The Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation strives to eradicate preventable diseases and stamp out inequality through the world’s largest charitable foundation.
Bill Gates is also fighting back against climate change with TerraPower, “a leading nuclear innovation company that strives to improve the world through nuclear energy and science,” its website says.
The Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation has five focus areas: health and disease in developing countries, delivering tools to improve health in those countries, economic growth, improving education in the United States, and promoting policies to advance their work, according to the foundation’s website.
While the organization’s focus has shifted and expanded over the years, the mission is simplified on its website: “All lives have equal value. We are impatient optimists working to reduce inequity.”
Here’s what you need to know:
The Bill And Melinda Gates Foundation Was Spurred by a Letter From Melinda’s Mother, Who Was Dying of Breast Cancer
The idea for the Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation started with a simple letter Melinda’s mother, Mary, wrote for her at their wedding shower. The gist of the letter, according to the Independent, was “from those to whom much is given, much is expected.”
At that time, in 1993, Mary French was suffering from breast cancer. She died a few months later. The first goal of the William H. Gates Foundation, run by Bill Gates’ father, was to put laptops in every classroom. Bill and Melinda Gates expanded the idea to education reform in the United States.
After reading about children dying from malaria and tuberculosis in the New York Times, Gates decided the organization’s focus should be on poverty, the Independent reported.
Bill And Melinda Gates Foundation Conducted a Study Which Detailed Gaps in Equality
The Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation conducted a study called Examining Inequality. The study found a rampant divide in equality between people in developing nations, which is worsened for females. Few developing nations are projected to meet Standard Development Goals (SDGs) in health and education. You can read the results here.
“Very few developing countries are projected to meet the health and education SDGs. Nearly two-thirds of the children in low- and low-middle income countries live in districts that, at their current rate of progress, won’t reach the SDG target for child mortality by 2030.”
Using the example of a young girl from Chad, the study says “The data says she has probably been close to starving to death several times…It is likely that she can’t read or write, and that she will get pregnant well before she turns 20, although her body won’t be ready for the rigors of childbirth.”
The report includes visuals and comparisons. Bill and Melinda compared themselves and their advantages to a girl growing up in the Sahel, one of the poorest regions in the world. A cartoon shows Bill and Melinda ahead of the game, Melinda with only one mountain to climb because of her gender. The girl in the Sahel has a huge mountain to climb because of the geographic region she was born in, followed only by a path of additional mountains.
“If you think about life as a journey, every single disadvantage makes the journey harder. Our path forward has been relatively clear of obstacles. For a girl born in the Sahel, one of the poorest regions in the world, getting to a healthy, productive life requires overcoming hurdle after hurdle after hurdle,” the report says.