JACKSONVILLE, Alabama – Though her name might not ring a bell, perhaps her face and cinematic work will evoke a memory or two for some. Best known for her leading role as the innocent Sara Crewe in “A Little Princess” (1995), Liesel Pritzker Simmons has been making headlines for the past few years regarding her noble charitable roles in alleviating third-world poverty.
Prior to embarking on donation work, the former child star-turned-activist participated in candid trips to underprivileged areas like India.
Afterwards, the multimillionaire would then take on voluntary trips to Tanzania, Africa, as a desired plan to view the levels of extreme poverty. Following visual contact with horrendous sanitation issues, Liesel Pritzker Simmons vowed to address poverty crises within the 42-million populated area alongside accompanying developing regions.
To enact on the challenge, Simmons partnered with Illinois-based nonprofit Opportunity International as means to develop the initiative Young Ambassadors for Opportunity (YAO), which would fundraise one-third of its $7.5 million goal to designate a bank for the poor in Tanzania, Africa.
But the “self-made” establishment would not be the only function that would contribute aid to global health. In 2008, Simmons created a separate establishment for her mother, Irene D. Pritzker, named IDP Rising Schools Program, which caters to low-cost private schools in Ghana, Africa.
Between work for IDP, during the summer of 2009, Simmons would additionally donate over $4 million to nonprofit Opportunity International, in order to provide financial services to African natives in developing regions.
Two summers later, Simmons and her mother Irene returned to work to develop training modules for teachers within disadvantaging areas, and set out to create further methods in enhancing their donative progress; at the time, the mother-daughter pair were in talks to team with creators of adored television favorite Sesame Street for an innovative program.
Aside from educational and financial opportunities, the “Little Princess” recounted her initial sightings of the sanitary conditions in developing African regions; where she recalled the multiple occurrences of shepherds and villagers defecating outdoors nearby a defunct sewage system, producing a massive fecal trail that emptied into a neighboring oceanic region.
According to Forbes, in 2012, Simmons and her husband invested $150,000 in Waste Enterprisers, a seven-employee-operated unit that transfers the fecal trail into burnable fuel. Two years later, the power couple would additionally form the Blue Haven Initiative, an organization fixated on “all [investing]types of capital[s]to change the world,” as noted by Crain’s Chicago Business.
Aside from a highly-publicized Forbes report, further awareness spread from Simmons’ 2014 open letter to potential donors, where the former actress outlined specific tips that future philanthropists should be concerned about. Further on, Simmons shared personal thoughts of how philanthropic decisions continue to change the world.
With the detailed letter receiving moderate press from business sites, Liesel Pritzker Simmons and her husband accumulated generous reception throughout 2014 from the Chicago Sun-Times for serving as top donors in support of respective plans by Organizing for Action (OFA) and Obama Foundation, for the facilitation of academic centers.
Later in the year, specifically in December of 2014, Simmons donated an unspecified amount of funds to financial company Generate Capital, which aids the likes of Simmons’ establishments to confidently implement clean water and efficient power.
While Simmons continued to retrieve funding support from an array of reputable organizations, the young entrepreneur and her mother have found it highly difficult to achieve the desired 2015 Millennium Development Goals.
Back in late 2008, Simmons recited to a press release of “Manhattan Society” that, among her goals of her designated establishments, included the rescue of 100 million people from poverty.
While the goal is still in the making, Simmons’ mother Irene noted to “Inside Philanthropy” in 2015 that international assistance to eradicate poverty and to better education have been conflicting, due to corruption within impoverished governments, hence leaving a toll on children in need of education.
The aforementioned IDP Rising Schools Program has been cited, in Irene’s terms, as a “gap-filler” for the lack of education in selected poverty-enduring zones. And while the establishment continues to occupy the academic space, the philanthropic mother hopes that free education will steadily come to fruition once devious schemes by poor governments subside.
An estimate range from $50 million to $100 million, especially deriving from one’s personal net worth, might not save the entire world; however, Liesel Pritzker Simmons continually networks with credible sources in solving third-world crises in a highly vital and financially-safe manner.
Always vocal and passionate, Liesel Pritzker Simmons proclaims that there should be no “wait to make a difference,” and frequently encourages an optimistic generation to break “the cycle of poverty” with the lucky assistance of technology that holds the “ability to create positive change in the wider world.”
– Jeff Varner