, the department still sees many NPOs that do not comply with the NPO Act. . This has led to the country being grey listed by the Financial Action Task Force (FATF). In their mutual evaluation report FATF recommended to the country the importance NPO compliance.

HAPPY NGO DAY!!!!!

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