This post takes a broader look at the work of The Atlantic Philantrophies. As mentioned in an earlier post, Fighting Ageism in Ireland, The Atlantic Philanthropies organization aims to change the lives of many people in particular geographic areas who are disadvantaged in some way – whether by age, sexual orientation, social disadvantage, gender, race, nationality, religion or political affiliation. Their world-wide geographic base includes the United States of America, Vietnam, Australia, Bermuda, South Africa and all of the island of Ireland. In 2010 funding of their projects in these areas was a staggering $5.4 billion.
The Atlantic Philanthropies offer support for change at various levels. Their key social issues are health, ageism, gay and lesbian rights, children, older adults, coloured people, the disabled. The projects they support include the population health programme in South Africa; Children and Youth programme in the USA; gay and lesbian equality in Ireland; reconciliation and human rights in Northern Ireland; addressing class inequalities in Bermuda; assisting health research in Australia and improving access to health care in Vietnam. Their work is characterized by supporting local organizations, governments, government agencies and local advocacy campaigns that will lead to policy changes and the redressing of social inequalities.
Such wide-ranging and diverse programmes are rooted in the underlying belief that dignity, respect and fairness are basic rights of every person.
Silver citizens in Ireland have a vested interest in all the groups and programmes supported by The Atlantic Philanthropies. We have health access issues ourselves; some of us may be gay or lesbian; we are parents and grandparents of children and would wish that all children are cherished equally; we may have friends and relatives who do not enjoy full citizenship by virtue of the place or social class in which they were born, or because of their religion.
In my next post I will take a closer look at the founder of the amazing philanthropic resource that is The Atlantic Philanthropies, Charles Feeney.
For more detailed information on The Atlantic Philanthropies and their programmes, click here.