What Philanthropy Means to Ferhan Patel
Philanthropy is a continuous act that can elicit as many definitions and contexts as there are philanthropists. For Ferhan Patel the selection process and subsequent act of giving is only part of the process. For him, one of the most important parts of giving is the research necessary to determine the quantifiable results that will be derived from his contributions. He believes in holding charitable organizations to which he donates accountable for justifying how the funds were spent and what was accomplished. While donating to worthy causes is known to bring the person giving a sense of satisfaction for finding a way to contribute positively to the world, Ferhan requires this extra step. While the act of giving unto itself is important, Ferhan feels that it is also his responsibility to ensure that his contributions are truly making a worthwhile impact. Seeing the impact is what brings Ferhan joy when giving. Every year, Ferhan Patel evaluates his contributions and assesses the impact. His philanthropic donations have helped develop a school, purchase eye surgery for those in need, implement solar powered wells, sponsor orphans, and give back to women’s shelters.
Supporting Ocular Surgeries in South Asia
Ferhan Patel focuses a vast amount of his philanthropic efforts towards developing third world countries. He has also donated to save over 2,250 individuals from a life of blindness through ocular surgeries. Field research indicates this impact to have an estimated societal ROI of potentially $900,000 in terms of downstream impact (i.e. according to an LRBT study, the ROI of productivity in society of an individual restoring vision surgery is estimated at $400 per adult in South Asia). While 80% of individuals suffering from visual impairment are preventable or treatable, 90% of visually impaired people live in countries where they can’t afford treatment. According to the World Health Organization, cataract surgeries and refractive error corrections are one of the most cost-effective health interventions. If left untreated, these causes of visual impairment can lead to permanent blindness. Ferhan Patel donates to a volunteer-driven non-profit organization that arranges free examinations and affordable surgeries to individuals living in impoverished communities. They typically focus their efforts in South Asia.
Offering Clean Water to Africa
Turning towards Africa, Ferhan Patel has aided in building a school that provides Western-style education to around 600 disadvantaged children. Another major issue in Africa that most are unaware of is the lack of clean water. While the media focuses on wars and conflict, water pollution is silently killing one child every single minute. The statistics are truly shocking: nearly 800 million people have no access to clean water, while a woman in Africa walks an average of 6 km a day to fetch clean water. Due to this, Ferhan donates to help build solar powered wells in impoverished regions, providing the gift of water which no one should go without. This also saves women and children the difficult physical task of pumping water by hand, as solar-powered wells harness natural energy.
Sponsoring Orphans Worldwide
Ferhan Patel is also passionate about sponsoring orphans. He believes in sponsoring orphans with organizations with the least amount of overhead and marketing costs. Many of the orphans he has had the pleasure of sponsoring have gone on to achieve success in their lives. Some have been adopted, others have gone on to pursue higher education with the little help he was able to provide. There are 153 million orphans worldwide. This means that there are 153 million children around the world without one or both parents to give them a home, shelter, and most importantly, love. Their chances for a bright future are dim without proper guidance. Ferhan knows that the help he can provide will tremendously increase their chances of a bright future, and he couldn’t be more grateful for his opportunity to serve.
Providing for a Women’s Shelter in Montreal
Locally, Ferhan Patel donates to the Montreal Women’s Shelter providing support and assistance to women affected by domestic abuse. When considering his options for donating, Ferhan is adamant about donating to causes that have a high social ROI. Ferhan wants to know that the small ways he contributes to society have the largest possible impact.