Charity, volunteerism, and philanthropy have always been crucial to the development of inclusive and resilient societies.
They are the driving forces behind humanitarian crises, the improvement of public services such as healthcare, education, housing, and child protection, the promotion of culture, science, and sports, and the preservation of cultural and natural assets.
Furthermore, they light the torch for the rights of marginalized and underprivileged populations, disseminating the message of humanity even in conflict-torn areas.
The United Nations (UN) adopted the 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development in 2015, naming poverty eradication as the most pressing global concern.
This tremendous endeavor is a necessary prerequisite for long-term progress. The Agenda calls for renewed and stronger global solidarity, with a special emphasis on the needs of society’s poorest and most vulnerable members.
It also recognizes the vital role played by diverse sectors, ranging from micro-enterprises to cooperatives to multinational corporations, as well as civil society groups and philanthropic entities, in achieving the new Agenda’s objectives.
The Agenda’s 17 Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) are organized into six critical areas: people, planet, prosperity, peace, partnership, and dignity.
These objectives have the ability to transform our world by offering a complete framework that allows philanthropic institutions, individuals, and organizations to make meaningful contributions to the benefit of society and the earth.
The Importance of the International Day of Charity
The International Day of Charity was established to raise awareness and mobilize individuals, Non Governmental Organizations (NGOs), and stakeholders worldwide to aid others through volunteer and philanthropic initiatives.
The date, September 5th, was chosen to honor the death of Mother Teresa of Calcutta, a unique figure who received the Nobel Peace Prize in 1979 for her persistent labor in the struggle to alleviate poverty and hardship, understanding that these issues are also dangers to peace.
Changemakers in Nigeria and Beyond
Nigeria, with its diverse population and rich cultural tapestry, is not immune to the issues of poverty and inequality. However, it is encouraging to see the focused efforts of NGOs, businesses, and individuals committed to alleviating poverty on a national and global scale.
Non-Governmental Organizations (NGOs)
Numerous NGOs in Nigeria have worked tirelessly to elevate the downtrodden and poor. These groups are concerned with issues like as education, healthcare, women’s empowerment, and community development.
Among many more, notable examples are the Nigeria Red Cross Society, Save the Children Nigeria, and LEAP Africa.
Corporate Social Responsibility (CSR)
Several Nigerian corporations have recognized their responsibility in poverty alleviation. They invest in projects that improve the quality of life for communities through their CSR efforts. Dangote Group, MTN Nigeria, and Access Bank have all made considerable gains in this area.
Individual Philanthropists: Successful people from diverse disciplines have taken it upon themselves to give back to society. Aliko Dangote, Tony Elumelu, and Folorunso Alakija, among others, have founded foundations and programs to address poverty, young unemployment, and healthcare concerns.
Nigeria is not fighting poverty alone. International organizations and foundations, such as the Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation and the United Nations Development Programme (UNDP), work with Nigerian partners to conduct poverty reduction and sustainable development programs.
Let us celebrate the spirit of giving and global solidarity in the fight to end poverty on the International Day of Charity in 2023. The work of non-governmental organizations (NGOs), businesses, and individuals in Nigeria, along with the backing of foreign organizations, exemplifies the power of collective action in achieving a brighter, more equitable future for all.
We can make considerable progress toward reaching the ambitious Sustainable Development Goals and creating a world where poverty is a distant memory if we continue to advocate the cause of charity and philanthropy.