25 Must Follow NGOs in Europe


By: Heather Mansfield Authored On:

The NGO sector in Europe is well-established and provides essential services to the citizens of Europe and to communities worldwide. European NGOs, particularly those in Western Europe, are advanced in their use of online technology and due to their commitment to international development, they often serve as the online voice for many small and medium-sized NGOs in Africa, Asia, and Latin America. The 25 NGOs listed below are a small sampling of NGOs based in Europe that are using the internet for social good.

1) Amnesty International ▪
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Amnesty International was formed in 1961 to protect individuals speaking out against corrupt and oppressive regimes around the world. Today, the NGO publishes research and campaigns on all areas covered by the Universal Declaration of Human Rights. Amnesty also empowers online activists worldwide to stand up for justice and freedom.

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2) APOPO HeroRATS ▪ 
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APOPO is an innovative organisation that uses specially trained rats to detect hidden landmines in post-conflict areas and to detect Tuberculosis through the power of scent. To date, 105,004 landmines have been destroyed and 81,390 potential TB infections have been halted – all without injuring or killing one single rat.

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3) Birdlife International
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BirdLife International is a nature conservation that works with 120 Birdlife partners around the world. Widely recognised as the world leader in bird conservation, through rigorous science informed by practical feedback from projects on the ground, Birdlife strives to implement successful conservation programmes for birds and all nature worldwide.

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4) Chernobyl Children International ▪
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Chernobyl Children International help families and communities that still suffer the consequences of the Chernobyl nuclear disaster. Through medical and community development programs, the NGO directly addresses the domino effect of poverty, poor health, and social impact that is the legacy of the disaster.

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5) Člověk v tísni ▪
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Člověk v tísni (People in Need) provides development assistance to people who are in need caused by disasters and war. With a focus on dictatorial, authoritarian, and transition countries, the NGO seeks to help people and civil society to assert their freedom by advocating the principles of human rights, freedom, and peace to establish an open-minded environment.

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6) Danish Refugee Council ▪
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The Danish Refugee Council works in more than 30 countries worldwide by providing direct assistance to conflict-affected populations – refugees, internally displaced people, and host communities in the conflict areas of the world. The NGO also advocates on behalf of conflict-affected populations based on humanitarian principles and the Human Rights Declaration.

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7) Deutsche AIDS-Hilfe ▪
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Deutsche AIDS-Hilfe (German AIDS Service Organization) is an umbrella organization of more than 120 AIDS prevention, drug treatment, and counseling programs as well as gay and lesbian centers and residential and nursing projects. The organization also offers help in cases of discrimination and advocates for the rights of people with HIV.

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8) Dianova ▪
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Dianova is an international NGO committed to bringing about positive changes in drug policies and reduce the stigma and discrimination that drug users and people in recovery have to face. The NGO also works to defend human rights, gender equality, women’s empowerment, and to promote education through advocacy and PR campaigns.

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9) Dogs Trust ▪
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Dogs Trust is the UK’s largest dog welfare charity. Through its network of 20 Rehoming Centres across the UK (and one in Ireland) the charity cares for over 17,000 stray, unwanted and abandoned dogs each year. Dogs Trust also offers neutering, microchipping and education programmes.

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10) Gapminder ▪
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Gapminder is a fact tank that fights devastating misconceptions about global development by producing free teaching resources based on reliable statistics. Gapminder promotes a fact-based worldview and collaborates with universities, UN, public agencies, and non-governmental organizations. Gapminder is known for creating compelling, interactive visuals that inspire curiosity.

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11) Greenpeace Italia ▪
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Greenpeace Italy works to defend the oceans and ancient forests of the world and is committed to leading in the effort to stop climate change and the cultivation of GMOs in Italy. Greenpeace does not accept financial support from governments or private companies and is funded exclusively with contributions from individuals who share the ideals and mission.

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12) Kiron ▪
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Kiron Open Higher Education is a start-up NGO with the goal to provide people, especially refugees, worldwide with the opportunity to get higher education and eventually graduate with an internationally accredited university degree. Through online and offline learning, to date Kiron has over 1,500 students on the platform and 22 partner universities.

