World NGO Day, Feb. 27, was established by a millennial entrepreneur

Marcis Liors Skadmanis. Cover credit: Wikimedia

Marcis Liors Skadmanis. Cover credit: Wikimedia

Every year on Feb. 27, World NGO Day celebrates a new global movement’s declaration. Officially introduced by the United Nations in 2014, it relates to a gathering of hundreds of non-governmental organizations (NGOs) with the aim of discussing global issues, such as universal education, youth empowerment, health and social welfare, gender equality, and taking action that improves society at large.

Today, we concentrate on Marcis Liors Skadmanis, a young Latvian-British entrepreneur who brought the observance to life.

Skadmanis, born in Latvia in 1984, graduated from the Department of Business Law at Turiba University in 2008. He now holds a master’s degree in International Law.

In 2010, he co-founded the Latvian-British Chamber of Commerce in the U.K., where he has served as Chairman and Executive Director since 2013.

In 2009, Skadmanis had the idea of establishing a World NGO Day. It was actually three years later that he presented his initiative during a roundtable discussion at the House of Commons, the lower house of the U.K. Parliament, in March 2012, as a first step to obtain international consensus.

That same year, he obtained support from many worldwide organizations, including several countries’ embassies, the Commonwealth Foundation, the European Bank for Reconstruction and Development, the U.N. Office for Project Services, among others.

On Feb. 27, 2014, hundreds of NGOs and international leaders gathered in Helsinki, the capital of Finland, to celebrate and mark the first World NGOs Day. “The landscape is changing and a new generations of NGOs is required,” Skadmanis said. “Various NGOs around the world lack the support they need to operate, and a new donor and relationship are necessary for a more suitable future for all. [...] Empowerment of the NGO sector requires re-education of society and its our responsibility to start this process.”

To learn more about Skadmanis’ mission, listen to his complete speech here.