IN THE early years, there are only three sectors of society, government, church, and the business sector. The word NGO (non-government organization) was only first used in Article 71 in the charter of United Nations in 1945.

NGOs are independent of both the government and business sector. They are an advocate for human rights and environmental protection, build youth leadership, work to end violence against women and children, assist the poor with livelihood programs.

Development workers, as we call them, are the professionals working to implement the programs of NGOs. Being part of an NGO comes with plenty of challenges and rewards. With limited staff working in an NGO, everyone has to play multiple roles. In some cases, burnout can happen quickly, especially working with demanding situations. The challenge is to continue being resilient and remain with the mission.

In Negros, there are several NGOs working for the causes of the disadvantaged population in the community. They are organized by DSWD through a linkage called Area Based Network (ABSNET). To date, there are around 50 registered and licensed non-profit organizations in the province.

On January 16, JCI Bacolod Executive (Junior Chamber International Bacolod Executive), a nonprofit organization of young active citizens who are committed in creating an impact in the community, has partnered with DSWD ABSNET-Western Visayas to launched the first of its EXE Class Series entitled Unleashed Your Highest Potential in Creating Positive Change, an NGO Leadership Training.

The invited speaker was Avelynn Garcia, a best-selling author, and motivational speaker. She spoke on finding one’s purpose in this world and giving 100 percent in everything we do. She also shared about “Tulong ko, Ipasa Mo” a movement inspired by the movie pay it forward.

This movement aims to encourage people to join in creating a chain of helping one another without expecting anything in return. Avelynn said, to part of this drive, pass on the favor you have received from 3 other people to that the chain of helping continues.

Mhel Enderes Sillador, JCI Bacolod executive president and regional chair of DSWD ABSNET, said that non-profit organizations composed an important sector in our society and it is very important to keep them inspired in their respective mission of creating a better world with one positive change at a time.

Unfortunately, being far from the national capital region, local organizations rarely get this kind of training in the province. So to fill the gap, JCI Bacolod Executive through its EXE Class Series, made its mission to be a conduit of quality learning opportunities to development practitioners working with the disadvantaged segment of the population.

More than 60 participants from 23 NGOs in Western Visayas attended the training.

As a participant, I was inspired by Avelynn, who also shared her life story. She motivated me to continue being kind to others, to also motivate others and to give my full potentials (to give everything I can give) as the Home Manager of Haven Home, a Kalipay Home. She made me cry with her story and it reminded me that there is always hope, if we believe and surrender to God. It gave me a lighter heart after the training.

The role of NGOs in a developing country like the Philippines is very important. Their programs have expanded and are no longer limited to environmental and social advocacy. They play a critical part in a developing society, improving communities, and promoting citizen participation. It is, therefore, important to keep them inspired in creating positive change.

For those interested to be part JCI Bacolod Executive, you may check their Facebook page, @JCIBacolodExecutive.