Not many of us may be aware that September 5 is observed as International Day of Charity. It was on December 17, 2012 that the UN designated the day as such, which was celebrated for the first time last year in 2013. This day is now observed with educational events and fundraising activities held worldwide. The United Nations wanted to promote charities in an effort to alleviate poverty all across the world.
Media publicity for this occasion gathers strength through social media networks as also other traditional measures. The objective is to draw attention to continued poverty persisting globally regardless of economic, social and cultural situations especially in developing countries. Concerned with poverty issues, the UN called for countries to recognize and contribute towards the efforts of charitable organizations and individuals.
It was at the behest of Hungary that the UN General Assembly adopted a resolution by consensus to designate 5 September ( anniversary of passing away of Mother Teresa ) to be nominated as International Day of Charity. The resolution was co-sponsored by 44 Member States representing all five regions of the United Nations. The day has become a universal platform to enhance visibility, organize special events, create synergies and increase public support for charity.
The initiative inculcates charity as a way of life in thought, action and deed. It provides social bonding and contributes to the creation of inclusive and resilient communities. The absolute support of the initiative within UN reflects the universal recognition that charity endures the relevance of selfless giving, caring and sharing. The most iconic figurehead who made selfless charity so well-known through her devotion was espoused by Mother Teresa and spearheaded by her Missionaries of Charity.
“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, 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.” On this International Day of Charity, the UN, international and regional organizations, civil society, non-governmental organizations, concerned individuals – all, commemorate the Day by encouraging charity, including through education and public awareness-raising activities.
“Charity plays a significant role in the work of the United Nations and its agencies. On this International Day, I call on people everywhere to act on the charitable impulse that resides in every human being — to start giving and to keep on giving.”
Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon
Message for the International Day of Charity, 5 September 2014