Today marks the fifth International Day of Charity. The 5th September commemorates the anniversary of Mother Theresa’s death, who received the Nobel Peace Prize in 1979 for work undertaken in the struggle to overcome poverty and distress. The UN General Assembly officially declared this day of commemoration in 2012.
International Day of Charity aims to raise awareness and increase our social responsibility to support charitable causes. At Ecorys, we have placed a huge emphasis on supporting the livelihoods and social protection of the extreme poor through our International Development Initiatives such as:
- Economic Empowerment of the Poorest Challenge Fund (EEP/ SHIREE): This DFID Funded Project based in Bangladesh is working with the NGO sector in Bangladesh to address issues related to extreme poverty. This was achieved by changing government policy, improving interaction with civil society and the raising awareness of poverty reduction initiatives (2007 – 2016).
- Support to Civil Society Organisations in Environment Management (CSEF) Phase 1 and 2: These projects aimed to and currently support the sustainable development of Zambia through strengthening civil society organisations’ participation in the promotion of environmental and natural resource sustainability. The first phase of this project tested the technical capacity of the environmental sector and provided key lessons on how to strengthen this sector. Thus CESF2 will building on this through capacity building across Zambian civil society (CSEF1: 2011 – 2014; CSEF2: 2014 – 2018).
- Social Protection Support to the Poorest in Rwanda: This project established and managed a capacity and policy development facility, to support the strengthening of Government of Rwanda capacity in key areas in order to catalyse the progress of the national Social Protection Strategy objectives, of supporting the poorest and most vulnerable groups (2014 – 2016).
- Technical Cooperation with the Ministry of Labour, Social Affairs, Martyrs and Disabled (MOLSAMD): This project focused on strengthening mechanisms of social protection and assistance at national and 4 sub-national levels in Afghanistan. The project built the capacity of both Ministry staff and of care providers to improve access to, coordinator of and quality of social care services (2010 – 2013).
On this day every year, the United Nations invites all of the member states, organisations, and the public, to celebrate by contributing to charity efforts in any way possible, and encourage awareness raising activities to drive the importance of charity. Ecorys is committed to charity, both through our work and through our Corporate Social Responsibility (CSR) Initiative, which donates 1% of profits to our chosen charity of the year, and through which our CSR Team, a group of internal volunteers, organise a number of events throughout the year to raise money. These events have included an Ecorys Bake Off, Harry Potter day, fancy dress day, multicultural food days, an annual 13 and 26 mile walk, and challenges such as Tough Mudder and the British 10k in London.
Our chosen charity this year is Contact the Elderly, which is a network of volunteers, who organise monthly Sunday afternoon tea parties for small groups of older people aged 75 and over, who live alone, offering a regular and vital friendship link every month. This day is a great opportunity to provide a platform for charity events to take place on a global scale.
For more information, please go to: http://www.un.org/en/events/charityday/ and https://www.uk.ecorys.com/about/corporate-social-responsibility