The Ghana Philanthropy Forum (GPF), a non-profit making organisation has launched Philanthropy Week and an Endowment Fund in Accra. The Week, which started on Saturday, December 1 to 8, 2018, was aimed among other things, to increase visibility of non-profit making organisations through strategic engagement and positioning.
Madam Christine Churcher, the Board Chairperson of the Ghana National Gas Company and the Founder of Christine Churcher Foundation, who performed the launch, said philanthropy is key to peace.
She said there was no peace in society today because majority of the people had gained success, but they close their doors to the poor, saying that, “we should remember that the nakedness of one person is the nakedness of us all.”
Madam Churcher said the government was doing a lot to support the poor, and that, it was time for individuals and organisations to also assist in the work of philanthropic organisations to make life comfortable for the vulnerable.
Ms Erika Goldson, the Deputy Representative of the United Nations Population Fund (UNFPA) in Ghana, in a speech said the focus of the GPF “transforming society through philanthropy” was very much aligned to the work of the United Nations.
She said; “The work of the UNFPA and its partners see this as a unique opportunity to highlight the linkages between the development and philanthropy agendas because both are working to transform the lives of the Ghanaian people.
“Only through strategic partnerships will we be able to succeed. If, we are to meet the goals of Agenda 2030, then we must ensure that no one is left behind.” Ms Goldson wished the forum a success and assured of the UNFPA support.
Dr Ben Ocra, the President of GPF in an address said the Philanthropy Week was similar to the annual March Forum, designed to create the platform for them (non-governmental organisations - NGOs) to share knowledge and ideas to grow together.
He said aside the external-driven challenges confronting NGOs, they also faced many setbacks, which were as a result of their actions or inactions. “While dwindling donor funding, lack of favourable NGO policies among others, had been a major setback to our work, let us not underrate what we can do and achieve – just by coming together. There is a lot we can achieve collectively than in isolation,” he said.
Dr Ocra said NGOs relevance as the third sector in the attainment of national development goals cannot be overemphasised and that their continuous engagement, backed by appropriate action, would help surmount their ever-changing challenges.
He called on NGOs to propagate the concept of philanthropy and encourage more people to get involved in helping to develop the society. He appealed to government to remove all bottlenecks that impede their work as they make efforts to develop the sector for the benefit of the citizenry.
An abridged version of the NGO Tax Regime and the Enabling Environment for Philanthropy in Ghana Report was also launched The Christian Aid, Ghana, and STAR-Ghana were given awards for their support to philanthropic work in the country.