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NDP Govt competing with NGOs for donor funding!

-Government failed to take international expert's advice before bringing law on Not-for-Profit organisations; begging by Govt. described as 'gross'
The Jostle - Should Government be in competition with NGOs for funding from local private entities? A situation that threatens the continued existence of some NGOs. Photo: VINO/File
Ms Judith M. Charles said that the new law which governs registrations for NGO puts added pressure on already sparse public donated funds. Photo: VINO/File
Ms Judith M. Charles said that the new law which governs registrations for NGO puts added pressure on already sparse public donated funds. Photo: VINO/File
Ms Charles said that FSN was told that there was almost 42 requests from various government arms that compete with NGOs in approaching one private sector entity at one time. Photo: VINO/File
Ms Charles said that FSN was told that there was almost 42 requests from various government arms that compete with NGOs in approaching one private sector entity at one time. Photo: VINO/File
ROAD TOWN, Tortola, VI – Increasingly Non-Governmental and Not-for-Profit Organisations are finding it more challenging to secure funding to execute projects and programmes as the Government of the day is said to be breathing over their shoulders in approaching the private sector.

The evidence of this has become even more glaring with the National Democratic Party (NDP) Government's massive campaign for financial donations from the public for the equipping of the new Peebles Hospital and according to a prominent businessman, “That is very strange for a country which boast of having such a big and strong financial services sector.”

“I know donations are given to places like hospitals in the form of monies, yes sometimes, but in most cases it is people who would have benefitted after a period of care that may have saved their or a loved one’s life. Sometime persons donate certain equipment but for government to go out on such an extensive campaign begging the public is gross,” said the businessman.

One NGO leader also said, “The thing is the NGOs give services to their targeted beneficiaries at the end of the day when you go to the hospital here you better have your cash and that’s where my contention is.”

“Let them stop putting those big monies in contractors’ hands that they know can be significantly reduced and the work that has to be done will still get done. Let the Ministers stop running around the world to sit down in social activities and put those money to better use,” said a representative of one recognized business which said that they will not give their monies to government for such ventures.

“We pay taxes, heavy taxes, we provide employment for lots of people the government sends to us. Donations are for NGOs and if a person has urgent need for some medical procedures we will help. But not a cent from us for hospital like I see Rotary give big fat $50k that would have moved mountains for a place like FSN that really need the assistance,” he added.

This is the universal position of several heads of NGOs even as some said they can barely function as funds are being stretched too thin by the private businesses and individuals who assist. While most have declined to be named, Ms Judith M. Charles, President of the Family Support Network (FSN) has been very candid in recording her opinion on the matter.

She too also sees the funding drive for the hospital as taking a big chunk of what could have been assisting NGOs. “Don’t get me wrong, the hospital is very important, very very important,” she noted.

She agreed that the Government of the day and many of their social arms have been increasingly competing with NGOs which have no other source of funding other than fund raising and donations. She said that this has become even more rigid when the government imposed a new law requiring them to find additional funds to complete certain registration requirements.

“When they were getting ready to write that law they had meetings with all the people [from] the NGOs. I went to every single one of them. We talked about how this is going to affect us and all they kept saying to us was it’s going to be better for you in the end and we have to do this; we don’t have a choice,” said Ms Charles.

It was as if the Government was bent on doing what they wish despite expert advice from international sources which profess of dealing with laws and regulations that govern NGOs. She recalled a session which was held at the H. Lavity Stoutt Community College (HLSCC), the Conference of the Islands, “His expertise was Non-Profit and advising people about charitable giving. He advises organizations and wealthy people, he is a lawyer and an expert in the field,” recalled Ms Charles.

She clearly recalled him holding special meeting the various deciding bodies but his recommendations and advice were brushed under the carpet. According to Ms Charles the processes of registrations now require of NGO’s certain conditions for which they have to either solicit or pay a legal person or firm to do.

“Already we do not have nowhere close to the amount of monies that we need to effectively execute services and people are coming in more and more for help and we are being stretched thin,” she said.

Ms Charles said that FSN was told that there was almost 42 requests from various government arms that compete with NGO’s in approaching one private sector entity, “Not to mention the churches and others who all look for assistance from these same funders,” she stressed.

According to Ms Charles despite they are being jostled by Government when it comes to funding, lots of the government’s responsibilities are being thrown on FSN as they are asked to do some amount of work for the prison, deal with matters sent to them by the legal courts and even certain other Government bodies which refer clients to FSN.

