Thursday, March 23, 2023
World NGO Day
What the rest of the world calls football ain't football.
We Americans are just different. Obstinately. And we pretty much insist that we are right even in the face of objective reality. While the rest of the world has named the most popular sport ever after its primary activity -- foot to ball, "football!" -- we insist on calling it "soccer" and a smash-mouth game hardly involving feet to balls we correctly call "football."
Same thing with organizations comprising the "Third Sector," "Independent" Sector, or "Civil Society" -- organizations we Americans call "nonprofits" even though they can make profit. "Nonprofit" to NGO is about as accurate as football to soccer. Or something like that, you understand what I'm trying to say. Just to prove that we insist on confusing ourselves with our own names, do a Google search of "nonprofit." What you will get are links to websites in America as if the rest of the world hardly exists. But search "NGO" and the mind is transported all over the world. The State Department, probably because it is more often focused on worlds different from our own, has a primer entitled "Non-Governmental Organizations" including a short section on the Foreign Agents Registration Act, which can be applied to foreign NGOs operating in the U.S. I should remember that the next time I get indignant about lesser governments suspiciously monitoring foreign NGOs in obvious effort to prop up a DeSantian dictatorship.
If I had learned to speak English instead of American, I would not have missed World NGO Day this year. World NGO day was first proposed by Resolution of the IX Baltic Sea NGO Forum in 2010
To support the official setting of the World NGO Day. Following the discussions among non-governmental organizations and members of the Baltic Sea NGO network from Belarus Denmark, Estonia, Finland, Germany, Iceland, Latvia, Lithuania, Norway, Poland, Russia and Sweden, the Coordinating Committee on behalf of the Baltic Sea NGO Forum 2010 (16 to 17 April 2010, Vilnius, Lithuania) has approved the necessity to promote the official setting of the “Worldwide NGO Day”, proposed by the Civic Alliance-Latvia. The World NGO Day is to be announced as an official UN observance day according to the UN resolution.
After the Resolution, World NGO day was first observed in 2014, and every February 27th thereafter in 89 countries across six continents; the EU and other governmental organizations issue proclamations while NGOs around the world host all sorts of events.
Its too late for us, though. Our ethnocentrism makes us hardly recognize NGOs, nevermind World NGO Day. And I, for one, am not about to call a buncha guys and gals running around in clean white shorts kicking a ball "football," "fussball," futbol, or anything like it.