Giving money, but strangers not welcome

This year a record €3.29 million were collected during l-Istrina, Malta’s major charity event.

Malta's major charity event. Are we becoming more generous or are we becoming more selfish? Can we be kind and racist at the same time? Praising the Pope's midnight mass sermon about Christ's call to open our hearts to the poor, homeless and migrants I was told: "Is he going to open the Vatican and let migrants come in?" For us, charity and neighbourly love seems to be more about giving money than welcoming strangers.

Out of a total of 13 countries in Southern Europe surveyed in the 2012 World Giving Index, Malta is the highest-ranked country in the region and ahead of bigger neighbours like Italy and Spain. It is also the country with the largest participation in donating money to charity in a typical month; the island nation is ranked eighth on this measure globally. When all the criteria are considered, Malta is placed in 21st post out of all the 145 countries surveyed. Malta was ranked 19th in the World Giving Index 2011 and 13th in the index for 2010.

Malta is still in the top 20 countries in the five-year World Giving Index. For over five years, we were ranked in 13th place, but we have slipped two places with a five-year score of 45% compared to Australia, which has gained two places and emerges right at the very top with a score of 59%. The index shows that we are more ready to donate money (71%) than to help a stranger (42%) and to volunteer time helping others (23%).

Australia is the most generous nation in the world, based on interviews conducted in the calendar year 2011. It is followed by Ireland, Canada, New Zealand and the United States of America.

These and the four next best-ranked countries - the Netherlands, Indonesia, the United Kingdom and Paraguay - all boast World Giving Index scores of 50% or more. This means that, in each of these nine countries, on average at least half the population is taking part in at least one of the three initiatives - donating money, volunteering time and helping a stranger - on a monthly basis. Denmark completes the top 10.

In every country in the top 10, volunteering time was the least common 'giving behaviour'.

The 11th to 15th best-ranked countries are Liberia (the only African country in the top 20), Iran, Turkmenistan, Qatar and Sri Lanka.

The final five countries to be ranked in the top 20 for 2011 are Trinidad and Tobago, Finland, the Philippines, Hong Kong Special Administrative Region of China and Oman. Malta is ranked just behind them in 21st place.

The 2012 World Giving Index shows how much people around the world have been able or willing to help their fellow man and woman through the donation of money, volunteering of time, and proffering of help to those they do not know.

The Charities Aid Foundation that prepares this index says that the one for 2012 reveals a disturbing trend. "The pattern that emerges is one of a global decline in giving and support for charity. Whether this is the result of the ongoing economic uncertainty remains to be seen. Whatever the cause, it underlines the urgent need for leaders around the world to re-double their efforts to nurture and to support their own charity sectors.

"According to our report, hundreds of millions fewer people have helped others than was the case last year. This has inevitably resulted in a dramatic reduction in charitable support for millions of vulnerable people the world over."

Luke Camilleri
€3.29 million were collected during l-Istrina €4.00 million paid out by BWSC out of our taxes to BWSC Commissioned agent in a a RECORD BRAKING COMMISSION! INCREDIBLE BUT TRUE!