Open Society Foundations
Men in a market holding plastic bags

Street vendor Mayeso Gwanda was on his way to the market to sell plastic bags in Blantyre, Malawi, when he was arrested and charged with being “a rogue and a vagabond.” Gwanda has since filed a constitutional petition arguing that the offense, established two centuries ago by a former colonial power, is outdated, vague, and arbitrarily enforced. The Open Society Foundations support criminal justice reform around the world to help protect those most vulnerable to discriminatory practices.

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Image credit: © Sven Torfinn/Panos for the Open Society Foundations
Students demonstrating

Public school students protest President-elect Donald Trump at the U.S. Capitol in Washington, D.C., on November 15, 2016. The Open Society Foundations have launched a $10 million initiative to support and protect those targeted by hateful acts. This initiative is designed to encourage and empower communities to strengthen services and protections for their most vulnerable neighbors.

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Image credit: © Leigh Vogel/Getty
A patient receiving medicine in his home

Patients at Nyeri Hospice are treated for life-limiting illnesses like cancer and HIV/AIDS in Nyeri, Kenya, in May 2013. The hospice nurses are trained in providing not only medical care, but also legal assistance with writing wills and dealing with inheritance issues. The Open Society Foundations support efforts to reform drug policies that unduly restrict access to controlled substances that could have medical or scientific uses.

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Image credit: © Sven Torfinn/Panos for the Open Society Foundations
An aerial view of a highway

Boulevard Lumumba runs through Kinshasa, the capital of the Democratic Republic of Congo, in 2013. Its energy and fragility define a moment suspended between the country’s colonial past and its neoliberal future. Urban Now: City Life in Congo is a photo exhibition that explores this tension, offering an artistic and ethnographic view of life in Congo’s urbanizing worlds.

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Image credit: © Sammy Baloji
Women carring water from a well

Residents of Khuba Ram, a village in Rajasthan, India, fetch water from a well, a daily unpaid task done mostly by women. How to accurately measure the contributions of unpaid “women’s work” is a problem that has vexed economists for years. One of the UN’s Sustainable Development Goals attempts to provide some clarity.

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Image credit: © Michael Martin/laif/Redux

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About George Soros

Investor and philanthropist George Soros established the Open Society Foundations to help countries make the transition from communism.

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Our Mission

The Open Society Foundations work to build vibrant and tolerant democracies whose governments are accountable and open to the participation of all people.

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Open Society Voices

The vice-president of Equatorial Guinea faces charges of investing funds in France misappropriated from the national treasury in a precedent-setting trial in France.

Osiatyński was a scholar and a member of the Open Society Foundations Global Board. His greatest legacy, however, may be his prescient call for human rights advocates to adapt to an unsteady, globalized world.

Events

May
8

A lunchtime conversation about James Foreman Jr.'s acclaimed new book on race and criminal justice, which traces the zero-tolerance approach to crime and drugs back to some unlikely origins.

Apr
27

A conversation launches an Open Society Justice Initiative report that draws on interviews with community members, litigators, and activists from Kenya, Malaysia, and Paraguay.