Open Society Time: Open Society Foundations Highlights, 1979–2010

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The report Open Society Time begins with 1979 when George Soros became a philanthropist by supporting scholarships for black students in South Africa. Five years later, he established his first non-United States foundation in Hungary to strengthen civil society in a weakening communist region. In 1985, annual expenditures were less than $3 million. After that, open society foundations and programs spread throughout Eastern Europe and Central Asia, then the United States, Africa, Southeast Asia, and Latin America, until by 2010 the Open Society Foundations were working in more than 80 countries around the world.

The Foundations' efforts in 2010 included millions in humanitarian aid to help alleviate the human suffering caused by flooding in Pakistan and an earthquake in Haiti, and a challenge grant of $100 million over 10 years to Human Rights Watch to enhance the protection and promotion of human rights. Expenditures that year reached $820 million.

Open Society Time describes these and similar moments in the creation and evolution of the Open Society Foundations from 1979 to 2010. It highlights the important activities of our organization with brief texts and rich photography that feature the people and communities we’ve worked with in our continuing efforts to nurture and defend justice and human rights, freedom of expression, and access to public health and education.

The report includes an introduction by President Aryeh Neier on our work increasing access to information, mitigating the consequences of conflict, providing legal assistance to the poor, and protecting the rights of minorities.  Statements by Soros cover such important issues as fighting tuberculosis, forcing the disclosure of natural resource revenues, and improving the lives of the Roma.