Wednesday, 20 January 2021

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Peace begins with a smile

Kofi Annan, Secretary-General of the United Nations, with Mother Teresa, leader of the Order of the Missionaries of Charity, in the Bronx Borough of New York City, 14 June 1997. UN Photo/Evan Schneider

5 September 2016 – Charity can be defined as “benevolent goodwill toward or love of humanity.”

Charity is vital in alleviating poverty and suffering in the world today. As the migration and refugee crisis persists across the Middle East, the Mediterranean and Europe, the notion of the charitable act requires consideration.

Poverty is more than the lack of income and resources to ensure a sustainable livelihood. Its manifestations include hunger and malnutrition, limited access to education and other basic services, social discrimination and exclusion as well as the lack of participation in decision-making. Economic growth must be inclusive to provide sustainable jobs and promote equality.

Poverty is measured by people living on less than $1.25 a day, one in five people in developing regions. Sustainable Development Goal 1 aims to eradicate poverty for all people everywhere by 2030.

The International Day of Charity this year coincides with the 19th anniversary of the death of Mother Teresa, who was awarded the Nobel Peace Prize in 1979 for her work to overcome poverty. Upon receiving the prize, she gave the money that came with it to some of the poorest people in India, and famously said, “If you can’t feed a hundred people, then feed just the one.” On the 4 September 2016, the Vatican declared Mother Theresa Saint Theresa of Kolkata.

On this International Day of Charity, the United Nations invites all Member States and all international and regional organizations, as well as civil society, including non-governmental organizations and individuals, to commemorate the Day in an appropriate manner, by encouraging charity, including through education and public awareness-raising activities, and to work together toward building a sustainable future. 


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