Public figures – whether they’re politicians, entertainers, or business owners – have a lot of sway. Not only do they have connections and money, but they also have the power necessary to build lives. Some public figures have used these resources they have to help those less fortunate than they are, whether it’s through financial means, through awareness programs, or through other acts of charity. Here are the top 10 public figures around the world who are doing great things for underprivileged people every day.
10 Salil Shetty
Salil Shetty is the Secretary General of Amnesty International, an organization dedicated to global human rights issues. Though Amnesty International serves all human rights issues from poverty to torture and more, Shetty is particularly dedicated to defending the rights of LGBTQ persons, women’s rights, and the matter of universal education. He hopes that in the future, technology can be utilized to inform people of their rights in the socio-economic realm.
9 Christy Turlington
This humanitarian and model is dedicated to helping out mothers in underprivileged situations and bringing global awareness to the global issues revolving around maternal health. She aims to ensure that all women can have access to the care needed for a safe and healthy pregnancy and childbirth, and she’s donated funds, training, and resources to clinics that have little of their own.
8 Magic Johnson
The educational system in America is thought by many to need an overhaul in some way, and public figures like former NBA star Magic Johnson are helping to do exactly that. He opened alternate high schools for students in several states. These high schools are aimed at kids who are at risk of dropping out of traditional high schools, whether that’s because of learning disabilities, home life problems, or personal issues within their own lives.
7 Midge Ure And Bob Geldof
Live Aid, a benefit concert in 1985 designed to draw attention and bring aid to the Ethiopian famine, is credited for being the benefit concert that started a trend everyone else was willing to jump on board with. Though these musicians didn’t launch the first benefit concert, they were able to raise an estimated $200 million for their targeted areas and have continued to promote awareness of global hunger.
6 Premal Shah
The president of Kiva.org, Premal Shah has focused on bringing attention to global poverty and potential ways to end it. His primary areas of devotion include helping out low-income women in India. He also provides loans for shop owners, small business entrepreneurs, farmers, and many others. The loans that he’s given out help people who span across the entire globe, reaching everywhere from Zimbabwe to El Salvador.
5 Petra Nemcova
This Czech model was impacted greatly by the 2004 tsunami that ravaged Thailand. Stuck in a tree with a broken pelvis and rendered unable to help the children who were suffering during the aftermath of the tsunami, Nemcova decided to launch the Happy Hearts Fund in an effort to help rebuild schools in areas that have been ravaged by natural disasters. Nemcova has already rebuilt schools in many areas across the globe and intends to focus on areas that are left forgotten after the immediate disaster relief is over.
4 Louise Fresco
Food sustainability is a huge problem in the modern day, and it’s one that’s only going to get worse with time if we don’t do anything to stop it. This is why the work of Dutch scientist Louise Fresco is so important. As an expert on food and agriculture, as well as global food sustainability, her contributions to the field have allowed people to start working toward long-term solutions meant to end world hunger. The basis of her ideas is that food aid alone is not enough to stop the crisis, but that smart agriculture needs to be implemented as well.
Known for her catchy tunes and lovely voice, Shakira is also a strong advocate for education in youth. She focuses on opening schools in her native country of Columbia and aspires to change not only the lives of children but the lives of entire communities through the improvement of the education system. She’s been able to open eight schools over the years in Columbia, focusing on areas that are at a severe disadvantage.
2 Timur And Lola Karimova-Tillyaeva
Timur Tillyaev and Lola Karimova-Tillyaeva, part of the First Family in Uzbekistan, have been working together for many years to bring orphanages across the country up to a better standard. Mercy homes were in an unpleasant state where not even the basic needs of their children were being met. The Karimova-Tillyaev couple has since spent their time, efforts and resources building more mercy homes and ensuring that they remain well staffed and have programs that encourage creativity, education, and social development among the children living there.
1 Dave McMurtry
As the Senior VP of Strategy for Habitat for Humanity, Dave McMurtry has done a lot to help the non-profit organization continue to grow, expand, and help more people. He was able to provide over $200,000 in charity relief within six weeks for Columbia and build 40 houses there, and that’s just the tip of the iceberg. He continues using his keen eye to plot out a strong vision for Habitat for Humanity, hoping to help home many more people across the globe.