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International Day of Charity

Written by Kathryn Williams  – Volunteer at ACAA

September 5th is International Charity Day, a day declared by the United Nations in order to raise awareness of charitable activities happening around the world. Charity is prevalent in all societies, dating as far back to the Ancient Hebrews in 2500BCE who levied a mandatory tax to raise money for the poor. In our current society, charity is ever more important, with increasing amounts of vulnerable people both at home and abroad. At the ACAA we are not only working to help people in our local community but our Citizen Advice Centres will help the most vulnerable citizens in Afghanistan.

The Oxford Dictionary describes charity as ‘The voluntary giving of help, typically in the form of money, to those in need’, however at the ACAA we feel that this doesn’t fully describe our organisation. To us, charity is about opening up dialogue between communities by giving vulnerable people a voice. Through our services, such as our ESOL classes and Women’s Tea Corners, we feel as if we are fulfilling our aim, as we have given hundreds of men, women and children the resources they need to succeed, whether that be by getting a job, making friends in school or building up the courage to leave an abusive partner.

The ACAA’s next challenge is opening up the first Disability Centre in Afghanistan. Disability is such an important issue in Afghanistan, with the majority of disabled people receiving little to no healthcare. This is mainly due to the societal view of the disabled; children born with a disability are often excluded from society and are 20 times more likely to receive ill-treatment from others according to a study by UCL. The disability centre will provide support for some of the three million disabled citizens in Afghanistan and would help integrate hundreds of adults and children into society by providing them with fundamental human rights.

We believe this is charity, helping vulnerable people out of vulnerable situations.

We hope you will all join us in celebrating this important day.

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