Just like volunteerism and philanthropy, charity creates a genuine platform for socialization and inclusiveness in societies around the globe. In times of humanitarian crises, charity works have the capacity to alleviating the pains and sufferings of people and make available quality healthcare, housing, education, and child protection amongst others. Further, the advancement of science, sports, culture, and preservation of natural and cultural heritage, can be attributed to charity in most cases. The rights of the less privileged and marginalized groups of the society are equally promoted through charity, as the message of humanity and love for each other accompanies charity works.
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In a bid to sensitize and mobilize the entire global population, inclusive of NGOs, and stakeholders, on the need to help the downtrodden through volunteer and philanthropic activities, the International Day of Charity was established. The United Nations General Assembly in its resolution A/RES/67/105 in 2012, declared September 5 of every year as the celebration of the International Day of Charity in order to recognize the tremendous role played by charity in averting sufferings associated with humanitarian crises, as well as efforts made by charitable organizations alongside individuals such as Mother Teresa who September 5 marks the anniversary of her death. However, it is necessary to note that the celebration of September 5 was an initiative of the Hungary Civil Society to celebrate the efforts made by Mother Teresa towards humanity, and also enhance visibility while organizing charitable events and raising the support of the public for charity.
The choice of September 5 by the United Nations is to commemorate the death of Mother Teresa on September 5, 1997. For her efforts in the frontlines of charity works, Mother Teresa was awarded the Nobel Peace Prize in 1979 “for work undertaken in the struggle to overcome poverty and distress, which also constitute a threat to peace.” Born Agnes Gonxha Bojaxhiu in 1910, Mother Teresa, a renowned nun and Christian missionary, out of her love and dedication to the plights of destitute, moved to India in 1928. She would go on to become a citizen of the Asian country in 1948, and in 1950, she founded the order of Missionaries of Charity in Kolkota (Calcutta), an organization notable for making life easier for the poor by attending to their numerous needs.
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Mother Teresa for over 45 years, attended to the sick, poor, orphaned, and dying persons, as she saw to the expansion of Missionaries of Charity in India initially, before extending its reach to other parts of the globe, while making provisions for hospices or homes for the homeless and poorest populations of countries. Her incredible works earned her global reputation as she bagged numerous international awards. At the octogenarian age of 87, Mother Teresa bid farewell to mother earth, but her legacy lives on as she is notable for setting the pace for charity works aimed at promoting the course of humanity in a world filled with uncertainties as we go about our daily lives.
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