Saturday, 23 January 2021

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A life, a month, a week, a moment

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5 September 2014 – The world’s population exceeds 7 billion, and is growing. Of those 7 billion, 1.2 billion live in poverty with an income not exceeding USD $1.25 a day. Poverty means not just a lack of income, but a deprivation of necessary health services, education, housing and proper food. It not only divests individuals of basic needs, it suppresses development and growth.

Today, on the International Day of Charity, we celebrate those who dedicate time and resources to bring comfort to those most in need. We mark this occasion today in remembrance of tbe passing of Mother Teresa, who dedicated over 45 years of her life to ministering to the poor, sick, orphaned and dying.

Her work was remarkable in its scope. She matched personal involvement with those in need, with the development of an order, Missionaries of Charity, whose aim was to develop a concrete network of infrastructures available in India, and world wide, to help the destitute.

Today, as then, the poorest of our world are threatened by events beyond their control, including climate change, rise of ocean levels and war. And today, as then, brave men and women decide to involve themselves in helping those born into less fortunate circumstances.

Some, like Mother Teresa, dedicate their lives to helping others. Yet, millions of people around the world also contribute a month, a weekend or an evening of their time in their communities, or beyond, to play a part. Be it alone, or with an NGO such as UN Volunteers or others, today we celebrate all actions that lead to developing a better world through helping others.

“Charity may come in many forms, from the volunteering of time and expertise to straightforward financial or in-kind donations by individuals, corporations or philanthropic foundations. Whatever the case, such generosity and kindness, with no expectation of financial gain, can make profound differences in human well-being”, Secretary General Ban Ki-moon highlighted on this occasion. He urges us all today, as everyday, “to start giving and to keep on giving.”

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