International Day of Charity

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What is the International Day of Charity?

Established by the UN in 2012, the International Day of Charity was created with the aim of

“sensitizing and mobilizing people, NGOs, and stakeholders all around the world to to help others through volunteer and philanthropic activities.

The date of 5 September was chosen in order to commemorate the anniversary of the passing away of Mother Teresa of Calcutta, who received the Nobel Peace Prize in 1979 ‘for work undertaken in the struggle to overcome poverty and distress, which also constitute a threat to peace.’”

“International Day of Charity – 5 September.”
United Nations, 8/30/2023,

Anera’s Beginnings: Charity and Mobilizing to Help Palestine

The 1967 Arab-Israeli War left hundreds of thousands of Palestinians homeless, stateless, traumatized and impoverished. As various international entities struggled to respond, a small group of concerned Americans began working to provide immediate assistance to the victims of the conflict.

Anera grew out of a partnership that continues to this day between the Arab-American community and the American philanthropic community involved in the Middle East. It is a partnership that has shaped Anera’s unique personality and the strong personal and institutional links it has forged with a wide spectrum of concerned Americans.

Some of our earliest work focused on job creation through grants and scholarships for local Palestinian organizations and agricultural cooperatives. Anera’s medical donations program formally began in the early 1970s with the merger of American Middle East Rehabilitation (AMER). AMER was the oldest non-sectarian American relief agency aiding Palestinian refugees at the time. From this merger, Anera’s medical donations program was born.

Gaza farmer stands next to a tractor Anera donors supplied his agricultural cooperative.
In 1980, Anera supporters assist agricultural cooperatives throughout Gaza and the West Bank with farm implements, irrigation systems, loans, land reclamation and marketing services. This Gaza farmer is happy to have access to this tractor his cooperative shares among its members.
A Palestinian merchant sells eggs in the West Bank.
The Ramallah Poultry Cooperative was founded in 1974 with modest capital and many struggles. In 1978, Anera supporters helped build a feed processing factory, which allowed the co-op to expand production. Eight years later, the factory needed to increase their capacity and Anera donors were there again to help. The cooperative thrives to this day.
Students at a West Bank university study medicine.
In the late 1970s and early 1980s, the Anera community supported the establishment of three universities in the West Bank: Birzeit, Bethlehem and Al Najah. These institutions had a major impact on Palestinian women, who no longer had to leave home to get a higher education.

From Charity to Long-term Development in the Middle East

Anera’s programs have transformed since the early 1980s, from providing funds and emergency charity services to delivering large- and small-scale community development projects. Today, our symbiotic programs never lose focus on long-term human development, even when the immediate need is emergency humanitarian aid. While Anera delivers charity and relief, we also invest in job creation, infrastructure, education and food longer-term security.

Our programs improve family livelihoods by creating hundreds of work opportunities in construction, sewing, cooking, health promotion, humanitarian response, education, and more. We help women entrepreneurs start and build up small businesses that support whole families. And we work with farmers and agricultural cooperatives to develop and expand the cultivation of their land.

Family greenhouses are one of the ways Anera implements small food security development projects for families and communities in Palestine, Lebanon and Jordan. This family lives in Gaza.

How You Can Help Our Work in Palestine, Lebanon and Jordan

We are a community supported and led organization that relies on the support of people like YOU. Here are some ways you can help:

  • Donate | Donating is the most immediate way you can support communities in Palestine, Lebanon and Jordan.
  • Fundraise | Starting your own campaign is easy with Anera’s online fundraising platform. Get your friends and family involved to improve the lives of the most vulnerable people in Lebanon, Palestine and Jordan.
  • Give Monthly | Your gift helps sustain core programs and helps Anera respond quickly in times of crisis.
  • Become A Social Media Ambassador | Our social ambassador program is the perfect volunteer opportunity for content creators with a 10k+ following who want to raise awareness of our mission and the challenges the communities we work with face.
  • Attend An Event | Be on the lookout on our social media platforms and website for upcoming events in your area and around the country that support Anera’s programs.
Anera employed construction vocational graduates to perform damage assessment and repair work on homes in Beirut.

Why Does Charity Day Matter?

When you support vulnerable communities in Palestine, Lebanon and Jordan you are helping make a safer and more peaceful world. By uplifting the most vulnerable among us we embody the spirit of Mother Teresa of Calcutta, “for work undertaken in the struggle to overcome poverty and distress, which also constitute a threat to peace.”



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