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International Day of Charity

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International-day of charity

In a powerful address made to coincide with today’s International Day of Charity, September 5, 2013, UN Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon has celebrated the important work of charities in the world.

“Donations of time or money; volunteer engagement in one’s own community or on the other side of the world; acts of caring and kindness with no thought of recompense... he says.

“...these and other expressions of global solidarity help us in our shared quest to live together in harmony and build a peaceful future for all...”

Established by the United Nations General Assembly, 2013 is the first International Day of Charity.

The date was established to coincide with the anniversary date of the death of Mother Teresa, the notable charity supporter, Nobel Peace Prize winner and founder of the Missionaries of Charity...

In his address Mr Ki-moon also defended charity against a trend amongst some to dismiss it as worthless or even demeaning to recipients...

“Let us recognise charity for what it is at heart: a noble enterprise aimed at bettering the human condition, he says.

“On this new International Day, I call on people everywhere, of all ages, to act on the charitable impulse that resides in every human being...”

The International Day of Charity comes in a week that the UN Food & Agriculture Organisation announces 11 million people in the Sahel are suffering from severe food shortages...

This week the UN’s refugee agency also revealed there are now over two million refugees that have fled from the Syrian war to neighbouring countries...

As well as these two enormous challenges alone, and the dozens of other major natural and civil disasters causing humanitarian crisis around the globe, charities are also responding to hardship and suffering in their communities in every country of the world...

United Nations humanitarian agencies including UNICEF, UNHCR and the World Food Programme rely on charitable donations from the public to continue their work supporting people who are suffering due to disasters, war and other emergencies.

Thousands of independent charities are also reliant on the public’s support in their daily work helping people affected by emergencies as well as day to day hardships...

Charities recognising the spirit of International Day of Charity and the vital need to help charities grow the impact of what they do include the Resource Alliance in the UK, the non-profit organisation that promotes fundraising and philanthropy on a global scale...

Neelam Makhijani, Chief Executive of the Resource Alliance, speaking at the UN today, says:

“Charities and philanthropists must be on an equal footing to counter the crippling social, environmental and political crises of our time... he says.

“If we really want to tackle poverty, stop conflicts and war and improve the lives of our people, we need a strong civil society.

“To achieve this, more meaningful engagement is required. This means conversations in a language everyone understands and mutual respect between NGOS in South and North and the philanthropists who support them...”

Charities are at the forefront of positive change the world over, highlighting problems of poverty, disease and inequality, the effects of climate change, the impact of human rights abuses, and other key obstacles to human development, and also in the majority of cases are the ones offering solutions to these problems...

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