PHOTO:© UNICEF Iraq/2016/Khuzaie
Charity, like the notions of volunteerism and philanthropy, provides real social bonding and contributes to the creation of inclusive and more resilient societies. Charity can alleviate the worst effects of humanitarian crises, supplement public services in health care, education, housing and child protection. It assists the advancement of culture, science, sports, and the protection of cultural and natural heritage. It also promotes the rights of the marginalized and underprivileged and spreads the message of humanity in conflict situations.
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The International Day of Charity was established with the objective of sensitizing and mobilizing people, NGOs, and stakeholders all around the world to to help others through volunteer and philanthropic activities.
The date of 5 September was chosen in order to commemorate the anniversary of the passing away of Mother Teresa of Calcutta, who received the Nobel Peace Prize in 1979 “for work undertaken in the struggle to overcome poverty and distress, which also constitute a threat to peace.”
Mother Teresa, the renowned nun and missionary, was born Agnes Gonxha Bojaxhiu in 1910. In 1928 she went to India, where she devoted herself to helping the destitute. In 1948 she became an Indian citizen and founded the order of Missionaries of Charity in Kolkota (Calcutta) in 1950, which became noted for its work among the poor and the dying in that city.
For over 45 years she ministered to the poor, sick, orphaned and dying, while guiding the Missionaries of Charity’s expansion, first in India and then in other countries, including hospices and homes for the poorest and homeless. Mother Teresa’s work has been recognized and acclaimed throughout the world and she has received a number of awards and distinctions, including the Nobel Peace Prize. Mother Teresa died on September 5th 1997, at 87 years of age.
In recognition of the role of charity in alleviating humanitarian crises and human suffering within and among nations, as well as of the efforts of charitable organizations and individuals, including the work of Mother Teresa, the General Assembly of the United Nations in itsdesignated the 5th of September, the anniversary of the death of Mother Teresa, as the International Day of Charity.
“The question is not how to get money. Rather, the question is about our relationship with money.”
“If money touches our relationships with family members as well as the world beyond our home, it also reaches into our inner life.”
“Sometimes our concern for the poor may carry with it a prejudice against the rich.”
“Asking people for money is giving them the opportunity to put their resources at the disposal of the Kingdom.”
“People have such a need for friendship and for community that fund-raising has to be
“When we truly enjoy God’s unlimited generosity, we will be grateful for what our brothers and
sisters receive. Jealousy will simply have no place in our hearts.”
“Gratitude flows from the recognition that who we are and what we have are gifts to be received and shared.”
(Henri J.M. Nouwen)
“Overcoming poverty is not a task of charity, it is an act of justice.
Like slavery and apartheid, poverty is not natural. It is man-made and it can
be overcome and eradicated by the actions of human beings.
Sometimes it falls on a generation to be great. You can be that generation.
Let your greatness bloom”