PHILIPSBURG, Sint Maarten — On February 27, across the globe, we celebrate World NGO day. As the name suggests, the day brings awareness to non-governmental organizations’ work and those efforts that contribute to making the world a better place. These efforts often go unnoticed, so it is important that we take this time out to recognize these generous contributions as we did this morning during the Virtual NPOwer NGO World Day – SXM Conference under the theme ‘2 for 1.’
The day established by Marcis Liors Skadmanis, a UK-based social entrepreneur, is celebrated by many European countries. In 2014, the day became recognized by the United Nations and the European Union.
All over the world, NGOs safeguard human rights, the rights of individuals to access basic human needs, and developing effective policies through advocation.
On World NGO day, I thank local NGOs. They give so selflessly and work so tirelessly to better our society, including our citizens who volunteer, our business community who collaborates and take up their corporate social responsibilities via these NGOs.
Volunteerism and civil society are crucial elements of a society that cares about those less fortunate than us. Government and the private sector play essential roles in our society’s development. Still, civil society can fill gaps untouched by these groups and do so even more efficiently for many reasons.
COVID-19 is providing a perfect example of this critical role played by civil society. Through various programs, our community received support for income loss, which complemented the programs being executed by the Government of St. Maarten.
For this reason, the Government of St. Maarten commits to the continued partnership with NGOs. It helps to facilitate the success of the work being done by NGOs with inclusive policies. The Government will continue to engage with NGOs of all sectors to build a stronger community and adverse some of our community members’ challenges.
I encourage every capable citizen of St. Maarten to get involved in civil society and experience the reward of being a part of something greater than yourself. Happy World NGO Day!