26 Responses to “NDP Govt competing with NGOs for donor funding!”

  • YAWN (01/09/2014, 09:00) Like (5) Dislike (4) Reply
    Yawning......Not a lick of sense!
  • Lmaoooo (01/09/2014, 09:07) Like (7) Dislike (1) Reply
    We pay heavy taxes in bvi?? Lmaooooooooooooo!
  • Finally (01/09/2014, 09:28) Like (15) Dislike (8) Reply
    Finally someone speaks out on this issue. I agree giving to the hospital is good & at times needed but it is because of this same NDP wasting our hospital equipment money in construction cost with that Santo Company they signed to construct the hospital that gone with our money & even ain't pay social security or taxes. Thanks to the bright boy RONNIE.
  • Equalizer (01/09/2014, 09:31) Like (15) Dislike (9) Reply
    It's a shame and a disgrace when the government has to beg for donations for any project. I just shows how low the government will stoop. It's a totally different matter when civic organizations voluntarily donate. But when the government minister bets on his soapbox and beg for donations, it's gross and unbecoming!
  • Glad (01/09/2014, 09:33) Like (5) Dislike (6) Reply
    I am glad Ronnie is the Minister of Health. When he was Minister the last time he destroyed Health & put us in financial trouble with the construction of the hospital & getting the equipment purchased. So he is the most fitting person to come now & beg persons to donate & bail us out of what he put us in.
  • Dictator (01/09/2014, 09:34) Like (4) Dislike (6) Reply
    Look what the dictator Ronnie put us into.
  • ----------------- (01/09/2014, 10:38) Like (9) Dislike (5) Reply

