Bill Gates and his wife Melinda Gates established a foundation named William H. Gates Foundation in 1994 to support world health, education, and to help developing countries around the world. Bill Gates started studying philanthropic work of John D. Rockefeller and Andrew Carnegie. These two personalities and Melinda influence Bill Gates to be a civic leader. In 2000 Bill Gates and Melinda Gates contributed $28 billion and started Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation.
In 2006 Bill Gates started stepping down from Microsoft to give more time to the Foundation. Bill stepped down from the chairman of Microsoft in February 2014 and started giving all his time to the Foundation. At present, the Foundation has the following working divisions:
- Global Health Division
- The Global Development Division
- Global Growth and Opportunity Division
- United States Division
- Global Policy and Advocacy Division
Today Bill and Malinda Gates Foundation holds assets of $46.8 billion reported to be the most extensive private Foundation. The Foundation’s primary area of interest is improving health, reduction of diseases, environmental issues. In 2000 first round of Gates Millennium scholarship of $1 billion was given to 20,000 young scholars. The foundation installed 47,000 computers in 11000 libraries of 50 states in 2002. In 2006 Gates gave most of his wealth to the Foundation.
Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation gave $10 billion in 2010 to develop vaccines for developing countries. In 2013 foundation provided $5.5 billion to eradicate polio. In 2015, the foundation started the child health and mortality surveillance network (CHAMPS) to prevent childhood deaths in developing countries.
Foundation spent $1 billion so as to reduce global warming in 2015. In the same year, the Foundation announced that the Foundation would give one year paid leave to its employees after the birth or adoption of a child. The initiative got a lot of appreciation and is a great step for the well being of children and the health of parents. This not only eases the employees but also explains the value they offer to their staff.
In 2017 Bill and Malinda Gates Foundation helped farmers suffering from climate change by donating $300 million not only in Asia but also in Africa. In the same year, Bill also donated $50 million for Alzheimer’s research. Foundation published its first annual Goalkeepers’ report in 2017.
Bill identified that chronic and infectious diseases are the two most significant public health concerns but there was a neglection, so, he focused on these areas as well. In 2018 along with Google co-founder Larry Page Foundation announced $12 million to develop universal flu vaccine. To fight with the COVID-19 pandemic, the Foundation donated $125 million for the development of a vaccine which is a really helpful step in finding a viable solution to get rid of this Pandemic.
Bill and Malinda Gates Foundation’s Honor And Awards:
Time magazine declared Bill Gates as one of the most influential persons of the twentieth century. In 2005, Time magazine also declared Melinda and Bill Gates as the persons of the year for their great contribution to society. Gates also holds honorary doctorates from many universities throughout the world for his philanthropic work. Bill Gates knighted as an honorary Knight Commander by Queen Elizabeth II in 2005.
In 2006 Mexican government awarded Bill and Melinda the Order of the Aztec Eagle for their philanthropic work not only in the USA but also in the whole world. Foundation won the Prince of Asturias Award for International Cooperation in 2006. Indira Gandhi presented the prize for Peace, Disarmament, and Development to the Foundation in 2007. On November 22, 2016, Bill and Melinda Gates were honored with The Presidential Medal of Freedom by President Barack Obama for their work.