Gates Foundation Annual Letter 2015 – Are You a Global Citizen?

gates foundation annual letterEvery year, for the past fifteen years, Bill and Melinda Gates have released an annual letter, on behalf of their foundation, talking about improvements that can be made globally in health, education and reducing inequity.  In last year’s letter, they talked about many of the ways the world has improved over the past fifteen years.

In this year’s letter, they are making a bet for the next fifteen years: that the lives of people in poor countries will improve faster in the next 15 years than at any other time in history thanks to breakthroughs in health, farming, banking, and education.  At the end of the infographics you will find some tips on how you can help the Gates’ bet come true.

Child Deaths Will Go Down and More Diseases Will Be Wiped Out

Gates Foundation annual letterAfrica Will Be Able to Feed Itself

Gates Foundation annual letterMobile Banking Will Help the Poor Transform Their Lives

Gates Foundation annual letterBetter Software Will Revolutionize Learning

Gates Foundation Annual LetterAre You Ready to Be a Global Citizen?

Do you care about helping those in the world’s poorest places improve their lives?  Then you have what it takes to be a global citizen.

The Gates Foundation is recruiting tens of millions of global citizens.  Here’s the description from their letter:

Becoming a global citizen doesn’t mean you have to dedicate your life to helping the poor. It does mean you follow an issue of global importance—whether it’s one we wrote about in this letter, or another, like human rights or governance. You take a few minutes once in a while to learn about the lives of people who are worse off than you are. (In fact, if you’re still reading this far into our letter, you are probably a global citizen.) You’re willing to act on your compassion, whether it’s raising awareness, volunteering your time, or giving a little money.

If you want to be a global citizen, you can sign up at GlobalCitizen.org

You will be able to get updates on how you can help, share what you’re learning, and connect with other people and organizations who care about similar issues.

Are you a global citizen?  What do you think is the biggest issue affecting growth and improvement for all the world’s citizens?

Bill and Melinda Gates’ Annual Letter 2014 – Things Really Do Get Better

I know many people who are still doom and gloom about the current state of the world.  The economy has still not completely recovered, many (including my husband) are finding it very difficult to find a decent job.  Certainly it must be true that the rich are only getting richer while the poor continue to get poorer. How can things be getting better?

Bill and Melinda Gates Annual Letter 2014But they are, I swear to you, things are slowly but surely getting better.  I know our family’s lot has improved significantly in the past year.  But I’m not just talking about the situation here at home.  Things are getting better worldwide.  Don’t believe me?  Well, maybe you’ll believe Bill and Melinda Gates.

Through the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation, the couple seeks to improve the quality of life for individuals around the world. Following this philosophy, they have donated billions of dollars, partnered with other charitable organizations and traveled around the world, meeting with world leaders and at-risk people alike to figure out the best ways to help those in need.  Each year the Gates’ release an annual letter to the public.  Their letter for 2014 explains the 3 MYTHS THAT BLOCK PROGRESS FOR THE POOR:

Myth 1: Poor Countries are Doomed to Stay Poor

In reality, many—though by no means all—of the countries we used to call poor now have thriving economies. And the percentage of very poor people has dropped by more than half since 1990.

Take a look at the following graph:

Bill and Melinda Gates Annual Letter 2014Myth 2: Foreign Aid is a Big Waste

Bill Gates is the first to admit that no aid program is perfect, and aid is only one of the tools for fighting poverty and disease.  In the 14 years since he and Melinda started their foundation he says:

we’ve been lucky enough to go see the impact of programs funded by the foundation and donor governments. What we see over time is people living longer, getting healthier, and escaping poverty, partly because of services that aid helped develop and deliver.

But let’s not just take the Gates’ word for it (which, although impressive, would be considered anecdotal).  Let’s take a look at the cold, hard facts as presented by Bill Nye the Science Guy:

 Myth 3: Saving Lives Leads to Overpopulation

I can’t tell you how much this belief tees me off, but instead of losing my temper, I’ll let Bill Gates speak to it:

The fact is that a laissez faire approach to development—letting children die now so they don’t starve later—doesn’t actually work, thank goodness. It may be counterintuitive, but the countries with the most deaths have among the fastest-growing populations in the world. This is because the women in these countries tend to have the most births, too. Scholars debate the precise reasons why, but the correlation between child death and birth rates is strong.

As an example, look at this chart of child mortality rates in Brazil:

Bill and Melinda Gates Annual Letter 2014Hope For The Future:

From Bill and Melinda Gates:

If you read the news every day, it’s easy to get the impression that the world is getting worse. There is nothing inherently wrong with focusing on bad news, of course—as long as you get it in context. Melinda and I are disgusted by the fact that more than six million children died last year. But we are motivated by the fact that this number is the lowest ever recorded. We want to make sure it keeps going down.

Read more of Bill and Melinda Gates’ Annual Letter 2014

 

I wrote this post as part of the Mom Bloggers for Social Good.