The mention of the word Non-Governmental Organization (NGO) somehow strikes a relief to most Kenyans with the notion that anything associated with the government is either corrupt or unjust. So any organization independent of the government’s ruling is highly embraced. NGOs should however not be confused with Non Profit Organizations. To clearly distinguish between the two can be found in the below definitions
A non-governmental organization (NGO) is any non-profit, voluntary citizens’ group which is organized on a local, national or international level. Task-oriented and driven by people with a common interest, NGOs perform a variety of service and humanitarian functions, bring citizen concerns to Governments, advocate and monitor policies and encourage political particpation through provision of information. Some are organized around specific issues, such as human rights, environment or health. They provide analysis and expertise, serve as early warning mechanisms and help monitor and implement international agreements. Their relationship with offices and agencies of the United Nations system differs depending on their goals, their venue and the mandate of a particular institution.
NPOs are service organizations or charities that are established for co-operative, trust or purely informal reasons. They are also known as endowments, or foundations that have huge stock funds. A non-profit organization uses its extra funds for the purpose of the organization, rather than dividing it between the shareholders and the owners of the organization. Examples of NPOs are public arts organizations, trade unions and charitable organizations. Non-profit organizations hire management personnel, and aim to raise substantial funds.
With the above distinctions, one can clearly locate his/her choice of desired venture. However, setting up either of these organizations requires loads of paperwork, commitment and passion for your intended cause. We earlier posted the requirements needed to set up an NGO in Kenya and can be found HERE
Despite the numerous organizations available in Kenya each bearing a noble cause, specific light is shed on those that deal in disabilities. In a chilling documentary aired by one of the most influential news stations in Kenya, it was discovered that some of these organizations are just shadow institutions ran by unscrupulous and greedy individuals who benefit from the billions of government funds and donations intended to assist the disabled.
It was witnessed how some of these individuals con poor disabled people into registering into these institutions and later on disappear with their money having fulfilled little to none of their promises to them. Those who receive donations from foreigners exxagerate their expenses so much that at the end, a huge chunk of the donations end up in their own pockets. A person is quoted saying that if anyone needed to become an instant millionaire, one should invest in starting up an organization dealing with disabilities. With that lingering in mind, Kenya has indeed turned into a man eat man society.