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What Is the Role of NGOs?

Famine relief is one of the most common types of aid provided by an NGO.
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  • Written By: Esther Ejim
  • Edited By: Kaci Lane Hindman
  • Last Modified Date: 01 July 2014
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Non-governmental Organizations (NGOs) are usually not-for-profit establishments that are set up with the aim of fulfilling an identified need in the society. The role of NGOs in the society is quite broad and encompasses a multitude of matters that are primarily targeted toward the general welfare of the society. Since most NGOs choose a particular field or section of society and devote their entire resources toward fulfilling that particular need, and since the number of NGOs are quite staggering, the role of NGOs is quite vast. As ubiquitous as NGOs appear to be, and consequently their influence, they are often more concerned with the humanitarian aspects of societal needs.

A lot of NGOs are primarily targeted toward the provision of education for the members of the society who might not have the opportunity without their assistance. Most NGOs simply choose an aspect of providing education rather than tackling the whole issue from top to bottom. For instance, some of them might decide to donate educational materials, such as writing materials and textbooks to people who do not have access to these items, while others might decide to provide school uniforms and school furniture, such as desks and chairs, to prospective students. Still, others might decide to build or rehabilitate school structures where students can stay and learn in an environment that is more conducive than what they had previously. Other NGOs might provide the physical input in terms of providing teachers to help educate students.

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Another role of NGOs is in the area of health. Perhaps this is one area in which NGOs play a very vital role in the world at large. This can be attributed to the role of NGOs in the prevention of diseases and the eradication of the same in areas of the world where such diseases routinely claim lives unnecessarily. The role of NGOs can also be seen in the manner in which they respond through the prevention of medical personal and medical supplies in areas where the people do not have access to such facilities and also in areas where there have been some form of natural disasters.

NGOs help in social development through their involvement in the arts and entertainment. They also play an important part in the provision of food to people in areas with famine or devastation that may be the result of war or natural disasters. Apart from the foregoing, NGOs also provide items like clothing materials and toys to people who may not have easy access to such materials.

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