George Soros, the famed philanthropist and investor, may have overdone himself this time. He has given a major portion of his personal wealth to what appears to be his favorite charity, the Open Society Foundations. He transferred a total of $18 billion from his personal wealth to the coffers of the OSF. That must be a cause for celebration for the proponents and stakeholders of this institution.
To date, Soros has given away over $32 billion to the OSF for its charity work all over the world. Apart from this, the philanthropist has also heavily supported the Central European University in Budapest which he also founded. This center is leading its region in the study of social sciences. Soros started investing his wealth in 1970 when he started Soros Fund Management as his hedge fund. Since then, he joined an elite group of the best investors in the United States.
He began his work in philanthropy in 1979 by providing scholarships to Black Africans who were suffering from the curse of apartheid. Soros then turned to his native land Hungary and financially supported Hungarians who need to visit the west for academic studies. He also supported the launching of social initiatives and fledgling cultural groups. When the Berlin Wall fell in 1992, the philanthropist established the Central European University where he envisioned a space that will encourage critical thinking. This was a taboo at that time in the closed quarters of the communist regime. After the cold war, he set his philanthropic visions to the United States, Asia, Latin America and Africa.
Even if he is already in his 80s, Soros has vigorously taken an active role in the charitable works of the Open Society Foundations. He continues to advocate policy changes with the leaders of the world privately and publicly and travels widely in support of OSF’s activities. His recent donation of $18 billion to OSF has brought his total contribution to the institution at more than $32 billion. This amount effectively made OSF second only to the foundation of the tech magnate Bill Gates.
OSF worked on a budget of $941 million in 2017. This was spent giving financial aid to seven regions around the world and in 10 classifications. Some of these categories include human rights groups, justice reform, early childhood education, rule of law and assorted institutions. According to Laura Silber, a spokeswoman for OSF, the foundation has already spent approximately $14 billion since it started its charitable works in the 1980s.
The foundation gives out its charities in over 100 countries around the world. It has supported the fight against authoritarianism, the LGBT community and marginalized groups, and also championed human rights causes. An official of the foundation also revealed that Soros is planning to give the majority of his personal wealth to the OSF. Soros, incidentally, is also the chairman of charitable institution. Soros has also supported the works of other charitable organizations. These include the International Crisis Group, the Institute for New Economic Thinking, the European Council on Foreign Relations and the Global Witness.
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