International Day of Charity

“What counts is not what you give, but the love with which you give.” – Mother Teresa

The eradication of poverty in all its forms represents one of the greatest challenges and prerequisites in achieving the 17 Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs). At the same time, this vast project for the 2030 horizon aims to reinforce the spirit of global solidarity, particularly with regard to the impoverished and most vulnerable.

Charity calls to notions of volunteerism, philanthropy and self-giving, and facilitates the establishment of social ties. It fosters the creation of more resilient and inclusive societies, and “spreads the message of humanity in situations of conflict.”

Charity expresses itself in many ways, helping to mitigate the effects of humanitarian and climatic crises while making a valuable contribution to public services in areas as diverse as education, health, housing and child protection.

The creation of this day is intended both to recognize the contribution of charity to our societies, and to raise awareness of the issue among the international community as a whole, from individuals to government authorities and private companies. It’s also a way of mobilizing people to help others in need through voluntary and philanthropic gestures.

The date of September 5 was quickly chosen when the Day was created, to pay tribute to Mother Teresa of Calcutta, winner of the Nobel Peace Prize in 1979. The aim was to highlight “her work in the struggle to overcome poverty and distress, which are also a threat to peace”. She is also the founder of the Missionaries of Charity congregation in Calcutta (1950).

Around 10% of the world’s population is still struggling to meet its basic needs in terms of health, education and access to drinking water and adequate sanitation. More women find themselves in conditions of extreme poverty (22% more than men), while it is estimated that over 160 million children are at risk of living in extreme poverty by 2030.

“Every gesture of love, no matter how small, toward the poor and unwanted, is important to Jesus.”

- Mother Teresa