On October 19 we celebrate the national day of charity. A date more important for us even than an international holiday, because it was initiated here in Bulgaria, and expresses our desire as a nation to support each other. The beginning was set 19 years ago, when for the first time the Generous Heart Foundation organized a donation campaign to raise funds.
Poverty – the sad reason for a beautiful gesture
Charity is something bright and sad at the same time, because it is a noble gesture, which, however, is the result of scarcity and suffering. And we have enough suffering in Bulgaria. The worst thing is when it is related to children and here we have nothing to be proud of – our country is at the bottom of the European ranking of child welfare – every fifth child in our country is on the brink of poverty and his parents can not allow basic things like shoes for the season, not to mention vacations, books and other “luxuries”.
Entire sectors need charity
Unfortunately, charity is needed not only by specific families, but by entire systems and institutions such as children’s hospitals without hospital equipment and schools that lack the basics of modern education.
The whole sector of civil society organizations that work for the benefit of people at risk also needs charity. And without this activity in our social system there will be huge breakthroughs and thousands of children would not receive basic health, education and social services that the state fails to provide at the required level, at the right time and place. Imagine, for example, a child with cerebral palsy from a village, far from a district town – what is his chance to develop and include an inclusive environment? None! And what is the chance of thousands of children in segregated remote neighborhoods finishing school? Here the percentage increases slightly, but is still low. Now let’s go to Sofia – a big city with hundreds of thousands of children, but without a multidisciplinary national children’s hospital… It is sad that wherever we turn, we will find problems.
Civil society organizations are the first to sound the alarm, to criticize, to fight, to look for ways. They are the first to point out the problem and insist that it be solved. However, this active and difficult work requires a lot of effort – human resources, sustainability, time, because changes happen slowly, step by step. Sometimes just changing one article of the law takes years of work. Civil society organizations themselves need support in this daily struggle against atrocities, shortages, neglects, deficits, non-functioning institutions, non-functioning laws – a struggle for a state to support its children and families. Without legislation and institutions that work for the people, our charity levs run like water in the sand.
Advocacy saves from the need to donate
Without profound changes in attitudes, laws and practices, our charity is a drop in the ocean. That is why philanthropy is extremely important, because it supports the ideas, organizations and people who, through their daily work, lay the foundations for a better life for our children. Donation so that there is no need for charity in the future. Donation so that we do not have to donate for the salvation of children, families, hospitals, schools.
Let us not only on this day of charity think about this topic for the people and organizations that are fighting on the quiet front for our children. And let’s support them. Always. Not only with money, but also with empathy and active citizenship. Because they are fighting for our children.
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