When it comes to men like Bill Gates, charity work reaches new levels of generosity and commitment. Well-known for founding the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation while also contributing to many other causes, Gates is not only one of the wealthiest men in the world - he is also one of the most giving.
The Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation
The Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation started out as a way for Gates and his wife to further their passion for child welfare. The foundation is currently the largest private charity in the world and is directed by Bill and Melinda. The foundation aims to improve healthcare and reduce poverty all over the world, while also improving American educational opportunities and providing access to information technology resources. The foundation currently operates out of Seattle, and decisions are made by the Gates as well as Warren Buffet, one of the wealthiest investors in the world. Gates remains so passionate about the foundation that he recently semiretired from Microsoft in order to focus more fully on his philanthropy.
In order to be as successful and prolific as possible, the Foundation has been divided into different sections - the Global Health Program, the Global Development Program, and the United States Program:
The mission of the Global Health Program is ensuring that advances in health are created and shared with those who need them most. To accomplish that mission, they have identified priority areas on which to focus such as those diseases and health conditions that cause the greatest illness and death in developing countries. These are health issues that receive little attention or resources and include:
- Enteric and diarrheal diseases
- Various infectious diseases
In addition to the above areas, the Foundation works with their partners to create solutions for issues such as family planning, proper diet and nutrition, and preventable diseases. The foundation is proactive in reducing and eliminating health-related problems by integrating the efforts of the Global Health program with those of the Global Development program.
Finally, the Global Health program is involved in research and development to discover new approaches and solutions in the arena of health. They also work to raise public awareness of the need for policy changes to help achieve the goal of better health for those individuals in the priority areas.
By helping the population of underserved countries overcome challenges such as poverty and hunger, the Foundation is able to help those individuals who need it the most. In addition to focusing their efforts on high-impact areas that affect the largest population groups in need, they also act as advocates in promoting policy changes to help reduce or eliminate world poverty.
United States Programs
Providing opportunities that allow individuals to attain better public education is the core focus of the US programs. Areas identified as priorities are:
- Education: The Foundation and its partners pursue goals such as preparing high school students for after-graduation success, funding scholarship programs for college and graduate students, and supporting early childhood education programs.
- Libraries: the key objective for this area is ensuring free Internet and computer access for all via public libraries.
- Pacific Northwest: This program utilizes grants and community partnerships to help individuals in the Pacific Northwest escape the prison of homelessness.
- Special Incentives: Special incentive programs may vary based on the Foundation's assessment of specific targets of focus. Some current programs include emergency relief services or postsecondary education grants.
The Foundation continues to assist countless individuals each year, and also continues to grow and expand each time the calendar turns. It has also won various awards including the Prince of Asturias Award and the Indira Gandhi Prize for Peace, Disarmament and Development.
The Foundation's Core Values
The Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation operates based on four core values that define their charitable work and grant making endeavors:
- Optimism: The belief that problems others might consider impossible to solve can be overcome by tenacity of focus and perseverance whether it takes days, months or years.
- Collaboration: Operating on the premise that partnering with like-minded individuals builds synergy and multiples the available resource pool, the Foundation seeks and employs collaborative solutions to challenges and problems.
- Rigor: Foundation members and partners are committed to pursuing the Foundation's goals and missions with rigor and dedicated focus.
- Innovation: By embracing creative solutions and out-of-the-box thinking, the foundation is able to tackle hard-to-solve problems. The Foundation is unafraid of risks and willing to face failure to move their projects and goals ahead.
A Brief Look at Bill Gates' Charity Work
It would take several articles to detail every philanthropic action Bill Gates has taken since he gained international notoriety as the founder of Microsoft. However, there are several key points that make up a beautiful tapestry of the charity and outreach work in which he has participated. Below are a few of these highlights as well as some facts about how he has impacted the world through them.
Children with Aids
Bill Gates assisted financially with CWAC, which was established in 1992 with the goal of helping the youngest victims of HIV/AIDS. Since then, this UK charity has worked toward lifting children out of poverty and situations of extreme prejudice, instead helping them to maintain a high quality of life through proper living conditions, healthcare and emotional healing.
Children's Vaccine Program & The Lunchbox Fund
Along the same sentiment, Gates contributed seed money to fund a children's vaccine program, which provides invaluable vaccinations to children around the world, bringing an even stronger focus to the importance of children's health outside of the boundaries of the U.S.A. The program operates through GAVI, and the Gates Foundation is just one of their many partners in this project.
Finally, Gates is listed as a celebrity supporter of The Lunchbox Fund, which was founded in 2004 to provide lunches to poor and disadvantaged students who do not have anything to bring to school for lunchtime. This, in turn, has improved the health and academic performance of these children, thanks to the healthy meals the group has provided with the help of notable celebrities like Gates.
The mass amount of Bill Gates charity work that has been completed has inspired other celebrities to get more involved in the world around them. Ordinary individuals also are learning from his incredible example and making the world a better place.