During the year 2006, WANGO further developed two key projects, the Code of Ethics and Conduct for NGOs and Play Soccer Make Peace, commenced a social housing relief project to aid earthquake victims in Indonesia, inaugurated two national chapters and was represented in several noteworthy national and international conferences. The year’s activities will be presented in the context of the Association’s mission statement.
To Serve Its Member Organizations
This first component of the Association's mission was addressed in 2006 with the improvement of member services, and professional training for the Secretariat staff.
The database was enhanced in many areas, and the website was redesigned with two new features added to homepage for the members -- Featured NGO and WANGO News. The Member’s Handbook was reproduced in a smaller format size, and is also available on the WANGO website in the Member’s Only Section for viewing and downloading.
In the first three 2006 issues of Beyond Boundaries quarterly newsletter, 15 of the 18 articles were contributed by NGOs, while 36 NGOs contributed news during the year for the monthly e-news, NGO News. In the Beyond Boundaries spring issue, the article, “I Will Live a Long, Loving Life,” was picked up and posted for two days on the webpage of the Religion and Spirituality section of United Press International (UPI), the global provider of news to media, governments, business, and researchers.
In February, Anne Smart, Office of National and Regional Coordination, and Jean Rondon, Publications, attended the Great! Ideas Conference, An Innovative Learning Experience Starts Here, organized by American Society of Association Executives (ASAE) and the Center for Association Leadership, in San Diego, California. The conference had innovation incorporated throughout the event, starting with registration and communications to the diverse sessions, idea labs, and networking opportunities.
Marybeth Ross, WANGO’s Treasurer, Anne Smart, and Jean Rondon joined more than 800 participants from eastern USA in May at the Not-For-Profit Leadership Summit IV, in Rye, New York. The day was filled with presentations, discussions, and conversations focused on the real issues and needs of the nonprofit executives and staff.
From its initial creation in December 2005 to present, WANGO's volunteer and intern program, coordinated by Rachel Alexander, grew to number more than 100 volunteers and interns assisting WANGO’s program and activities. The volunteers, both in-person and virtual, contributed significantly to the development of WANGO programs including WANGO's Worldwide Directory NGOs, Code of Ethics Campaign, and the soon to be available NGO Handbook.
Strengthen and Encourage the Non-Governmental Sector as a Whole
WANGO made several contributions to “strengthen and encourage the non-governmental sector as a whole.” They were the distribution and utilization of the Code of Ethics and Conduct for NGOs, acknowledgement of WANGO Chapters, and the increased distribution of the NGO News.
Awareness and support for the Code of Ethics and Conduct for NGOs continued to increase. Over 300 organizations from 64 countries signed online in support of the Code of Ethics and Conduct for NGOs. An Arabic version of the Code was made available on the WANGO website, translated by Dr. Wajeeha Al-Baharna of Bahrain Women’s Society and a WANGO International Council Member. (Support the Code)
In April, Dr. J’Lein Liese of Global Leadership Foundation agreed to author the Code of Ethics Compliance Handbook, which would serve as a tool to help NGOs assess whether their policies and procedures are currently in alignment with the Code of Ethics and Conduct for NGOs. The prototype of the Compliance Handbook, completed in September 2006, was designed to be used both as a checklist and as talking points for NGO staff to review, reflect and discuss core principles, standards and ways of conducting services and activities that should guide NGOs and that set NGOs apart from government or for-profit corporations.
Africa Regional Coordinator, Mrs. Anne Smart, visited both Ghana and Nigeria WANGO Chapters, and participated in the WANGO Nigeria’s Annual General Meeting in July 2006. In Nigeria, the WANGO Country Director Mr. Mohammed Attah created a lecture presentation on the Code of Ethics and Conduct for NGOs and started workshops with the content in all 36 states of the nation. He also presented the Code at the Sixth Annual All Nigeria NGO Summit in Kaduna in March 2006. In 2005, WANGO Senior organization Better Life Programme for the African Rural Woman reprinted thousands of copies of the Code for distribution locally among the NGOs. Currently, the Nigeria National Volunteer Service, the body responsible for the regulation and coordination of NGOs in Nigeria has joined other NGOs to adopt the Code of Ethics and Conduct for NGOs, which will serve towards the proposed framework for NGO legislation in Nigeria.
In cooperation with an organization met at the 2005 WANGO Conference, WANGO Zambia initiated the Stay Alive HIV/AIDS education program for teachers and children in several communities. The ongoing Train the Trainer program has recruited 50 trainers, and through working with community based organizations, over 1000 orphans and other vulnerable children were educated in 2006.
