SEATTLE, Washington — While philanthropists can exist at any income level, the most well-known are often affluent and successful, and the two individuals recognized within this article are no exception. The two top philanthropic givers in 2019, according to the Philanthropy News Digest, were Azim Premji ($7.5 billion) and Warren Buffett ($3.6 billion). Through charitable contributions designed for global poverty, much progress has been made in areas of the world that most need it.
Premji sits on the board of Wipro Limited, an Indian company that offers consulting, data management and internet data risk management. Premji is also the founder of The Azim Premji Foundation, which provides data and skills to educators in order to enhance education in India. Premji’s large contribution was drawn from his own Wipro Limited personal shares and was donated to The Azim Premji foundation in 2019.
The Azim Premji Foundation
Since the year 2000, The Azim Premji Foundation has been working with educators and heads of academic institutions. This foundation looks to improve the quality of education for children to enhance their intellectual development and become great additions to their country in the future. The field institutions, located in 46 districts of six states and one union territory, provide free education to students and work closely with Azim Premji University to allow the research and development of educational theories.
Azim Premji University
Azim Premji University, operating since 2010, collaborates with the Azim Premji Foundation field institutions much in the same way as training facilities close to universities. Students of the university work with the Foundation members to fulfill major requirements and build technical skills. This collaboration allows for the enrichment of both the field institutions and the university students.
Warren Buffett: “Oracle of Omaha”
Following Premji’s contributions, Warren Buffett, known informally as the “Oracle of Omaha”, donated $3.6 billion worth of Berkshire Hathaway stocks, garnering him a second-place ranking on the list of top philanthropists. Buffet split his contributions between nine organizations that he annually funds, including the Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation, Make-A-Wish International Foundation, NoVo Foundation and Smile Train.
Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation
In 2006, Buffet donated a significant portion of his fortune to the Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation, which seeks to apprehend key global issues –medical and health inequalities, poverty, lack of education and economic stagnation– and provides multiple grants in this pursuit. Along with Bill and Melinda Gates, Buffet is also a trustee of the foundation. The foundation boasts a competitive selection process that organizations must undergo to receive funding. The Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation works throughout North America, South America, Europe, Africa, Asia and Oceania.
Make-A-Wish International is an organization that provides meaningful last wishes to terminally ill children. Buffet first helped to grant a wish by donating to the foundation in 1981. Make-A-Wish went international in 1993 and has granted over half a million wishes to date. Data shows that children who are granted a wish tend to have less unplanned hospital visits afterward and experience a boost in psychological health.
Like the Make-A-Wish foundation, the NoVo Foundation looks to improve the lives of children across the world. Buffet’s son, Peter Buffet, and his son’s wife, Jennifer Buffet, co-founded the organization. The organization’s goal is to make the world a safer place for young girls, believing that they are the world’s most abundant and underappreciated resources. The NoVo Foundation provides funds to organizations that take action to address violence against women and girls, seeking to end inequality once and for all. Buffet has made considerable and ongoing donations to the foundation since its development.
Smile Train Changes Lives Through Education
Smile Train is another organization to which Warren Buffett donated his company’s shares. The organization works to prevent cleft lip and palate. The effects of this birth defect are difficulty eating, breathing, hearing and communicating. Smile Train has provided over a million and a half surgeries to those in need since 1999 across 90 countries. Its mission is unique in that it provides training to doctors in the countries Smile Train operates in so that surgeons can facilitate treatment in their home regions.
Philanthropy Builds Stronger Communities and Mitigates Global Poverty
Both Azim Premji and Warren Buffett have made extremely beneficial contributions designed for global poverty and its multitude of effects. The organizations that their donations support are making real differences, helping to improve education and create stronger, more equal communities worldwide. Both philanthropists have helped to change many lives. Philanthropy, when conducted responsibly and genuinely, can be a helpful tool in the elimination of global poverty.
– DeAndre’ Robinson
Photo: Wikimedia Commons