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13) International Committee of the Red Cross ▪
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The ICRC is an independent, neutral organization ensuring humanitarian protection and assistance for victims of armed conflict and other situations of violence. It takes action in response to emergencies and at the same time promotes respect for international humanitarian law and its implementation in national law. 

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14) International Union for Conservation of Nature ▪
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The IUCN is a membership Union uniquely composed of both government and civil society organisations and is the global authority on the status of the natural world. Their expertise is organised into six commissions, specifically species survival, environmental law, protected areas, social and economic policy, ecosystem management, and education and communication.

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15) Mary’s Meals ▪
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Mary’s Meals provides life-changing school meals to some of the world’s poorest children every day in 12 countries across Africa, Asia, Latin America and the Caribbean. Malawi is home to their largest school feeding programme where they provide meals to over 25% of all primary schools students. Each day the NGO feeds more than 1.1 million children.

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16) Médecins du Monde ▪
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Present in France and in 64 countries, Médecins du Monde (Doctors of the World) supports victims of crises and conflicts, promotes sexual and reproductive health  risk reduction, and cares for migrant and displaced populations. Nearly 4 million people worldwide benefit from their crisis response and medical programs.

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17) Mind ▪
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Mind is a mental health charity. They provide advice and support to anyone experiencing a mental health problem through in-person counseling and helplines. The NGO also campaigns to improve services, raise awareness, and promote understanding about mental illness. With local chapters throughout England and Wales, Mind supports over 370,000 people.

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18) Naves de Esperanza ▪
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Naves de Esperanza (Mercy Ships) is a fleet of hospital ships crewed by surgeons, nurses, teachers, farmers, and all volunteers, that travel to some of the neediest countries in the world to offer free surgeries. Mercy Ships volunteers also invest 10 months of fieldwork in the development of local medical staff and hospital infrastructure.

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19) NOAH ▪
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NOAH is an animal rights organisation that embraces the idea that animals do not exist for people to exploit them, but rather are created to live their own lives. With over 6,000 members, NOAH advocates and educates on issues of animal exploitation, such as factory farming, the fur industry, the entertainment industry, and animal testing.

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20) Orange ▪
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Orange works on the ground in Turkey and Syria to build the capacity of civil society organizations working to address the significant humanitarian disasters caused by the Syrian crisis. The NGO strives to enable Syrian institutions working with limited resources in a complex environment to deliver effective developmental and humanitarian solutions.

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21) POLIN Museum ▪
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The POLIN Museum is a historical museum showing 1,000 years of the history of Polish Jews. It is a place of meeting and dialogue for those who wish to better understand past and contemporary Jewish culture and who want to confront modern threats, such as xenophobia and nationalistic prejudices, while committed to the ideas of openness, tolerance, and truth.

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22) UNESCO ▪
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Created in 1945 to foster peace and intercultural understanding in the wake two world wars, UNESCO launched the World Heritage Site system and made commitments to pursuing scientific cooperation, such as early warning systems for tsunamis. UNESCO also works to protect the freedom of expression: an essential condition for democracy and development.

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23) UNHCR Greece ▪ 
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UNHCR Greece has been working to protect refugees and asylum seekers since 1952. Currently, the NGO is focused on helping Syrian refuges and asylum seekers living in refugee camps in Greece and is informing the public about the crisis order to create a climate of tolerance and respect for the rights of refugees.

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24) War Child Holland ▪
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War Child Holland supports children affected by armed conflict. Central to their mission is providing psychological support through classes and creative activities in countries affected by war in order inspire positive energy and instill the skills necessary for overcoming their fears, developing confidence, and finding a way to positively deal with their experiences.

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25) Українська Гельсінська спілка з прав людини ▪
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The Українська Гельсінська спілка з прав людини (Ukrainian Helsinki Human Rights Union) monitors violations of human rights in Ukraine and provides free legal assistance to individuals in the protection of their rights and freedoms. The NGO also offers seminars, workshops, and conferences and supports the development of a national network of human rights NGOs.

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This list was curated by Heather Mansfield, Principal Blogger at Nonprofit Tech for Good, author of the Global NGO Online Technology Report, and promoter of NGOs, nonprofits, and charities worldwide at @NonprofitOrgs.