• Learning for LifeandWork

The work of NGOs

A NGO is a Non-Government Organisation (NGO) i.e. a non-profit organisation that operates independently of the government. Some operate at a local level, while others operate at a global level. They deal with issues such as safeguarding Human Rights, preventing Human Rights Abuses, protecting the environment and other issues such as poverty and homeless.


The aims of a NGO are:

1. NGOs aim to improve the lives of others by bringing about change.

2. NGOs aim to influence and change the attitudes of people, groups, organisations and businesses become more socially responsible.

3. NGOs aim to influence those who make the decisions, i.e MLAs, MPs, local councillors and government policy makers to encourage them to bring about change.


NGOs that work with particular issues include:



Health - Macmillan Cancer

NGOs like Macmillan Cancer offer support and care for people who are sick.

Their patients will have cancer and receive emotional support and counselling for how to deal with the diagnosis and cope with having cancer. It also can provide respite care and support for family members of the patient.



Natural Disasters and War/Conflict

Doctors without Borders

NGOs like Doctors Without Borders help to assist in rescue efforts, emergency aid, provide medical aid and help set up temporary shelters in places where a natural disaster such as a flood, earthquake, tsunami or hurricane has happened.



Poverty - Oxfam

NGOs such as Oxfam tackle poverty and campaign against the injustice of poverty throughout the world. The provide education to help break the cycle of poverty, run campaigns like signing a petition, pressuring big business, meeting with policymakers to help bring poverty to an end.



Welfare and Social Security - Disability Action

NGOs such as Disability Action can offer support to people with disabilities who do not understand the support and benefits they are entitled to and so can help with filling in application forms.



Animal Rights - World Wildlife Fund (WWF)

NGOs such as World Wildlife Fund (WWF) work for the rights of animals. They campaign to prevent the suffering of animals by campaigning against animal testing and incidents of animal cruelty. They hold discussions with and lobby the government to bring about change. They raise awareness for those involved in animal cruelty and put pressure on the government to take action against the offenders.




The Environment - Greenpeace

NGOs such as Greenpeace advise governments and carry out research to inform people about the consequences of environmental issues (like pollution, intensive farming, deforestation, nuclear power, waste management, global warming, over population and natural disasters).



Human Rights Abuse - Amnesty International

NGOs such as Amnesty International campaign through demonstrations, signing petitions, lobbying governments to raise awareness and bring about change where human rights are being violated. Human rights abuses include ethnic cleansing, unfair trials, torture, child abuse, child slavery.



Homelessness - Simon Community

NGOs like the Simon Community give support and advice to those who are homeless, providing

emergency shelter, works with people at risk of homelessness, offer support to manage mental health,

raise awareness for community safety and facilitate drug and alcohol programmes.

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