Don´t abuse NGO´S

What would happen if a parliament member of any political party, left or right wing, were chosen president of a prestigious NGO? What sense would be left for an NGO if it lost this principal characteristic? For the greater public, non-government guarantees non-bias, response and proposal from the social tissue or civil society to unjust inequalities, looking for peace as a fruit from justice, equality between humans without distinction of origin, but with distinction that stems from personal acting and that, in liberty, it finds the guarantee of its efficiency.

That altruism and generosity is what attracts candidates to humanitarian social volunteering and then, admiration sympathy and help emerge from people of all conditions.

Non- government doesn't mean it doesn't belong to government or to the party that can rule and manage public funds.

Neither does it mean that NGO members, social volunteers and those who work in cooperation projects don't have political ideas or religious options. They are citizens of the most committed, who know how to distinguish between one policy and the other, between an option and the opposite, guided by the best service to the community and to the people without the obligation to belong to any fixed political or religious group.

Social volunteering is characterized and distinguishes itself from other altruism or beneficence forms in five fundamental characteristics: gratuity, or not expecting anything back from the service given; continuity in the assigned service; free choice of the activity the volunteer likes the most; to participate in a project within a serious and responsible humanitarian organization and knowledge and respect of people and their cultures. This takes them away from assistencialism, volunteerism, from dilettantism and from proselytising. Social volunteering accompanies, searches for the origins of injustice, denounces them and gives alternative proposals without confusing reality with its desires, nor it serves itself from humanitarian organizations as a medium for an ends.

In a certain way, it's dangerous that NGO's are a current trend because enterprises, politicians and religious groups crave them because they lack one trait: not expecting nothing in exchange and because the conscience of human solidarity is enough for them. To transform a society that they don't like, NGO social volunteers start off by changing themselves first.

José Carlos Gª Fajardo

Este artículo fue publicado en el Centro de Colaboraciones Solidarias (CCS) el 09/02/2004