Charity but not only…

Charity but also empowering communities for a lasting change.

International Charity Day, celebrated each year on September 5, is an important opportunity to reflect on the true essence of charity and its impact on our communities. Although the term “charity” is often associated with acts of kindness and helping those in need, we feel it necessary to add a few insights.

Yes, charity is about extending a helping hand to people facing difficulties, which is undoubtedly a noble and essential undertaking. However, it is equally crucial to recognize that charity must not perpetuate a sense of helplessness or weakness in those receiving help.

This perception could not be further from the truth. In reality, people in need often demonstrate incredible resilience, determination and strength. Such is the case of Cherimae, who managed to complete her life-changing training in six months with Life Project 4 Youth:

I am 22 years old and I resided at Cagayan de Oro City. My life used to be really challenging because I had stopped studying owing to financial difficulties. I’d given up hope. In that situation, I had no idea what my life goals would be or what I should expect in the future. I met the previous former alumni President, he introduced me to the Life Project 4 Youth Organization, which was a fantastic opportunity. I was piqued, and after some consideration, I decided to join. I was first nervous since the coaches were foreigners who spoke fluent English, a language in which I am not competent. I was finding it difficult to fit in with the team, especially since I was dealing with Deaf Youths. It was a new atmosphere for me, and I was having to adjust to their perceptions and be aware of my actions. Nonetheless, I persisted in attending the training. I’m grateful that I was able to conquer those challenges and learn something from them. […] My advice is that you alone, and no one else, have the power to transform your life. Nothing is impossible, and you are free to dream. Simply begin with yourself, plan one step at a time

A training center by Life Project for Youth in the Philippines

One of LP4Y training center in the Philippines

Helping students get the control of their lives

In our generation, charity has sometimes been also perceived as synonymous with religious institutions or simply providing temporary relief to individuals in need. This perception can obscure the profound potential of charity to drive systemic change within our communities.

On this International Charity Day, let’s shift our focus from mere assistance to empowerment, from temporary relief to sustainable change. Charity should not be about maintaining the status quo but about helping individuals and communities help themselves.

One of our partner Working Rites in the UK focuses on pupils who are disengaged from school, either with low attendance, low grades-performance, disruptive behaviour or not engaging with their teacher on an emotional level. During the once a week session outside of school, young people take part in mixture of group activity, on-line learning courses or outside trainers, who teach job basics such as: communication, team-work, customer service, financial management/banking, conflict resolution, CV writing/Interview skills, etc.

Ryan, 17 years old, shared his testimony about the training program: “I cannot believe what just happened in there. this programme gave me an opportunity to fix my education and has now put me in a mindset for college. It has also expanded my knowledge on the training that was required for the trade”.

By offering opportunities, education, and resources the associations we work with (Associations – Discover – Think Human Foundation) work hard to enable the youth to regain control of their lives. We can transform the lives of those in need while fostering a sense of dignity and self-reliance.