NGOs: Do they work?

Later on this year, I hope to release a book entitled Father to the Childless. As I was writing this book, I was actively considering how best to help couples who struggle with infertility.

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At first, I thought that creating an organization to somehow help these folks would be most beneficial. It is true that non-governmental organizations, and charities of course, can accomplish much good in our world. Thanks to the Red Cross, World Vision and Doctors/Engineers Without Borders, many people across the world have been lifted out of dire poverty.

But in order to touch the lives of others, you don’t necessarily have to start an organization. Think, first, about how you can perhaps join an organization that already exists, in order to bolster its support. Or, you could ponder how you might contribute to a cause that is inspiring. Rex Tillerson, the current Secretary of State, is a big champion of the Boy Scouts of America. He is a successful businessman, negotiator and leader. Yet he decided to dedicate his free time and some of his finances to coming alongside a cause he was enthusiastic about.

If an organization is started, tremendous amounts of strategizing needs to occur. How will finances be raised? What will the organization accomplish? How will others benefit? What will be our metrics? Are there strict timelines for achieving goals? Organizations need accountability and transparency, much like in the corporate world. My undergraduate degree was in International Development and Globalization, so I know something about what it takes to maintain an effective organizational structure. It’s not easy for Western organizations, for example, to come in to Africa with a whole ‘modernization’ theory and expect countries to adopt unrealistic practices that aren’t coherent with their cultures.

I am not opposed to starting an NGO in the future, to help those struggling with infertility. But neither do I feel bound by it. I think simply through my writing, speaking and living out my life out as a Christian, I can make real a difference, encouraging those who are affected as it relates to this traditionally “taboo” subject.

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One thought on “NGOs: Do they work?

  1. Pingback: The Eye of the Needle | A few thoughts…

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