Does anyone have experiance of NGO work?

Discussion in 'Jobs (Discussion)' started by Mag_to_grid, Mar 14, 2007.

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  1. Does anyone have any experiance of work of this nature? I have heard mixed reports about this sort of work and would be grateful if someone could enlighten me any further as to what it entails, what organisations do what and what sort of oppurtunities are availble. Cheers.
     
  2. Mtg,

    The only experience I've had of working with NGO's was during AGRICOLA 1 in Macedonia and Albania. I saw the whole mish mash of organisations from Oxfam, Medicin Sans Frontiers, Catholic Aid and the Salvation Army to name a few. My overall impression of them was not good. People like Oxfam are only interested in helping where there is a large press presence as they need the free advertising to keep up donations. Some of the others were nothing but willing amateurs and had no organisational ability. Some of them seem overfunded in the wrong areas - 4x4's and staff yet unwilling to provide equipment or support to humanitarian projects. Some will have technical experts with no practical experience in their field - an example would be a new engineering graduate arguing the toss with a Royal Engineer OC about the construction of a water tower, when asked how many he had actually built his reply was "none", strangely the OC won the argument!

    However if you want to work for them I believe that you can do quite well. Whilst building a refugee camp in Macedonia I met an ex-Signals LCpl who was doing some work as a freelance photographer. A week later I bumped into him again and he was working for one of the NGO's. He got £2000 per month tax free (or after tax?), a company 4x4 and a flat in Skopje (mmm nice!!) with all utility bills paid, and he was able to claim for his food. His job? He didn't really know - he went to camps where his agency worked and was given odds and sods to do!

    Me I think NGO's are not particularly effective, spend money in the wrong place and although their hearts may be in the right place they don't do a very good job. But if you work for them you can make a fair whack of money and if you really want to can do some good at the same time. Obviously my experience is nearly 10 years old and could well have changed.
     
  3. Cheers HLM, much appreciated.
     
  4. I worked for a NGO in Mozambuique back in 2001, training mine detection dogs for the Norwegian Peoples Aid organisation-"NPA", however I was contracted by a Swedish company for salary with all living expenses included. I can't complain about the package and if you check out the following link you may find some more information

    http://www.reliefweb.int/vacancies/

    Stay safe...
     
  5. Looks like a useful site, just checked it out. Cheers mate.
     
  6. Very interesting sight.

    This looks like a reasonable job if you can drive a Lnd-Rover and know what a spark plug is.
     
  7. I would certainly second Horridlittleman's comments. I was also at that particular refugee camp working as a medic. With the Engineers, Medics and Infantry etc. digging out blind to provide health care, clean water, shelter and security, I can quite honestly say that what we acheived there (no communicable diseases or epidemic health issues), was nothing short of miraculous.
    Imagine our disgust to see Medicine Sans Frontier arrive (amongst others) with a huge following of press and hangers on to take pictures of all our hard work and declare what a fantastic job they had done. I have had other exposure to NGOs and most seem to be well meaning but poorly managed.
    That said, I'm sure that NGOs get on perfectly well in a permissive environment. For example, I have just been reading about a Canadian organization that provides school buildings for remote villages in Nepal, they have done some really great work. My only advice would be to do your homework before getting involved in any NGO, some of them are quite awful.
    Hope this helps. :biggrin:
     
  8. What is an NGO?
     
  9. I worked with many of them in Rwanda. Some were good (MSF and Goal) and some were awful (Oxfam / ICRC).

    What they do well is spend the money given to them, have lots of meetings where they get upset because the army shows them up for the idiots they are and they drive nice cars.

    The difference I saw with Goal was that they were led by an Irish Army Officer who took on a QM type role and MSF because they kept logistics roles and medical roles separate.

    I would be surprised if 10 pence in the pound of donated money ever gets to the people who need it.

    However, if you can get a job with them, it can be well paid. I would imagine very frustrating though.
     
  10. It's been long rumoured that MSF is a well-funded front for the French Secret Service.

    Donning tin foil hat now.....