The International Day of Charity is celebrated on September 5 to commemorate the day of passing away of great missionary Mother Teresa. The day aims to raise awareness and provide a common platform for charity related activities all over the world for individuals, charitable, philanthropic and volunteer organizations. It is day of global observance and is observed on annual basis.
Who was Mother Teresa?
Mother Teresa, a renowned nun and missionary, was born as Anjeze Gonxhe Bojaxhiu in Skopje, North Macedonia in on 26 August 1910. She spent her first eighteen years in Skopje after which she went to Ireland and then visited India in 1928 where she devoted herself to helping the poor and the needy.
She became an Indian citizen in 1948 and established the order of Missionaries of Charity in Calcutta (now Kolkata) in 1950. Missionary work done by Mother Teresa and her order of Missionaries of Charity was acclaimed all over the world and she won a number of awards for her charitable work, including 1962 Ramon Magsaysay Peace Prize, Padma Shri in 1962, Jawaharlal Nehru Award for International Understanding in 1969 and Bharat Ratna in 1980.
She also received the Nobel Peace Prize in 1979 “for work undertaken in the struggle to overcome poverty and distress, which also constitute a threat to peace.” She died on September 5th 1997 at the age of 87 years.
Significance of International Day of Charity
With the objective to mobilize people around the world towards charitable work and also to honor those who have contributed their lives towards well-being of others, International Day of Charity is observed. Not just people, but many organizations and stakeholders are also urged to help others through volunteer and philanthropic activities.
September 5 was chosen to be observed as the International Day of Charity as it marks the anniversary of passing away of Mother Teresa. It is one of the special days observed in September.
History behind International Day of Charity Observation
A Hungarian civil society took initiative to observe International Day of Charity in 2011 which was supported by the Hungarian Parliament and Government. The aim of the initiative was to increase solidarity, social responsibility and public support for charity by organizing special events.
In response to this initiative and a proposal put forward by Hungary, the United Nations General Assembly on 17 December 2012 adopted a resolution to designate 5 September as the International Day of Charity. The resolution was co-sponsored by 44 UN Member States representing all five Regional Groups of the United Nations.