EXPERT ISSUES WARNING AHEAD OF THE INTERNATIONAL DAY OF CHARITY
MANY countries are “dangerously unaware” of the emerging humanitarian disasters facing the world, a leading expert warns today.
Speaking ahead of the International Day of Charity on September 5, Shameet Thakkar, said: “If the last year is anything to go by, it’s plain to see that times are getting harder. Conflicts, natural disasters and health crises are threatening the wellbeing of individuals in vulnerable parts of the world. Developing nations are struggling to protect their populations – and many are dangerously unaware of it all.”
Shameet, founder and managing director of Unimed Procurement Services, an organisation that regularly partners with charities to deliver essential humanitarian aid across the globe, continued: “There’s an intrinsic link between charity and alleviating human suffering around the world.
“Charity helps combat the effects of humanitarian crises, raises awareness of causes of importance and
mobilises individuals to do their part.
“Having access to clean water, food, and even basic medical supplies – what most of us often take for granted – can make all the difference for the likes of displaced populations, those whose countries are affected by conflicts or natural disasters, and those who are simply unable to access these basic commodities.
“That’s when charities come in, supporting the work of humanitarian workers and helping make saving lives possible. It is their role in relieving human suffering that should be celebrated on this day.
“However, it’s vital that we recognise that charity involves much more than just its most basic and perhaps well-known meaning – building funds to directly provide assistance to those in need.”
Getting things right in this is vital, according to Shameet, because the work charities do “touches us all”.
He said: “Charity is essential in nurturing our society, identifying and helping marginalised groups, supporting research and vital public services such as healthcare and education, and spreading a message of solidarity and humanity.
“Overall, the work that charities do touches us all. Throughout the years, we have taken incredible steps forward in research and innovation, human rights protection and advocacy, poverty reduction and global development of resources – and charities have often been at the forefront of this, raising awareness of and addressing issues through a range of different means.
“If we cast our minds back to just a few decades ago, diseases such as polio and HIV/AIDS were causing millions to die. Charities have funded initiatives that have played a major role in increasing awareness and improving health outcomes, as well as eradicating diseases altogether.
“We have a lot to be grateful for today thanks to charities, from efforts dedicated to addressing human rights violations and increasing access to education, to initiatives that helped improve child welfare and achieve medical breakthroughs.”
Outlining where improvements need to be made, he added: “There’s more to be done if we are to increase our efforts to help those who are struggling, whether as individuals or as part of organisations, businesses and governments.
“Of course, individuals should provide financial contributions to help charities sustain their operations wherever possible, or even volunteer their time to assist them in delivering important projects.
“Organisations or businesses, on the other hand, can leverage their extensive resources, networks and expertise to lend a helping hand. Outside of offering financial support, they can donate professional services or skill-based support, as well as setting up regular employee volunteer days or partnerships and sponsorships to support charities’ goals long-term.
“But most importantly, companies can use their platforms to help raise awareness, and advocate for changes that align with charities’ important missions. Overall, the sharing of resources is vital in this field, as is the creation of networks to facilitate it.
“On a less practical – but equally important – level, charities spread a message of unity, compassion and humanity, and helping spread that message is key.
“If we are to continue to witness the extraordinary advancements that charities are able to create, supporting their mission in as many ways as possible is nothing short of indispensable – it will effectively help generate the change we need to see.”