Civil Society Organizations are born out of passion and the desire to respond to a given
community challenge. These organizations operate under a legal framework that is set both
internally by their governance documents or externally by government. In Uganda, CSOs have
over 10 laws they are expected to comply with.
The 9 th Annual Youth Festival provided UNNGOF an opportunity to offer free legal health check
to youth focused organizations. Not only was a booth with legal books and lawyers set up at the
festival venue, but also a session (under the leadership and governance village) to offer joint
learning was convened; where a lawyer with extensive knowledge on NGO regulatory
framework was hosted and youth leaders’ questions responded to.
Emerging strongly was the clerical call for youths to pay extra care on how the boards of their
organizations are constituted so that members with value, knowledge and experience are
recruited to these boards. “Your organization is as good as your Board. Please ensure you
recruit board members who are ready to sacrifice for the organizations, ready to offer strategic
guidance. That’s how you will be able to comply to your internal regulations which automatically
prepares you for external compliance to government, donors and the communities you serve” …
Counsel Peter Magelah said.
UNNGOF is alive to the fact that CSOs can hardly mobilize people towards community
philanthropy if they are illegitimate, therefore sessions like this one are critical in preparing
organizations to strike a balance between passion and professionalism thus addressing the
question around their credibility and legitimacy.
Youth focused organizations were encouraged to make use of the ongoing #BeLegit campaign
that UNNGOF is undertaking; which involves a site visit to organizations and a comprehensive
legal health check .