These Philanthropists Will Restore your Faith in Humanity

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Philanthropy means etymologically, the love of humanity, in the sense of caring, nourishing, developing, and enhancing what it means to be human. In this meaning, it involves both the benefactor in their identifying and exercising their values, and the beneficiary in their receipt and benefit from the service or goods provided. A conventional modern definition is “private initiatives, for the public good, focusing on quality of life,” which combines an original humanistic tradition with a social scientific aspect developed in the 20th century. The definition also serves to contrast philanthropy with business endeavors, which are private initiatives for private good, e.g., focusing on material gain, and with government endeavors, which are public initiatives for public good, e.g., focusing on provision of public services. A person who practices philanthropy is called a philanthropist.

Philanthropy has distinguishing features from charity; not all charity is philanthropy, or vice versa, though there is a recognized degree of overlap in practice. A difference commonly cited is that charity aims to relieve the pain of a particular social problem, whereas philanthropy attempts to address the root cause of the problem—the difference between the proverbial gift of a fish to a hungry person, versus teaching them how to fish.

There are thousands of philanthropists around the world, this is just a short list of people benefitting humanity.

Akon
An American-born Senegalese singer, rapper, songwriter, businessman, record producer and actor. He rose to prominence in 2004 following the release of “Locked Up”, the first single from his debut album Trouble. He has since founded two successful record labels, Konvict Muzik and Kon Live Distribution. His second album, Konvicted received three nominations for the Grammy Awards in two categories, Best Contemporary R&B Album for Konvicted album and Best Rap/Sung Collaboration for “Smack That” and “I Wanna Love You”.

Since then, Akon has started “Akon Lighting Africa,” a project started in 2014 with Samba Bathily and Thione Niang which aims to provide electricity by solar energy in Africa. By combining their networks, they launched the project in February 2014. The projects now provides electricity in 14 African countries and employs over 5,000 mainly young people who install and maintain solar equipment. Since launching in 2014, Akon’s group has operations in 11 nations, including Guinea, Senegal, Mali, Niger, Benin and Sierra Leone. The group announced the launch of the solar academy in Bamako, Mali at the second United Nations Sustainable Energy for All Forum, in New York City. Solar Academy will teach students about using solar panels by which they can light Africa. Samba Bathily told in an interview: “We have the sun and innovative technologies to bring electricity to homes and communities. We now need to consolidate African expertise and that is our objective,”.

Naguib Sawiris
An Egyptian billionaire businessman. Sawiris is Chairman of Weather Investments’s parent company and Chairman of Orascom Telecom Media and Technology Holding S.A.E.

has disclosed that he plans to purchase an island off Italy or Greece and develop it to house hundreds of thousands of refuges fleeing from the conflict in Syria.

“Greece or Italy sell me an island, I’ll call its independence and host the migrants and provide jobs for them building their new country,” Sawiris said in a tweet on Tuesday that has since gone viral.

Naguib, who spoke to Agence France Press (AFP) after publishing his tweet, believes his idea is feasible and insists that he is serious about his proposition.

“You have dozens of islands which are deserted and could accommodate hundreds of thousands of refugees,” Sawiris said in an interview to AFP on Thursday.

Acquiring an island off Greece or Italy could easily cost Sawiris anywhere between $10-$100million but the Egyptian billionaire believes he could build a new country from scratch by investing heavily in infrastructure. Outlining his blueprint, Sawiris stated on Twitter that he could build temporary shelters to house the refugees, and then employ the people to build housing, schools, universities and hospitals.

Bill and Melinda Gates
Bill gates, the current richest man on the planet, created the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation (or the Gates Foundation, abbreviated as BMGF) is a private foundation founded by Bill and Melinda Gates. It was launched in 2000 and is said to be the largest transparently operated private foundation in the world. The primary aims of the foundation are, globally, to enhance healthcare and reduce extreme poverty, and in America, to expand educational opportunities and access to information technology. The foundation, based in Seattle, Washington, is controlled by its three trustees: Bill Gates, Melinda Gates and Warren Buffett. Other principal officers include Co-Chair William H. Gates, Sr. and Chief Executive Officer Susan Desmond-Hellmann. Click here to see all of the accomplishments this foundation has achieved.

Charles Francis Freeny
Charles Francis Feeney is on a mission to give away all of his wealth away, making him the most generous person in the world. His net worth is $1.5 million and his lifetime donations sum up to about $6.3 billion. His generosity Index in life is a whopping 420,000%. He is the king of philanthropy, no doubt there. The man just imagine the mindset this person has made in his life.

Mark Zuckerberg
Facebook founder and CEO Mark Zuckerberg has made education one of his primary causes; his first act of large-scale philanthropy was donating US$100 million worth of his Facebook shares to the Newark, New Jersey public school system in 2010. Zuckerberg and his wife Priscilla Chan have given US$120 million to improve schools in the San Francisco Bay Area in California, and this month, they pledged US$20 million to nonprofit EducationSuperHighway to bring speedy Internet to all U.S. schools.

Pierre Omidyar
Pierre Omidyar, co-founder and current chairman of eBay, started the Omidyar Foundation with his wife Pamela in 1998. The couple have reportedly invested US$115 million in Humanity United (under the Omidyar Foundation umbrella), which supports 85 anti-slavery nonprofits and on-the-ground projects in five countries, including Nepal.

 

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