The NGO News, offered by WANGO as a complimentary service for the NGO sector, increased its distribution to more than 50,000 WANGO subscribers from 136 nations worldwide in 2006. Readership consists of NGOs, nonprofits, charities, multilateral organizations, UN agencies, corporations ranging from international law firms to investment banks, and current as well as former diplomats. (Become a WANGO Subscriber)
Increase Public Understanding of the Non-Governmental Community
WANGO advanced this role in 2006 through its participation in conferences, public presentations and publications.
On March 22, Secretary General Mr. Taj Hamad represented WANGO at the First Conference on Faith and Service, held in Washington, DC, which reviewed the initiative and programs created by the current US government administration to harness the resources and experience of faith-based and community groups. During the conference, he served as the moderator of the panel session, “Faith Leaders and Communities of Hope”.
In June, Taj Hamad participated in the World Summit on Peace, convened by the Universal Peace Federation in Seoul, Korea, which gathered international leaders to consider alternative pathways to peace. During the conference, Mr. Hamad chaired a panel of NGO leaders and parliamentarians on the topic “Peacebuilding and Human Development.”
The NGO Revolution, WANGO’s publication released in November 2006, offers valuable insights from civil society and government leaders on the impact of the NGO sector, with real stories and applicable solutions from 19 NGOs. The book, based primarily on presentations of the 2004 and 2005 WANGO Annual Conferences, was edited by Dr. Ann Iparraguirre, 2005 WANGO Conference Rapporteur, and Jean Rondon, Director of Publications, and produced by Paragon House. The book can be purchased directly from the WANGO Secretariat. (See WANGO Publications)
Provide the Mechanism and Support Needed for NGOs to Connect, Partner and Multiply Their Contributions to Solve Humanity’s Problems
WANGO’s sports project, Play Soccer Make Peace!, expanded in 2006, as did the efforts of WANGO members to connect and support each others efforts.
Play Soccer Make Peace! (PSMP) actively promoted sport and development at the 2nd Magglingen Conference in December 2005 in Switzerland, which culminated the UN International Year of Sport and Physical Education. PSMP was represented at the Inter-American Development Bank Conference on Ethics, Social Capital and Development in February and at the International Conference on Sport and Development in Cape Town, South Africa in April.
The WANGO member IRFF received PSMP’s assistance to stage the second PSMP All-Ukrainian youth soccer tournament which took place on May 19-22 in Kyev, Ukraine. The Ukrainian Football Association and Kyev City Football Association actively support the PSMP! model.
The first PSMP Regional Tournament of PSMP was held in Amman, Jordan, initially to coincide with the World Congress of NGOs, where youth teams from 8 nations, including Jordan, Iraq, Palestine, Yemen, Egypt, UNRWA and Estonia, participated. Through such a tournament in the Middle East, the players, supporters, and organizers showed that sport, particularly soccer, is a major non-governmental “force for peace.” Jordan, Yemen and Estonia expressed interest to host future regional PSMP tournaments.
During the year, with the aim to help support local NGOs partner and share their resources, two new WANGO chapters were initiated by the member organizations in the countries of the Democratic Republic of Congo and in Zambia. In addition, several new national representatives were installed. (See WANGO Chapters)
Other 2006 Achievements
In response to an earthquake in Java, Indonesia in May 2006, a partnership was formed between Domes for the World (DFTW) and WANGO. Utilizing a natural disaster proof technology appropriate for housing in developing countries, the Emergency Relief Domes Housing Project in Ngelepen, in the region of Yogyakarta, was formalized to reconstruct a village of 80 domes, 71 homes, 6 MCKs (laundry, toilet and shower facilities), 1 medical clinic, 1 primary school and 1 mosque. Initiated in October 2006, the anticipated date of completion of this pilot project is in April 2007. WANGO is grateful for the generous support of our donors for this project.
WANGO strengthened its partnership with UpTV.org, an online television channel developed by the Voices of Peace Network, which is dedicated to Peace-casting. UpTV, providing the avenue for diverse leaders of the world to speak on issues that matter and makes it accessible to anyone, anywhere via the Internet, is eager to receive videos from NGOs worldwide to introduce their programs and projects via Channel 7, the NGO channel. An introduction to WANGO, “Healing a Hurting World” on Channel 7, and the video “Play Soccer Make Peace!” on the Sports Channel, Channel 9, is already available for viewing through UpTV.
In November, Mr. Taj Hamad, WANGO Secretary General, visited India to view possible sites for the 2007 World Congress of NGOs. Mr. Hamad was welcomed and escorted by representatives of Bharativa Jain Sanghatana (BJS), and also had the pleasure to meet with Dr. M.V. Giri, a former WANGO International Council member, in New Delhi.