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The roots of the NGO crisis in South Africa: A look beyond the surface
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to the NGO sector globally
Within the European
context the anti-slavery movement in England in the late 18th century
provided the initial impetus for the rise of what we today know
as the NGO movement (or non-profit sector). This movement gave rise
to various political associations that eventually led to the World
Anti-Slavery Convention in 1840. Subsequently the World Alliance
of Young Men-s Christian Associations (YMCA-s) was founded
in 1855, followed by the establishment of International Committee
of the Red Cross in 1863.
emerged later in England in the 19th century as a leading force
in the NGO movement. Rapid industrialization, with its consequent
social and economic challenges, created specific areas of need within
societal structures. It is these needs that the NGO sector tries
to address. The growth of the sector has been substantial over the
last decade, fuelled by increasing concerns over issues such as
environmental abuse, globalization, unemployment and poverty, gender
inequality, human rights violations and more recently the HIV and
AIDS pandemic (Paul cited in Rockey: 2001: 129).
in Africa and social control
of the NGO sector in Africa can be traced back to the period of
colonization and the role of the missionaries in conquest. In a
paper, Manji and O-Coill (2002:1) state that the role of NGOs
" . . . in 'development- represents a continuity
of the work of their predecessors, missionaries and voluntary organizations
that cooperated in Europe-s colonization and control of Africa."
them NGOs can either subscribe to an "emancipatory agenda"
or a "paternalistic role" in development.
Although not stated explicitly, the authors identify at least three
major periods within which this colonization and control evolved.
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