International Charity Day commemorates the death anniversary of Mother Teresa. Nun and missionary Mother Teresa worked tirelessly to overcome poverty, distress and sufferings of the poor in the world. Proposed by Hungary, the day was officially declared by UN General Assembly in 2012. Through this day UN aims to increase social responsibility and the public’s support for charities.
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In its resolution about International Charity Day, the UN reaffirmed that the inherent dignity and equal rights of all members of the human family is the foundation of freedom, justice and peace in the world. It further recognized the role of charity in alleviating humanitarian crises and human suffering within and among nations.
On the International Day of Charity, the United Nations invites all of the member states, international and regional organisations, as well as civil society, including non-governmental organisations and individuals, to mark the day by encouraging charity and public awareness-raising activities.
Here are a few outstanding facts about Mother Teresa:
1. Born to parents of Albanian-descent Mother Teresa devoted her life to caring for the sick and poor. Mother Teresa taught in India for 17 long years. She made centres for the blind, aged and disabled; and a leper colony.
2. In 1948, Teresa left her nun-hood and adopted a lifestyle in slums to serve the poor and needy.
3. In October 1950, she won official recognition for a new audience, the Missionaries of Charity, which she founded with only a handful of members—most of them former teachers or pupils from St. Mary's School. In 1979 she received the Nobel Peace Prize for her humanitarian work.
4. After receiving the Nobel Peace Prize, Mother Teresa said “I am unworthy”. She donated USD 192,000 prize money to the poor in India.
5. Mother Teresa was granted sainthood by Pope Francis in 2016.