2007: Orphans Around World Look up to Silicon Valley Prodigy as Hero

In 2007, Jim Luce added added Mark Zuckerberg, founder and CEO of the social-networking site facebook.com, to the Orphans International Worldwide list of Global Heroes and Role Models. This list includes such notables as Albert Schweitzer, Martin Luther King, the Rt. Rev. Desmond Tutu, Mother Teresa, Yitzhak Rabin, Nelson Mandela, Albert Einstein, Elie Wiesel, and many more. This is Jim's original piece from 2007.

New York, N.Y.  Orphans International Worldwide (OIWW) has added Mark Zuckerberg, founder and CEO of Facebook, to its list of Global Heroes and Role Models. This list included such notables as Albert Schweitzer, Martin Luther King, the Rt. Rev. Desmond Tutu, Mother Teresa, Yitzhak Rabin, Nelson Mandela, Albert Einstein, Elie Wiesel, and many more.

Although Zuckerberg is not a Nobel Prize Winner, Zuckerberg’s story offers inspiration to our children. Without saints, secular or divine, sanctity can too easily be viewed as mere abstraction. Our children need heroes. The courage of Mahatma Gandhi and the brilliance of Albert Einstein make sainthood a reality for us all. Mark Zuckerberg is a hero for the new era, a young man our children can aspire to emulate in addition to our own childhood heroes.

Zuckerberg had been offered one billion dollars for his company, Facebook, by Yahoo! and turned it down. He claimed he wanted to build something for the long term and believes that the openness, collaboration, and sharing of information is a by-product of the social networking that can make the world a better place. Keeping his company in his own hands at this point allows him to continue on that important path.

Orphans International is working to raise citizens who are Interfaith, Interracial, International, Intergenerational, and Internet-Connected. It is easy to see how Zuckerberg’s resolve and vision would be an excellent example for OI to hold up as a model for our children. I’m hoping to connect with him soon. He is living proof that young people can also impact the world. OI’s goal is to raise young adults who will become global citizens and leaders in the own communities. They need heroes.

Orphans International Worldwide has received bipartisan support from leaders such as former president Bill Clinton, Mayor Mike Bloomberg, former Governor George Pataki, Sen. Chuck Schumer, and Sen. Hillary Clinton. Orphans International is a non-partisan, interfaith organization incorporated in New York in 2002. OI Worldwide has been accredited by the United Nations Department of Public Information, and designated as a 501(c)3 organization by the IRS.

OI’s children remain in their native countries to become educated to their fullest potential and then to help move their own countries forward; OI does not place children for adoption in America. Projects now are running in Indonesia, Haiti, and will open in May in Sri Lanka and El Salvador. Each OI campus is working towards full programming for their orphaned children, with classes for English, computer science, and a strong emphasis on the arts. Each project is fully integrated into the local community.

More detailed information is available on both OI’s website, www.oiww.org and wikipdedia.com. Tax-deductible contributions may be sent to “Orphans International,” at 540 Main Street, Suite 418, New York, N.Y. 10044. Last year less than 9% of Orphan International’s income was spent on administration.

Originally published in the OIWW Blogspot, April 22, 2007. Originally published in The Stewardship Report, April 24, 2007.

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About Jim Luce: Thought Leaders & Global Citizens

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Jim Luce: Thought Leaders & Global Citizens
Jim Luce (www.lucefoundation.org) writes and speaks on Thought Leaders and Global Citizens. Bringing 26 years management experience within both investment banking and the non-profit sector, Jim has worked for Daiwa Bank, Merrill Lynch, a spin-off of Lazard Freres, and two not-for profit organizations and a foundation he founded. As Founder & CEO of Orphans International Worldwide (www.oiww.org), he is working with a strong network of committed professionals to build interfaith, interracial, Internet-connected orphanages in Haiti and Indonesia, and creating a new, family-care model for orphans in Sri Lanka and Tanzania.

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