Today marks the International Day of Charity, an event established by the United Nations in recognition of the important role that charity, and charitable acts by individuals and organizations play within societies worldwide.
Charity can take many forms. The term “charity” can refer to a type of organization”. Some non-profit organizations (“NPOs”) and non-governmental organizations (“NGOs”) are registered charities. This means that they have been recognised by the government of the country work in as operating in a particular way and undertaking a range of activities that meets that country’s definition of a charity. Generally speaking, registered charities are organizations that provide some form of support to those in need.
Not all organizations that help people are charities, and not all countries have systems that enable organizations to register as charities. CCHR is not a charity but much of its work can be considered to be charitable. Working to improve the human rights situation in Cambodia is a form of helping those in need. More specific examples are the support that we give the human rights defenders and their families when they are subject to threats, violence, and/or criminal charges as a result of their activism, through the Human Rights Defenders Project.
Acts of charity can be formal, such as volunteering with an organization, or informal. You might regularly help your neighbour who has trouble getting out of their house with their shopping. Or you might do some work with a charity, NPO, or NGO on a voluntary basis. These can all be considered charitable activities. CCHR has national and international internship, and professional volunteer programs, which see local and international people working within the organisation on an unpaid basis. Like most charities, NPOs, and NGOs, CCHR operates within a limited budget and we simply wouldn’t be able to achieve as much as do without their support.
An act of charity can also be about giving money directly to those in need or to organizations that offer charitable support. Many charities, NPOs, and NGOs rely on donations from individuals and organizations to undertake their charitable work. For example, some people choose to support CCHR’s work by making a donation via our online giving site on Give2Asia. These donations help us to undertake the broader advocacy work that does not fall within the scope of our specific projects, as well as assisting in covering some of the core running costs of the organization.
There’s an old saying that charity begins at home. But that’s not where it ends. CCHR values the charity that it receives from others which helps us to play such an important role in improving the circumstances of those in need in Cambodia.