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05-09-2020 10:09

Message by the Commissioner of Volunteerism Mr. Yiannis Giannakis for the International Day of Charity

The International Day of Charity is celebrated every year on September 5th , the date on which Mother Teresa passed away. The United Nations (UN) adopted the relevant resolution in 2012, with the aim of recognizing the work of all charities and philanthropists. It also aims to raise awareness and mobilize Civil Society and Non-Governmental Organizations to carry out voluntary and charitable activities.

The nun and missionary Mother Teresa was born in 1910 and was of Albanian origin. In 1928 she went to India, where she devoted herself to helping the poor. In 1948 she became an Indian citizen and founded the "Missionaries of Charity" organization in Calcutta. She has worked tirelessly for over 45 years for the poor, the sick and the orphans, making her a symbol of humanity and compassion. It has expanded its activities to India and other countries, establishing shelters for the needy and homeless, among others. In 1979, Mother Teresa won the Nobel Peace Prize for her "fight against poverty and hostility, which are a threat to peace." She died in 1997 at the age of 87.

According to the UN, both charity and volunteering ensure true social ties and contribute to creating more cohesive and resilient societies. Charity contributes to dealing with humanitarian crises by strengthening government work on childcare, education, housing and child protection. It promotes the rights of the marginalized and the underprivileged and spreads the message of humanity in times of conflict.

The Office of the Commissioner for Volunteerism and Non-Governmental Organizations celebrates International Charity Day, highlighting the philanthropic sentiment of Cypriots during the recent ordeal of neighboring Lebanon's people. The selfless supply of food by citizens, companies, local authorities, the Church, NGOs and Voluntary Organizations has significantly contributed to the relief of thousands of Beirut residents who were left homeless due to the deadly explosion. An important contribution to the effort was made by our volunteers, who undertook the collection, separation, quality control and placement of the items in boxes. Once again, it has been proven in practice that the heart of the Cypriots is much larger than the number of the population of Cyprus. Because of their solidarity, more than 240 tonnes of humanitarian aid were collected, surpassing aid sent to the Lebanese people from much larger countries.