Quick Read
7 August 2015

Stereotypical image of the NGO sector

The article “De Grote Vier zijn op zoek naar een nieuw verhaal” (The Big Four are looking for a new story) in the August 5 edition of De Volkskrant, paints a stereotypical image of the NGO sector, in which only ‘classical’ development projects are executed and there is no protest against, or anticipation of, huge government cuts. Furthermore, Professor Paul Hoebink argues that companies are only interested in helping ‘hungry’ and disabled children.

Simavi, as a medium-sized NGO, does not recognise itself in this portryal. We have been running innovative partnerships for years. Just a few examples: in collaboration with the KNVB (the National Dutch Football Association) we teach schoolchildren in Ghana and Kenya about the importance of washing hands and we work with companies like Philips and innovation institute TNO to improve the basic health of marginalised communities in Africa and Asia.

These collaborations are based on mutual corporate social responsibility objectives and a shared desire to create markets and export knowledge. It’s challenging, but ultimately it does provide added value.

Somewhere in the world every two minutes a woman dies during her pregnancy or childbirth, and one out of three persons  have no adequate sanitation. The Netherlands can not solve these challenges by itself and it is an illusion to think that in Africa, Asia or the Netherlands would manage without civil society organisations.

Read or complete response on this article here. Please note this is written in Dutch.

Ewout van Galen, Simavi’s Director Programmes

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