Panel III – Lost mission? The educational role of society organizations.

During Panel III four speakers from different East-European countries (Hungary, Bulgaria, Slovakia and Poland) shared their opinions about how NGOs do function in our societies. Although it is clear that NGOs can play a very crucial educational and social role - according to the shown presentations they don’t do it. Looking for the reason of this situation we can point out some very controversial remarks. NGOs usually don’t represent actual problems that concern normal people’s lives, because they create different hierarchies of subjects to deal with. According to our speakers, that is one of this reasons why sometimes people don’t trust non-governmental organizations and treat them as a part of the establishment. Because of that - apart from some rare and passive ways of involvement like donating or petition signing - citizens in general hardly participate in the activities of their local NGOs. Speakers also tried to highlight some very crucial differences between traditional-type non-governmental organizations (based on donations, very formal, focused on some far-from-life projects) and some new civic activities (more spontaneous, personal motivation driven, touching real problems).

Thanks to all of this points it became clear that sometimes NGOs are supposed to centre their attention on themselves, and rethink the role that they play in the society. Without it their projects may not be well embedded in the real life, and because of that they are in risk of losing its meaning and utility.

Civil Society
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