Melinda Gates, a highly inspirational woman, a woman with position and power, a woman that uses this to make a difference. She has become the icon of changing today’s world for a better tomorrow. Together with her husband Bill Gates, they run the Gates Foundation. It would be impossible to list all their accomplishments, but here are just a few programmes that they have had a large hand in;
– contribution to worldwide eradication of Polio programme
– combating HIV and AID
– child health and vaccinations
– contraception and women’s health.
At the Family Planning Summit 2012 in the UK, the Foundation pledged $560 million to family planning programmes. This will have a tremendous effect on global public health.
Melinda Gates is a woman who can be seen at the forefront and is the face of amazing achievements. She isn’t a lady to sit merely in her ivory tower and write the cheques, she is one to visit the developing settings, to see what the issues are and how she can help to overcome them. We can see her decisions are based on and informed by the stakeholders themselves. A great way to work, with the people, for the people. She visits women in rural villages and asks them what they need to educate their children and communities. She does her research to ensure she is making the largest impact where it matters.
By contributing to family planning programmes, we know that the impact on the reduction of maternal and child mortality can be great. Not only will this programme increase access, but it will increase the awareness and education of family planning, leading to empowered women who can take educated decisions on their lives.
The Foundation has contributed to agricultural programmes, disaster relief programmes, infectious disease programmes and still the list is endless. Here are inspirational people using their resources, passions and time to make a true difference, indicating that we can all do our bit, with whatever resources we have, we can make a difference.
‘Do what you can, with what you have, where you are.’ Theodore Roosevelt
In this years annual letter, Bill and Melinda focussed on “3 Myths that block progress for the poor”. This letter just shows what impact we can have and by supporting organisations that focus on alleviating suffering and creating opportunities. Women are very much the centre of development, and have wider reach through their own development, which is why this Women’s Day [month!], we raise focus to the Women of the World, of which Melinda Gates, is just one.
She is quoted to have said, “Our role is to take risks that, if they pay off, could give millions of people the chance to make the most of their lives.” I say continue taking those risks Melinda, you are making a difference. She is a great woman of our time.