5th September, UN International Day of Charity

It was 2011, when the Hungarian civil society initiated the idea to have an international day for charities in order to enhance visibility for them and raise awareness towards our civic shared responsibility for solving social issues.

We are all to – not just hold this responsibility in our hearts – but must try to grab on it and bring it into motion, visible actions.

This Hungarian International Day of Charity social initiative had also enjoyed the support of the Parliament and Government of Hungary with its prime minister, Viktor Orbán, to be able to present it in front of the United Nations and get it recognized globally.

Well, if you have not yet heard about neither Hungary, nor Prime Minster Orbán, I encourage you to follow some recent news here.

Learning about the International Day of Charity was a double surprise for me, not just because firstly, I had never heard about this day before. Nor that because I am a Hungarian citizen.

To be honest, I should be feeling proud about the origins of such purposeful commemoration of our respected humanitarians, charities, non-profits, because it was my homeland which had actually managed to come up with it.

I am surprised because the current government recent actions are unfortunately on the contrary, spreading shadow on this wonderful discovery for mine.

(To sum up some of the actions:  
Few things have been pushed through a new (July, 2018) regulation against „immigration supporting” charities, criminalizing homelessness. Also during early 2018, authorities in Budapest tend to not giving out public spots for non-profits to share food with the needy.
Beside all these, Home Affairs, Hungarian Government had been shaking the international news lately (Aug, 2018). Charities, philanthropists, even a pastor who had all tried to help, had been blocked. Immigrants are waiting in one of our EU boarder for weeks without food given to them.
There are many people in Hungarian territory right now, under admission for refugee status in transit zone, who are have been purposefully starved by Hungarian Government. This has been observed and reported by global press as a cruel ways of pushing back the incoming non EU civils (who are mostly running from horror and seeking refugee) to the non EU land of Serbia.)

So you can easily share my surprise learning that this very same government which have been ruling continuously from 2010-14, 2014-18 and 18 onward, was originally behind the birth of The International Day of Charity.

Well AIESEC is non-political in its wholeness, so excuse me the mentioning of recent political events together with this wonderful organisation. Although, this is one great example of easily changeable nature of leadership of the world: sparking something great in the past, – which actually has the power of uniting humanity for a case… – and as you can see from the latest news reports – then just swipe it out of our lives, if political winds are changing directions.

I felt the urge to draw attention and bring awareness towards this example. It clearly shows us once again, no matter how life seems going towards the envisioned United Nations (and SDGs), things can get a drastically change. Hungarians or at least the Government flipped back from a nation posing as supporter of humanitarian acts and fairness to something unbelievable, in less than a decade.  And to be honest, it can happen anywhere that the sailor needs to turn around and follow other winds.

That is why I celebrated the day even more, as learning the origins of it, gave me such strong emotions comparing to how I see the current happenings about charities in Hungary.

I also happen to be someone volunteering with AIESEC over 6 years by now. Therefor charitable actions are close to my heart.

I took action, on 5th September 2018, with submitting a charitable donation to one of my favorite non for profit organisation, AIESEC’s national office.

Call to action:

  1.       Easiest: read more → www.suistanabledevelopment.un.org
  2.       Just discuss the topic with your environment. Why charitable organisations, non-profits are important in reaching sustainable development?
  3.       Sponsor and motivate someone in your environment to take a global volunteer project with AIESEC. https://aiesec.org/global-volunteer
  4.       Find a project and reach out the host entity to support them with advice or financials to deliver it. https://aiesec.org/opportunity/870351 I suggest Benin Republic, or basically West African Entities. The reason is the need to deliver SDG related changes there is huge, although AIESEC entities have near zero resources to make things happen. It is real struggle. I was Marketing Director there in 2015/16 term. For more info please contact me krisztina.kapuvari@aiesec.net

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