    Every where you turn the NDP is a freg to the people of the BVI they must and will go
  • true tolian (01/09/2014, 10:46) Like (6) Dislike (5) Reply
    The contract was to build an building only not to furnish as well,I've lived in the usa
    seen hospital built and being furnish by donations from various companies and
    individuals.What is so wrong with it being done here,we have enough companies
    and persons who does not pay govt what is due they can contribute to the cause.
    • Equalizer (01/09/2014, 20:08) Like (0) Dislike (0) Reply
      Please educate me; how much was spent for the construction? Then I will tell you how many fully furnished hospitals could have been realized with that money.
    • . (02/09/2014, 15:17) Like (1) Dislike (0) Reply
      We are not the US, nor do we want to be! Privatized medicine is an American idea and not a good one. Let's stick to our UK values please!
  • west end police officer (01/09/2014, 11:42) Like (6) Dislike (6) Reply
    rhoniie needs to go
  • Voter!! (01/09/2014, 14:01) Like (7) Dislike (3) Reply
    What to we all want the Government to do. If they beg we all complain, If the raise taxes we fuss. What does the BVI people want. All who making noise was in those seats before and aint do jack sh$#@
    • Voter too. (01/09/2014, 16:41) Like (4) Dislike (0) Reply
      What many of us would like them to do is finish one major project before launching the next major project. Where else in the world has it taken 14 years to finish a building? The hospital went through 3 different governments. Shouldn't somebody say, okay, let's get it off the ground FIRST, THEN let's work on the airport, or pier park, or whatever other fabulous idea is hatching. There is plenty blame to go around between all those who dealt with this over the past 14 years. If those we voted for, who we trusted, had planned out what was needed, based on what was best for the country as opposed to their political agendas the hospital would have been done and dusted ages ago. We are at the same time asking people to invest in the hospital AND the pier park. Intelligent people are sitting in the HOA and they can do better, they just have to have the will.
    • Voter2 (02/09/2014, 10:03) Like (0) Dislike (0) Reply
      @voter you forgot to mention that if the government tries to invest in capital project s to increase revenues and jobs, they are blocked on every hand. They opposition says that the invaders are coming, they are selling out the country. What to do with these people? They want to have access to the treasury to spend it on themselves. That is corruption! It is no way to run a country. The selfish motives of the people of this country will destroy this place.
      • Votertoo (02/09/2014, 13:28) Like (3) Dislike (0) Reply
        I think the biggest problem we have in this country is everything is either about the NDP or VIP. This isn't an NDP/VIP problem, this is a government problem and we the people paying the taxes ARE the government. Instead of collectively going to the HOA to say we don't like how you guys are conducting our business we will sit on these blogs using "nicknames" and raise hell about everything. If you were to be asked to volunteer for anything to help with something whoever was out front will turn around and find no one behind. Government cannot give us everything all the time, we must be prepared to do something to help ourselves and the country we were born in, live in, pay our tax dollars to. That said we pay taxes, we pay for utilities and we pay handsomely and we are therefore entitled to a much high standard of living. You scream about Biwater and what that will cost. Why didn't some government in the past do something about Water and Sewerage then? That department has been government run since the year dot and they still, in 2014 can't even get out water bills on time. Did you get a water bill this month? Look at electricity, we pay premium for it but is it stable, can you count on it every day? Let's get that fixed and then worry about all the other big things that will make great stories for the election speeches like pier parks and airport. How about education? Are our children coming out of school prepared? We talk about all the people coming here from the Eastern Caribbean, but some of our children can't even get in to UWI because their standard of education is higher than here. We have this fabulous trust industry here, something that other Caribbean islands would love to have. What are we doing with the money? St. Vincent have mental hospital and nursing school. BVI barely have a mental health department and recruiting nurses from all over the Caribbean. Please let's know what we are talking about. Have we lobbied our various governments for anything to make life better for everyone or are we just fighting for the little contracts for ourselves. What have we, each of us, done for the Virgin Islands outside of quarreling about what the NDP/VIP doing or not doing to our satisfaction.
  • cry (01/09/2014, 14:08) Like (7) Dislike (2) Reply
    You give and give to the hospital, but when you go for health care you are given the run around. If you do not have the money you are in tr,ouble As for the seniors they are treated like dirt . No one looks out for BVI seniors. Pebbles has become a business. Down there must have got nearly as many workers as government complex. All party politics. Some of those people are not needed.
    • agreed (02/09/2014, 22:28) Like (0) Dislike (0) Reply
      Amen. The Health Services Authority has more doctors and nurses than any hospital that I have seen and I have lived abroad and have seen many. Yet, you keep hearing that they need more staff. The Administration need to be sent abroad to take a look at larger hospitals with a lot more patients and beds and then they will realize that lots of the staff are unnecessary. The. health Services continues to employ medical staff giving them incentives that are not offered to the locals. It is no wonder that Government is being drained. And locals are discouraged. The same foreigners that are in top management are also undermining locals.
  • big bird (01/09/2014, 14:14) Like (8) Dislike (1) Reply
    This government was to be business friendly but it's only friendly to its own interests and self
  • shark (01/09/2014, 22:58) Like (1) Dislike (0) Reply
    They go abroad and they recriut these individuals they bring them here to work.they pay them a salary.then they give them .entertainment allowance when are these government agencies going to stop waisting tax payers hundred million dollars that should have include everything az well.some of them politicians should be in jail.
  • @ shark (02/09/2014, 03:03) Like (1) Dislike (0) Reply
    Amen this is 100% true, how could you run a nation and the world without looking out for your own
  • virgin gorda (02/09/2014, 03:19) Like (2) Dislike (0) Reply
    Ms Charles you got balls
    • Judith Charles (03/09/2014, 11:06) Like (1) Dislike (0) Reply
      It would take a lot of words to explain how this article came about. But I was asked questions to which I gave answers that were honest and based on what I knew to be facts or what I was told by others as facts. My uncle was Glanville Fonseca and my mother is his sister Naomi, now 95 and still telling the truth. So I guess if you think I have "balls" then I came by them honestly. It was the environment in which I grew up and how I was trained. However, what I think is more important is the fact that I am a tax payer in this country. I am also a registered voter. That is not a threat to any person who is asking for my vote, neither do I barter my vote in exchange for getting my credit cards paid or asking for a new refrigerator or something. Being a voter was a right that was given to me, I therefore take it seriously and believe it to be an important responsibility. Because I pay taxes and vote I am entitled to my opinion about what is happening or how things are happening in this country. I am not political, I am not registered to any party, I vote for people and as I do not ask those people for anything for myself I do not feel beholden to anyone for anything nor do I feel afraid of political retribution. Both parties have stated time and again that they do not engage in that kind of behavior and whether that is actually true or not I am going to act as if it is. I am involved in this community in the things that I do because I was also raised to give back to the community that provides me with my living. If I am the only person in the article who actually agreed to have my name and picture published then that is a sad commentary on us as people and on this country. My philosophy is if you don't like what is happening in your community then either do something about it or shut up. Talking about everything doesn't always solve the problems at hand, you actually have to show up and do something about it. This article should not be read as political at all, it should be read as country issue. That's just my opinion and obviously from the numbers of persons who did not want to be named I'm the exception to the rule so my opinion may not count for much. But again, in my opinion, when you have no one wanting to be named and everyone who comments uses a nick name, that is a level of fear that I don't think I could live with in my personal life. I think I'm entitled to a much better quality of life as was stated in another comment. We all have to decide what constitutes a good quality of life and I'm sure we'll all see things differently.
  • problem (02/09/2014, 10:14) Like (0) Dislike (0) Reply
    When you look for your own they disappoint and do not perform! Talk that. If your own were reliable, dependable, fair just, equitable and balanced, there would be no need to look outside. It is not enough to have the right knowledge, fairness, justice, and integrity must prevail in a country where everyone is related to everyone and that there is the problems when you put your own in some position. They only look out for their own family and friends, whether or not they are competent and performs. It is called nepotism. Fix that problem and we will stop that situation.

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