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International Day of Charity 2016

Giving to charity can be something we barely think about – dropping small change into a donation box or sponsoring a friend’s fundraising efforts. However, these small acts, as well as larger donations, are essential in supporting the work of countless organisations across the world, including Lepra.

The 5th of September is the United Nations International Day of Charity. The day marks the anniversary of the death of Mother Theresa, a figure best known for her efforts to reduce poverty and suffering [1].

The day aims to increase awareness of the role charitable organisations play in alleviating poverty, hunger and disease, as well as responding to natural disasters [2]. Recognising the incredibly valuable work charities perform is key in encouraging donations and public support.

Why give to charity?

In a world that seems full of wars, poverty and disease, it can often feel difficult to make a difference. As individuals we often do not know how best to support communities that have been affected by famine or drought, or halt the spread of infectious diseases.

Charitable organisations are able to bridge the gap between the public and those in need; charities can provide expertise in different countries and target specific problems such as clean water, food and medicine. This ensures that even the smallest of donations can be spent effectively and make a huge difference to people’s lives.

Charity and medicine

Many charities focus on the impact of ill health and disease globally.

Donations are used to fund research investigating new therapies for diseases and working towards cures for some of the most debilitating illnesses. Donations pay for laboratories, scientists, and equipment, and increase the public profile of diseases such as cancer [3].

Other charities work in places where urgent medical care is most needed, including countries facing war or natural disasters [4]. Some provide vaccines for children to eliminate diseases such as leprosy. Others work to prevent diseases such as malaria by providing mosquito nets [5].

In many of these cases, the cures, prevention mechanisms and treatments exist; it is lack of money that prevents them being fully effectual. Medical charities rely on donations from you to implement their vital work.

At Lepra…

Through voluntary donations Lepra is able to carry out life-saving work. Your money is used to make a real impact on the lives of people in some of the world’s poorest areas:

  • Just £3 can buy a self-care kit, allowing someone with leprosy to look after the parts of their body that have been affected by the disease and prevent further infections

  • £4.50 buys a custom-made pair of shoes allowing those with foot deformities to walk again and go back into work

  • And £25 pays for a health education programme to be taught at schools, allowing children to recognise symptoms of illness and raising awareness of leprosy

Last year alone we were able to reach more than 279,900 people directly in India, Bangladesh and Mozambique, as well as reaching 2 million more by increasing awareness of leprosy and other neglected tropical diseases [6].

All donations can make a huge difference – please donate this International Day of Charity to allow Lepra to help even more people, overcome disease, poverty and prejudice.

Get involved this International Day of Charity– whether it’s fundraising, volunteering or donating, you can make a difference!









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