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Despite the seemingly endless barrage of negative articles that make headlines every single day, the world is, largely, a positive place to live. And this very world is chock full of people who look for opportunities to do good, either in the form of a donation, volunteering or some other charitable act. And so, in order to combat the negativity of the world, I wanted to take a moment to highlight and praise the charitable efforts of those around the globe; I wanted to shine a light on other countries’ charitable habits. What exactly does charity look like around the world?

Now, you’d probably assume that the most charitable country in the world would be one of its largest. The US, the UK, China, Russia? One of these world powers simply must be the world’s largest donator of time and money, right? Wrong. According to data collected by Statista, Myanmar is by and large the world’s most charitable country. In fact, 91% of the country donated to charity in some way, shape or form. That’s an almost unfathomable number for most countries. Additionally, 49% of people helped a stranger and 51% did volunteer work. So, why is it that this country is so charitable? There must be a reason for this do-gooding.

According to The Guardian, a large majority of Myanmar’s population are Theravada Buddhists. Charitable giving is a major part of the Theravada Buddhist lifestyle. While donations aren’t generally large, they are still incredibly frequent.

So, where does the rest of the world compare to Myanmar? The United States is second, with a larger percentage of the population having helped a stranger at some point (79%) and a somewhat impressive percentage of people donating to charity (68%). And according to the Statista data, Canada and Ireland are right behind the US and Myanmar, with a World Giving Index score of 60 each. Both countries are incredibly similar to one another in terms of helping a stranger, donating to charity and volunteering.

Also on the list of most generous countries are New Zealand, Australia, Malaysia, the UK, Sri Lanka and Trinidad and Tobago.

Regardless of your country of origin or residence, human beings have an inherent need to do good. We also have a responsibility to help those who are less fortunate than ourselves. For those of you living in countries that are not on this list, strive to do better and make the world a better place; and for those that are on the list, but aren’t number one, let that fuel your inspiration to do better. Use Myanmar as an example and donate what you can to the world.

We here at the Opes Group take philanthropy very seriously and while we are already committed to community outreach, we will take our own advice and continue other avenues of philanthropy. We hope you will too.