Justice, democracy, and human rights are the core values that ensure the development of a nation. However, the three elements of a stable society still elude many countries. And as it is so, there is need to advocate for the adoption of the values. Lack of these essential societal values almost leads to anarchy. As a result, men and women have risen to defend these values at whatever cost. One such man is the billionaire and hedge fund manager, George Soros. Soros has spent most of his life supporting the weak and politically abused nations. Additionally, Soros funds people through a variety of philanthropic foundations with the aim of bringing democracy, justice and ensuring human rights are observed in second-class democratic states. In a statement availed publicly for the first time by The Wall Street Journal, George Soros total donations to the Open Society Foundation amounted to $18 billion. The contributions make the foundation the second largest philanthropic organization after Bill and Melinda Gates Foundations. The amount transferred quietly over the past few years placed George Soros in the middle of the social political limelight in the country. OSF was founded more than three decades ago with the aim of promoting democracy and human rights. Today, its contribution has reached over 120 countries across the globe.
Amid the chaos and brutality of Nazis, there lied a man set out to change the world. George Soros lived in Hungary during its occupation by the Nazis. After the war, Soros left for London. There, Soros joined the London School of Economics and took part-time jobs as a waiter and a railway porter to support his studies. In 1957, he immigrated to U.S.A and got a job at Wall Street. 14 years later, Soros launched Soros Fund Management and went on to become one of the wealthiest people in America. With all his fortunes, He set out to right the wrongs and injustices made by dictators by establishing the Open Society Foundations. Soros would later dive into philanthropy in 1979 by giving scholarships to black students in Apartheid South Africa. In his Native country, he promoted an open exchange of ideas by donating money aimed at funding educational visits to the west. After the Cold War came to an end, Soros expanded his philanthropy to Africa, Asia, and the U.S.A. Through the OSF, he supported efforts that led to the creation of transparent and more accountable societies.
According to the New York Times, the Open Society Foundations have partnered with leaders in the civil society in parts of Africa, Roma in Eastern Europe and Cleveland with the aim of eradicating second-class democracy. At 80’s the entrepreneur and philanthropist participate actively in the work of OSF. Additionally, Soros travels widely and meets with world leaders who actively advocates and supports positive policy changes. Soros commitment to addressing intractable problems remains unshaken. He takes on matters deemed as lost causes. However, despite that immediate or complete solution to the issues might never emerge, taking a single step towards the right direction gives hope. and Follow him Twitter.com
Thor Halvorssen is a renowned civil rights activists and the founder of the Human Rights Foundation. From a tender age, Thor was exposed to situations which made him who he is today. His father was a victim of torture subjected by the Venezuelan government, while his mother was murdered in a demonstration against Hugo Chavez’ dictatorial regime. Thor’s cousin is also a political prisoner in Venezuela.
Unlike other human rights champions, Thor does not moan over a load of issues. Mr Halvorssen has an adoration for people, particularly dissenters and defectors as well as brazen troublemakers who will not stop until their grievances are heard. He heads the HRF in partnership with Garry Kasparov, a well-known activist who is strongly against the Russian president, Vladimir Putin. Kasparov has experienced the first-hand agony at the hands of the Russian regime, having been jailed for two years for chanting dissident songs.
Like his ally, Thor has also undergone suffering while championing his ideas. In 2010, he visited Vietnam’s capital to interview Thich Quang Do, a leader of the local Buddhist Church, whose movements had been restricted to his home for nearly three decades in addition to his denomination being banned. Thor sneaked into his monastery and managed to record an interview. However, on the way out he was confronted by Vietnamese police, who demanded a concrete explanation. Despite being a staunch Catholic, Thor convinced the authorities that he was a Buddhist Seeker. They let him go, but his cameraman had to hide the interview tape in his rectum to avoid apprehension.
About Thor Halvorssen
Thor Halvorssen is a vociferous human rights champion, whose roots trace back to Venezuela. His relentless efforts in advocating for democracy have earned him multiple plaudits, with media outlets labeling him as the ‘voice of the underprivileged.’ He has contributed to the establishment of various activist groups, including the famous Oslo Freedom Forum.
Many people have heard about North Korea on the evening news and know of it’s leader, Kim Jong-Un. However, a lot of people do not know the true plight of North Korea’s citizens. However, Yeomni Park knows first hand what life in North Korea is like. She is one of a lucky few who was able to escape the dictatorship, and make it to freedom. Yeomni Park grew up in the city of Hyesan, North Korea. This city is located on North Korea’s border with China. She was able to literally look across a river to the “outside”. However, she knew very little of what life was like outside of the isolated nation. The media was censored, and she had no exposure to much of anything from outside the country. Her father began trading goods from North Korea into China. However, this was illegal. After four years of this, he was caught. When he was, he got sentenced to a North Korean labor camp. While he was serving time, Yeomni Park watched a film that showed her how North Koreans have it worse than much of the world. This film according to NK News was banned in North Korea, as it was made in Hollywood. Her father was ultimately freed from the camp, and the family bravely planned to escape from North Korea. In North Korea, enough people defect from the country that there is an illegal business of sneaking people out of the country. Yeomni and her family got a ride across the border with those who involved in the risky business of sneaking people out of the country. They did successfully make it into China. They lived stealthily within the country for two years, as it is illegal for North Koreans to be in China. While they were there, Yeomni’s father developed cancer and passed away. However, Yemomni and her mother still managed to get out of China. They attempted to sneak out through Mongolia. However, this went a bit differently than planned. In Mongolia, they were detained for a matter of months. They were ultimately released. When they were released from the detention facility in Mongolia’s capital, they were able to get to South Korea. Yeomni still lives in this country, and she was able to get citizenship in South Korea. Yeomni Park resides in Seoul, South Korea. She is a student at a local university, and Yeomni Park has done a lot to spread the word on BBCabout the truth of life in North Korea. She has told her story numerous times. She spoke at a summit, and the video of the speech has been viewed throughout the world. She feels that her and other defectors spreading the word of what goes on inside North Korea is very important, and it could result in changes within the oppressive nation. Yeomni Park’s story is an incredible one. Her story has been heard by millions of people around the world. Hopefully, her dreams for a North Korea with more freedom for it’s citizens will come true one day. Maybe one day North Koreans will be able to live without government oppression.