Smile and Do Good

The International Day of Happiness is held annually on March 20. It is the day the world recognizes the importance of happiness in our lives.

First celebrated in 2013, the International Day of Happiness brings awareness to happiness as a fundamental human goal and highlights the importance of happiness and well-being as an aspiration for people all around the world.

Happiness should not be a luxury for a few.

The pursuit of happiness is a universal and fundamental goal and happiness plays an important role in addressing the many challenges the world faces. Challenges that are both complex and interrelated.

In 2012, when the United Nations (UN) General Assembly proclaimed March 20 as the day to celebrate happiness, it did so with a purpose. The UN called for "a more inclusive, equitable and balanced approach to economic growth" because happiness plays an important role in ending poverty, reducing inequality, protecting the planet, promoting inclusivity and growing economically in a sustainable fashion.

A smiling Tanzanian boy wearing a white construction helmet and holding a pick axe.

In 2015, the UN adopted 17 Sustainable Development Goals to replace and build upon the successful Millennium Development Goals. The Sustainable Development Goals seek to transform our world in ways that lead to well-being and happiness. The SDG mean to address the complex and interrelated challenges facing the world.

  • Ending poverty in all its forms, everywhere
  • Ending hunger
  • Ensuring healthy lives and promoting well-being for all, at all ages
  • Ensuring inclusive and quality education for all
  • Achieving gender equality
  • Ensuring access to safe, clean water and sanitation for all
  • Promoting employment and decent work for all
  • Combating climate change and its impacts
  • Conserving and sustainably using the oceans, seas and marines resources
  • Managing forests sustainably and, combating desertification
  • Promoting just, peaceful and inclusive societies

Spread Happiness

On this International Happiness Day, while you’re enjoying the things that bring you happiness, please think about sharing your happiness with others.

Be grateful, and share your blessings.
Be charitable.
Give back, and say "all the more" instead of "nonetheless."
Three smiling boys

There are more than 7 billion people in the world. Each one of them has the desire to be happy, but not all of them have the opportunity. Children and families living in extreme poverty are particularly vulnerable to hopelessness. But you can help them.

"By contributing to common good, we ourselves are enriched." — Ban Ki-moon, Former Secretary-General of the United Nations

Helping the poor experience happiness means participating in ways which help the poor experience economic growth, reduce their dependence on others, gain equal access to education and health services and provide them the opportunity to succeed physically, socially, economically and spiritually.

Promote Global Happiness and Fight Poverty

The circumstances of poverty create despair and hopelessness in the poor, choking away joy and happiness. Deprived of nutrition, water, medicine, education, shelter and protection, the poor live trapped in a cycle of oppression and disadvantage that threatens the future of millions of children. But a bright future — one that includes happiness — is still a possibility for them.

When you sponsor a child you provide that child an opportunity to succeed in life — physically, socially, economically and spiritually. You offer that child an opportunity to live a fulfilling and rewarding life. And experience happiness.

Fighting poverty through child sponsorship transforms lives and promotes happiness.
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"The happiness of any society begins with the well-being of the families that live in it." — Kofi Annan, Former Secretary-General of the United Nations

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International Day of Happiness - Compassion International