By Tendai Rupapa
ZIMBABWE today joins the rest of the world in commemorating the United Nations International Day of Charity, with First Lady Auxillia Mnangagwa imploring everyone to assist the needy.
On December 17, 2012, the UN designated September 5 as the International Day of Charity.
The day was first celebrated in 2013, September 5, is the anniversary of the death of Mother Teresa, an international symbol of charity.
The First Lady, whose Angel of Hope Foundation has rolled out empowerment programmes for the poor, said everyone should dedicate time to charitable activities to make the world a better place to live.
“Caring for the less-privileged is everyone’s responsibility and it gels well with our extended family traditional practice. Today is the day, let’s all dedicate some time to do charitable activities in our neighbourhood for the betterment of human life.
“Be challenged! Be encouraged and be proactive! Together, united, we can make this world a better place for all,” she said.
Amai Mnangagwa said caring for the poor complements Government efforts to provide dignified lives to all citizens.
She called upon citizens to act on reviving the charitable impulse resident in every human being and start giving to the less-privileged of society.
The First Lady said charity could take many forms including volunteering time and expertise, financial and in-kind donations by corporate organisations, trusts, churches, clubs, philanthropic foundations and individuals among others.
This year’s International Charity Day Commemorations come barely two days after the First Lady concluded a week-long tour of Kanyemba, where she is running projects and providing amenities for the previously marginalised community.
She has been travelling across the country assisting those in need.
The First Lady has been described as an angel of hope who is devoting time and resources to those in need, especially in marginalised communities.
The Doma people in Kanyemba, the San in Plumtree and the Mola people north of Zimbabwe, have experienced her tender love, which has manifested in many self-help projects.
Mary Teresa Bojaxhiu (August 1910 to 5 September, 1997), commonly known as Mother Teresa, was honoured in the Roman Catholic Church as Saint Teresa of Calcutta. She was an Albanian-Indian Roman Catholic nun and missionary.
In 1950, Mother Teresa founded the Missionaries of Charity, a Roman Catholic religious congregation that had over 4 500 nuns and was active in 133 countries in 2012.
The congregation manages homes for people who have HIV/AIDS, leprosy and tuberculosis.
It also runs soup kitchens, dispensaries, mobile clinics, children and family counselling programmes, as well as orphanages and schools.
The International Day of Charity is observed in recognition of the significant role that charities and individuals have undertaken to alleviate human suffering, humanitarian crises and poverty.
The UN called for countries to recognise and contribute towards the efforts of charitable organisations and individuals.