If you see something…say something: Philanthropists rock
I am not here to promote anybody’s bid. Neither am I here to dabble in needless politicking that kills good spirits and makes devils out of angels.
My mission is simple — to celebrate those good hearts who freely give to improve the cause of others.
As a proud citizen of my motherland, I have a special place in my heart for those fellow citizens who promote sustainable philanthropy. Those who do well for others out of the abundance and grace bestowed on them.
I have subsequently decided to say something about the benevolence I have observed in the news in the last couple of weeks and beyond and which have potential to benefit generations of people.
The story that made it to the news headlines and the front pages of newspapers and which touched me is the 300-bed facility built and donated to the 37 Military Hospital by businessman and CEO of Jospon Group of Companies, Mr Joseph Siaw Agyepong.
That, for one businessman to decide to build and donate such a huge facility not for his village, not for the exclusive use of family and friends, but for the benefit of young soldiers, is quite touching. He deserves commendation, no matter what.
Following the biblical principle of to whom much is given, much is expected, this philanthropist has done his share for his nation by this single donation. He probably is reminded of the resources he has enjoyed for his business success.
Such resources as the employees he has taken from the communities where his businesses are located and the raw materials he enjoys locally and for which he is giving back to society to show appreciation.
So what I have seen and what I am saying is that in the course of their doing well in business, if individual citizens remember to do good to better lives in a sustainable way, their efforts need to be commended and celebrated.
Talking about Jospon’s kind gesture to our young soldiers reminds me of the good of many more thoughtful hearts home and abroad, like the CEO of Tobbinco Pharmaceuticals, Elder Samuel Tobbinco. He recently went beyond the normal to give to the common good of a school which is producing women in high places for our country.
Earlier this year, it was in the news that the businessman, together with his family, handed over a six two-bedroom teachers’ accommodation which they built for Wesley Girls’ High School in Cape Coast.
The gesture was in appreciation of the good secondary education their two daughters had received from the school.
History has examples of such philanthropists, mainly coming from the business communities, who have given immensely to their societies.
On record from other countries, one could recall the good social investments of wealthy individuals, whose worthy gestures till today are serving not only their countries but others, including our continent, Africa, in the areas of education, health, food security, and good governance.
Their benevolence today is serving as inspiration for selflessness. Our fellow African, Mo Ibrahim, comes readily to mind, particularly in his giving to promote good governance on our continent
Who can forget John D. Rockefeller, an American business magnate? Said to be one of the first major philanthropists in his country, he set up his Rockefeller Foundation to co-ordinate his freewill contributions to society. The Foundation is reported to have done so well when it comes to giant accomplishments in philanthropy.
The Foundation’s commitments to promoting the well-being of humanity throughout the world with universal sustainable opportunities are there for people to see, long after his death.
Andrew Carnegie, a Scottish-American Industrialist, is another world celebrated philanthropist. He is said to have spent the last 18 years of his life giving away “excess wealth” to public causes. It is on record that his posthumous gifts are still bearing fruits even after his death in 1919.
And oh, the legendary American business magnate, Bill Gates? A philanthropist par excellence, his Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation has invested billions of dollars in causes including combatting malaria, HIV-AIDS and Corona Virus mostly in underdeveloped countries.
He is said to have made 2022’s biggest charitable donation of $5 billion to back the Foundation’s work in global health, development, policy and advocacy as well as US education.
There sure are many more such public-spirited individuals both at home and abroad which space would not allow me to capture here and who have devoted to invest immensely in societies out of the abundance of their hearts. As they succeed in life, they prioritise benevolence that would impact the lives of others.
May the public good of our philanthropists, dead, alive and yet to surface, be a shining example and continue to draw many more with such good hearts to invest in the lives of people and make society even better.
Above all however, may they receive mention and may they be celebrated for their tangible and intangible impacts on society. I have seen it and so I am saying something and that is – philanthropists definitely rock.