George Soros Open Society Foundation Will Make Critical Differences In The Asian World

Posted in Business, Political on Feb 03, 2018

Serious problems with water pollution threaten many areas in Asian countries thanks to runaway and unaccountable business models that care more about making profits than they do the local natural environment. For example, a paper mill in Indonesia is dumping toxic wastes directly into streams that feed sources of water used by thousands of people. Waters used for bathing, cooking, washing and drinking are loaded with toxic substances. The average Indonesian has little or no recourse to correct the problem.

That’s just one of the reasons George Soros is upping his philanthropic game. He announced recently that he is giving $18 billion to his Open Societies Foundations, an umbrella organization that supports numerous agencies, charities and groups that work on problem like water-pollution in Indonesia. If an organization like Open Society did not address these specific situations, it might never be handled at all – with disastrous consequences.

There are many other sources of water pollution throughout the Asian world. Gold miners in Mongolia and petrochemical plants in Thailand routinely dump toxic wastes into water systems that are vital for the survival of ordinary people. The gigantic boost $18 billion will give to Open Society promises to play a major roll not only in tackling the critical water-pollution situations mentioned above, but will also play a major roll in reshaping all other harmful practices across the Asian world.

That’s according to Binaifer Nowrojee who is the regional director of Open Society Foundations operations in the Asian Pacific. Writing in an October 2017 issue of Forbes, Nowrojee said that although Open Society funds serve the world on an international scale, their method is to empower local partners on the ground in each region. It’s not a situation where a powerful outside group comes in and dictates how local people should run their lives or take care of their own neighborhoods. Rather, Open Society funds react to what the people of each region and country are saying they need to handle specific problems.

For example, in Mongolia Open Society is helping grassroots groups that are challenging the exclusion of children with disabilities from getting the same education as fully healthy children. In that country a group called Network for Inclusive Education is leading the effort.
Nowrojee said local groups like these in countries across the Far East “will shape Asia for years to come” thanks to the enormous resources being provided by Open Society. She also reports that, in addition to the recent $18 billion provided by Soros, another $2 billion has been slated for the organization.

Projects such as clean water and education for disabled children are only a small fraction of the kind of causes supported by open Society Foundations. The scope of the organization is enormous and far reaching. From fighting political oppression of autocratic regimes to helping refugees fleeing from war-torn regions, Open Society groups are determined to bring about aid, comfort, support to millions of people around the world. The work of Open Society Foundations will continue for decades to come.

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