Bill Gates is known as the richest person in the world, a ranking he’s held for the last four years and eighteen of the last twenty-two years. However, he hasn’t kept all that money for himself. Over the last ten years, Gates has saved six million lives and given away twenty-eight billion dollars. After having given away that much money, he also pledges to give away ninety-nine percent of his total net worth throughout the course of his life. There are very few others in world’s financial elite who can say the same, using their wealth for the good of many.
Nonetheles, Gates is passionate about helping those who are less fortunate, but educating and empowering the impoverished and the disadvantaged. Instead of just writing checks, he has helped those less fortunate to live purpose-driven, self-sustaining lives. Furthermore, Gates isn’t just helping individuals; he is also helping to build communities who are able to support one another.
Gates started his charitable organization with his wife, appropriately called the Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation, in 2000. Ever since, the couple has devoted themselves to helping improve the education, economy, and health of those who need it, here in the United States as well as around the world. With the help of several programs, the foundation helps people reach an ultimate goal by helping themselves, either through better health or better education. The Gates believe the key to helping people rise above poverty is through education.
- K-12 and Post-Secondary Program- This program helps to ensure all students have the right tools needed for success by working with communities, parents, policymakers, and teacher. The goal is to ultimately increase the number of college graduates.
- Agriculture Development- This program helps to educate farmers prospering countries how to sustain an increase in the amount of food they produce. The goal is to solve problems such as poverty, hunger, and inadequate food supply.
- Family Planning Initiative- This program helps to educate women about family planning, helping them to make informed decisions about rather or not to have children. The goal is to reduce the amount of maternal and new born deaths while reducing the rate of unwanted pregnancies and providing women with more economic opportunities.
The Gates Foundation’s other cornerstone is access to quality health care. The couple believes that by improving a person’s well-being and health, they are then empowered to make changes for future generations, pulling themselves out of the poverty cycle.
Aimed at reducing childhood death rates, the nutrition program focuses on nutrition for children and women. The Gates believe that having a healthy mother will lead to having a healthy child and that it will allow an entire generation to live more productive lives and thrive.
The vaccine and health care program, in conjunction with several partners, works to do the following:
- prevent deaths from yellow fever, influenza type B, Haemophelius, Hepatitis B, pertussis, tetanus, diptheria, measles, and Tuberculosis
- reduce HIV and administer health care to those infected already
- eradicate polio and malaria
The Gates Foundation has partnered with both public and private sector governments in order to help develop and deliver health care technology, vaccines, and life-saving drugs to those who need it most. Thanks to people like Bill and Melinda Gates, using their riches for the greater good, the lives of thousands of families, children, and women have been drastically improved. Gates is to be commended; after all, there are not many people like him. Not only are we thankful for what he and his foundation have already accomplished, but also for what they will accomplish in the future as well.