International Day of Charity – 2023

Established by the United Nations to raise awareness among peoples, governments, and groups around the world about the importance of voluntary and philanthropic activities, International Day of Charity, celebrated on September 5th, is also an opportunity to demonstrate how acts of kindness alleviate the effects of humanitarian crises, contribute to poverty eradication, and promote sustainable development.

“Charity represents the principle of fraternity not as a concept or idea, but as a practice. In scenarios of humanitarian crisis, the charitable action of giving of oneself to others, the fraternal embrace of those who have become vulnerable in the crisis, has a great power of balance,” highlights Brother Thomas, assistant to the regional coordination of the Roraima Humanitarian Mission.

“The concrete gestures of charity in today’s times allow us to expand our bonds with other people, deepen the feeling of loving connection with all beings, both our fellow human beings and animals, and the environment as a whole, with whom we share this planet,” adds humanitarian volunteer Angélica, who is currently serving in the Angola Humanitarian Mission.

The Fraternity – International Humanitarian Missions (FIHM) has been operating since 2011 with the purpose of sowing love and peace in humanity, providing assistance to those in greatest need, and experiencing charity in daily practice through its humanitarian missions in different regions of the world.

An Example of Charity and Love for Others

The International Day of Charity was established to honor Nobel Peace Prize winner Mother Teresa of Calcutta, who passed away on September 5, 1997.

Mother Teresa of Calcutta helped the sick, orphans, and the poor in India for over 45 years. Her actions are a living expression of solidarity and love for others.

“The Missionaries of Charity, the order founded by Mother Teresa, are an example of love and charity for others, not only in the humanitarian field but for all sectors dealing with social vulnerability. In proportional terms, they are not many, but they are spread across the continents, working alongside the poorest of the poor. They carry out their mission with selflessness, simplicity, and joy. In various missions of the Fraternity – Humanitarian Missions (FIHM) in places of great need, such as Africa, the humanitarian response has been built in conjunction with the service activities already provided to the local population by the Missionaries of Charity,” comments Brother Thomas.

Charity in the Service of Hope

With the worsening of humanitarian crises, the need to strengthen fraternal aid initiatives to affected populations, not only as a way to alleviate suffering but also with the awareness that charitable service sows peace, is increasingly necessary.

Mother Teresa of Calcutta instructed that “Charity cannot be taught, but practiced and lived, the Mystery of Unity.” It is this principle that guides all the actions of the Fraternity – Humanitarian Missions (FIHM), which enable and offer opportunities for service and learning to all those who are inspired to work towards building a more fraternal world.

“Mother Teresa is an example of that selfless and altruistic love that can guide us when we decide to tread a path of service. The legacy of her humility, sacrifice, dedication, and consolation continues to inspire and accompany us,” emphasizes Angélica.

In the words of Mother Teresa: “To live charity is to open the heart to serve others.” It is a way to create paths for hope, solidarity, and compassion to make the world a fairer and more fraternal place for all.

Learn about the humanitarian missions developed by the Fraternity – International Humanitarian Missions (FIHM).