A meeting of the Non-Government Organizations and Civil Society groups was held last Friday, organized by the Niue Association of NGOs or NIUANGO. Several organizations attended including the new Minister of Social Services Hon. Sonya Talagi.
The Spokesperson for NIUANGO, Jamal Talagi-Veidryiaki said that this was a timely meeting given the many challenges confronting Pacific nations “With the increasing pressures on Niue due to external shocks driving up costs of living and climate change impacting our way of life, there is a sense of urgency that is expected by the people or civil society for our leaders and government to address. With growing concern from NGO groups and village councils for the many challenges we are facing, we recognize the immense contribution of NGOs to help the government address these concerns”
Those in attendance agreed that it’s time to relook at the organisation’s constitution and seek government support to revive NIUANGO. In attendance at the meeting were representatives from the Chamber of Commerce, Oma Tafuā, several members of the Niue Tolomaki Auloa(Niue Disability Association) Niue Organic Farmers Association (NIOFA), Niue Falekaho-Atua Women Climate Justice Advocacy and some interested individuals.
Jamal Talagi-Veidryaki said that they are happy to have convened the first CSO meeting in a while, this group has always been represented by the Niue Association of Non-Governmental Organizations (NIUANGO), which has been led by Sioneheke Leolahi for more than 10 years.
“Hon. Minister Sonya Talagi attended the meeting and expressed the Government’s full support for the revival of NIUANGO,” said Talagi-Veidryiaki
She said, “We all agreed that we are working towards the same goal and therefore it is important for NGOs and the Government to work together going forward.”
BCN News understands that another meeting will be called over the coming months to update the NIUANGO constitution and work towards a plan for funding support with the government.
Most of the small NGOs and CSO groups on the island lack the resources and funding support to sustain their activities and grow their organizations which often leads to either one or two people doing most of the work, from wherever they are working, usually from their government offices or from their homes.
The future of NGOs and CSOs on the island and for NIUANGO as a sustainable organization will require a conducive environment, supported by a government, keen to engage and support with the right resources to amplify the voices of these organizations.