By September 20, 2013 Read More →

International Day of Charity event – Thursday September, 5 2013

IDCharityEvent“Charity and love are the same –with charity you give love, so don’t just give money but reach out your hand instead.” –Mother Teresa

“Charity and love are the same –with charity you give love, so don’t just give money but reach out your hand instead.” –Mother Teresa

The above quote by Mother Teresa is an apt one when describing the panel discussions that took place on the International Day of Charity, for so many reasons. Firstly, the day’s observance coincided with the death anniversary of Mother Teresa.

Secondly, it describes charity as an act of giving; financially and of yourself as well. Finally, it describes charity as an act of cooperation and love. The two panel discussions on the day revolved around the role of charity in relation to access to clean water and sanitation, as well as the role of charity in creating partnerships for poverty alleviation. The panellists were all highly regarded in their individual fields and included Hugh Evans (former Australian of the Year), Girish Menon (Director of International Programmes, WaterAid), Susan Myers (Vice President for UN Relations, UN Foundation), Neelam Makhijani (CEO, The Resource Alliance), Navid Hanif (Director, Office for ECOSOC Support and Coordination) and Paul Young (Director of Digital, Charity: water) The first panel focused on the need for urgency in realising the shocking conditions in which people still do not have access to proper sanitation facilities; this goes against the UN Declaration on Human Rights regarding upholding the dignity of human beings. Ultimately, poor sanitation drains almost 7.2% of global GDP, has a direct impact on education, gender equality, the economy and is now the Millennium Development Goal (MDG) that is most off track. These facts and figures, along with the panel’s arguments as to why it is important to give money and time towards improving sanitation, led well into the discussions of the second panel on creating partnerships. These issues move beyond the actions of one or two individuals; it requires partnerships to keep it going, between the government, business, NGOs and civil society.
Largely, the focus of these discussions focused on charity as an act of giving and an act of cooperation. Personally, concentrating on charity as an act of love is something that needs to be incorporated into these talks. If you love someone, or love something, acting on anything that can help the person or situation is a tireless venture. There is also the saying that “charity begins at home”. Perhaps what the world really needs right now is charity at ‘home’; the home of our friends and family, the home of our community, the home of our workplaces or schools. But most importantly, the home of our own minds and hearts.

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