The Carter Center

Even though President Carter officially retired from political office with his defeat in the 1980 presidential election, he has not shied away from public life. The 39th President of the United States has dedicated his life to work toward alleviating human suffering, preventing conflicts, enhancing freedom and democracy, and improving health throughout the world. It is through his foundation, the Carter Center, that he has carried out his life’s work – and he has found much success in his endeavors.

The Carter Center, founded in 1982, is located in Carter’s home state of Georgia, near his presidential library in Atlanta. The nongovernmental organization has the mission to advance human rights and alleviate human suffering throughout the world. Throughout its history, the organization has partnered with other NGOs, businesses, and national and foreign governments to fulfill its international missions.

It has been successful in observing democratic elections throughout the world in the efforts to maintain peace. The organization has promoted democratic initiatives that empower governments in transitioning governments into building stronger democratic institutions and practices.

The Carter Center has also been involved in eliminating infectious diseases across the world. The organization has partnered with multiple international partners in order to eliminate trachoma, a bacterial infection spread by houseflies. Jimmy Carter’s interest in eradicating trachoma comes from his experiences with the infection during his youth.

Though the infection was eliminated in the United States in the 1970s, it is still prevalent in many countries in Africa and Asia. The Carter Center has distributed nearly 100 million doses of trachoma medicine called Zithromax into villages across Asia and Africa. Along with medicine distribution, the organization has pushed to improve water access, personal hygiene, and accessibility to antibiotics, which has led to reducing the effects of the disease in these regions.

Jimmy Carter’s work outside the Oval Office has been very noteworthy, and has garnered much respect from many other notable world leaders. In 2007, the late Nelson Mandela invited Carter to join his advocacy group of world leaders called “The Elders,” which also promoted human rights initiatives.

In recognition for his achievements in promoting peaceful resolution, improving health through disease eradication, and assisting in global democracy, President Carter was presented the Nobel Peace Prize in 2002. This prize is just one of the many honors the former president has earned in recognition of his lifetime achievement in international improvement.

– Travis Whinery

Sources: Scientific America, Pharmtech, The Carter Center, The Sun Journal
Photo: Impeller