In 2012, the UN General Assembly set aside September 5th as the International Day of Charity. According to the members of the General Assembly, the day was set aside to increase awareness among the global community of charity activities and organizations. The day was also set aside to give a platform to charity related activities. The platform that the event created was beneficial to charity organizations at both the local and international levels. The International Day of Charity is commemorated in some countries around the world such as Hungary, the United States, and the United Kingdom among others.
History of the International Day of Charity
The idea for the International Day of Charity originated with the Hungarian Civil Society in 2011. The Hungarian government and the parliament were some of the main supporters of the initiative as it would increase charitable activities in the country. The selection of September 5th was symbolic since it was the date when Mother Teresa died. Mother Teresa was one of the leading people engaged in charity activities particularly with the aim of reducing poverty levels around the world. Because of her dedication to charitable causes, Mother Teresa was awarded the Nobel Peace Prize.
After the proposal gained the approval of the Hungarian government, they presented it to the UN General Assembly in 2012. In December 2012, all the members of the General Assembly voted to accept the proposal. The International Charity Day resolution was co-sponsored by some nations such as Angola, Ukraine, Macedonia, Guatemala, and India. In total, 44 UN member countries co-sponsored the resolution presented by the Hungarian government. After the resolution was passed, the General Assembly urged all the members and organizations of the UN as well as international bodies and non-governmental organizations to participate in marking the day.
The First International Day of Charity
In 2013, one year after the declaration was signed, the first International Day of Charity was marked. Hungary's permanent mission to the UN was one of the organizations that celebrated the day. Several organizations of the UN were also involved in commemorating the day such as the United Nations Department of Information, the United Nations Foundation, and the United Nations Development Programme. During the event, speeches were presented by some distinguished personalities such as Robert Orr who at the time was the Assistant Secretary General of the UN and Kathy Calvin who at the time was the president of the UN Foundation. Apart from the celebrations organized by the Hungarian permanent mission to the UN, the International Day of Charity was also marked by the Apostolic Nunciature as well as the Albanian embassy in Hungary. The first International Day of Charity was also celebrated in Qatar mainly by the Ritz-Carlton Doha and the Qatar Red Crescent.
Events Marking the International Day of Charity
People around the world commemorate the International Day of Charity in different ways. In some regions of the world, people hold events and fundraisers for the charities of their choice and in other areas, hotels and restaurants donate all the profits they have made on that day.
Importance of the International Day of Charity
Since its inception, the International Day of Charity has been of great significance to various charitable causes around the world. Some of the charities that have benefited from the day include the Refugees Trust and the Barnardo's charity.