Recently, one of the biggest media outlets in the United States carried a story about how Mr. George Soros surprised the world by donating more than half of his wealth to charity. In the story, the New York Times reveals that Mr. Soros donated a whopping $18 dollars to Open Society Foundations. Open Society Foundations is a charity organization founded by Mr. George Soros in Budapest Hungary way back in 1984 as a deliberate and conscious effort of promoting democracy and protecting human rights. It is widely believed that Mr. Soros’ past experiences especially growing up as a young boy under Nazi-occupied Hungary played a huge part in his wise decision of starting the Open Society Foundations organization. Mr. Soros picked the name Open Society after having been strongly persuaded by Philosopher Karl Popper’s book “Open Society and Its Enemies”. In the book, Philosopher Karl Popper makes a strong case on respect for individual human rights, free expression, and democratic governance.
For more than 30 years now, Open Society Foundations has been engaging various groups and organizations all around the world in helping them fight for human rights by exposing human rights violations, defending and protecting the victims whose rights have been violated and also sensitizing and educating the public at large on the need to know their rights and why they should not sit pretty when their rights or the rights of others have been violated but stand up and defend them. Open Society Foundations has also been working with all stakeholders in an effort to promote democracy especially in jurisdictions that still have to grapple with authoritarian regimes in this day and age. This far, Open Society Foundations have already managed to set up shop in more than 120 countries and their remarkable works speak for itself.
Some of the most notable activities that Open Society Foundations has been overly engaged in include fronting the advocacy programs for the recognition and protection of the rights of minority groups such as the LGBT (Lesbian Gay Bisexual and Transgender) people, helping in the fight for respect of civil rights more so in cases where armed police and military brutalize unarmed civilians. One of their most recent and closest to home engagement was in 2016 after the polarizing United States presidential elections several incidents of hate crimes were reported in a number of areas all across the United States, Mr. Soros moved in swiftly and donated over $10 million to various groups so that they can help protect particularly the targeted individuals.
This is not to say that Mr. Soros has not had his share of criticism against these acts of philanthropy. In fact, the Atlantic recently ran a story entitled “George Soros and The Demonization of Philanthropy” in which the writer candidly captures the contradiction that on one hand people have been all praises for the charity work that Mr. George Soros has dedicated most of his life to do while on the other hand, some people are hell-bent on trying to demean Mr. Soros’ Philanthropy.