Enhancing NGO Activities
Gather information on the issue
- What exactly is the problem?
- What is causing the problem?
- Who are the persons/organisations responsible (for e.g. it could be a particular department of the government/an industry)?
- What are the consequences going to be? Assess magnitude, quality and prevalence.
- What are the alternatives/possible solutions?
- Talk to others in the community to hear different views that will enable you to form your own holistic opinion.
- Talk to people who are in-charge and hear their side of the issue. Tell them about the problems that you see.
- You may be able to work towards solving problems together if you do not see yourself as hostile parties.
Connect with people to increase awareness
- Discuss the issue with friends.
- Approach people from house-to-house.
- Ask older, influential or respected people to address public gatherings.
- Use the media (local newspapers, radio, television and the internet) to generate interest, communicate the facts and discuss options.
- Write polite, succinct letters that drive a point home without rambling.
- Organise signature campaigns or melas.
- Visit politicians who are involved with the issue.
- Interact with people from diverse backgrounds, so that your organisation is not linked with any particular political party or religious sect.
Where do I get the money for such activities?
- Irrespective of the scale of activities, you're going to need the money. But that needn't stop you from taking the step ahead.
- You may charge a standard membership fee so you can pool resources.
- You may consider local fund-raising activities.
- Let people know why you need the funds and how they will be used. Transparent and detailed accounts are imperative to build trust.
Follow-up and Moving On
- Follow-up on any complaints you've made with the local administration.
- Use the law. Often a court order may be best way to apply pressure, especially when there is urgency to stop an activity.
- Link up with other NGOs/supportive groups.
- Remember, "Yours is the earth and everything that's in itE Treat it as you would 'yours', with responsibility and commitment.
You CAN make a difference.
Source: The Santuary Asia Magazine
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Comments and suggestions:
Hari Srinivas - firstname.lastname@example.org