MARLBORO, New Jersey — After having enormous success with Microsoft, billionaire Bill Gates changed his work efforts from business to humanitarian. In 2000, he and his wife Melinda established the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation with the mission of helping “all people lead healthy, productive lives”. Almost two decades on, it has been described as “probably the most powerful charity in the world.”
The Gates’ also began their Gates Millennium Scholars program in 2000, whereby they granted $1 billion to help more than 20,000 people afford college until 2020. The Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation began when the couple learned about the millions of children needing medical assistance, and declared the 2000’s to be the “Decade of Vaccines”.
Their branch in India opened in 2013 when they granted $5.5 billion to the goal of eradicating polio by 2018. They have used existing drugs, tools and investments to accomplish this goal. To complement its medical work in India, the foundation committed $258 million to help develop a malaria vaccine, new drugs and innovative mosquito control.
By eradicating malaria, the Gates’ are not only saving millions of lives but also billions of dollars. In 2006, Bill and Melinda launched their Alliance for Green Revolution in Africa, which is working to revitalize African agriculture in order to create employment and reduce poverty. In order to accomplish this, the foundation collaborated with the Rockefeller Foundation.
In 2006, billionaire investor Warren Buffett pledged $30 billion to help further the work of the foundation. Since 2010, the foundation has dedicated itself to spreading its services to Addis Ababa, Johannesburg, Abuja and New Delhi. The foundation now provides aid on every continent.
Moreover, the foundation has been involved in U.N. efforts to end polio, participate in family planning and global vaccine summits and pledging conferences. By participating in these summits, the Gates’ have exposed issues worldwide and consequently received millions in donations.
To tackle problems on a global level, the Gates’ foundation operates under a structure which includes a Global Development Program, Global Health Program, Global Policy and Advocacy and United States Program.
The Global Development Program aims to reduce poverty in order to create more hopeful futures for the 2.5 billion people living on less than $1.90 a day. To reduce mortality and infection, the Global Health Program donates to medical research while also sending medicine and vaccinations to those in need.
These difficult and complicated issues cannot be fixed by the foundation alone. Throughout its Global Policy and Advocacy Program, the foundation has established offices in London, China, India, Ethiopia, Nigeria, and South Africa in order to strengthen global and local partnerships.
Although The Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation focuses on medicine and medical advances, their work also aligns with that of The Borgen Project. Bill and Melinda Gates have worked tirelessly to promote education, collaborate with world leaders in order to reduce poverty, improve disease control all to make the world a better place for all.
– Kristen Guyler