Every year on September 5th, the International Day of Charity is celebrated to pay tribute to the remarkable life and work of the renowned missionary, Mother Teresa. This special day has a dual purpose: to raise awareness about charitable activities worldwide and to provide a unifying platform for individuals and organizations engaged in acts of kindness, philanthropy, and volunteerism.
Born as Anjeze Gonxhe Bojaxhiu in Skopje, North Macedonia, on August 26, 1910, Mother Teresa spent her formative years in Skopje before embarking on a journey that led her to Ireland and ultimately to India in 1928. In India, she dedicated her life to assisting the impoverished and needy.
Mother Teresa became an Indian citizen in 1948 and in 1950, she established the Missionaries of Charity order in Calcutta (now Kolkata). Her missionary work garnered global acclaim, earning her numerous awards, including the 1962 Ramon Magsaysay Peace Prize, Padma Shri in 1962, Jawaharlal Nehru Award for International Understanding in 1969, and the prestigious Bharat Ratna in 1980. In 1979, she was honored with the Nobel Peace Prize for her tireless efforts to combat poverty and suffering, which were recognized as threats to global peace. Mother Teresa passed away on September 5, 1997, at the age of 87.
The International Day of Charity was established with the aim of mobilizing people worldwide to engage in acts of charity and to recognize those who have devoted their lives to the betterment of others. This day not only encourages individuals but also inspires organizations and stakeholders to contribute to the well-being of communities through volunteerism and philanthropy.
September 5th was chosen for the observance of the International Day of Charity in remembrance of Mother Teresa’s passing. It stands as a special day in September dedicated to promoting compassion and generosity.
The initiative to observe the International Day of Charity was first undertaken by a Hungarian civil society in 2011, with support from the Hungarian Parliament and Government. The objective was to foster solidarity, social responsibility, and public support for charitable endeavors by organizing special events and activities.
In response to this initiative and a proposal put forth by Hungary, the United Nations General Assembly officially adopted a resolution on December 17, 2012, designating September 5th as the International Day of Charity. The resolution received support from 44 UN Member States representing all five Regional Groups of the United Nations, solidifying the global commitment to honoring the legacy of Mother Teresa and promoting acts of goodwill and charity worldwide.