Bill and Melinda Gates were featured on “60 Minutes” last night, in a segment called “Giving Away a Fortune”:
“The Gates have shunned publicity for the most part. But, recently, Melinda Gates agreed to travel around the globe to show ’60 Minutes’ how they’re giving a fortune away. …
“… Melinda Gates, 46 years old, from Dallas, is a former Microsoft executive who managed 800 people in software development and marketing.
“Now, the work of the foundation is her obsession. This trip with ’60 Minutes’ wasn’t a ‘photo-op.’ In fact, it took a year to convince her to let us come along. She travels often, probing for facts, analyzing needs, measuring the misery.
“‘I have to be here. To see it, and to feel it, and to understand, you know, what motivates these people. What is it that they’re doing for their livelihood? Unless I see it and feel it and touch it, I just don’t feel like I can do the foundation justice in terms of what we’re trying to accomplish,’ she explained. …”
Someone recently turned me on to The Guardian
’s Poverty Matters blog
, and if you’re not reading it, you should be. To wit: A recent post about Bill and Melinda Gates
and the optimistic side of development. Seems Melinda Gates has grown weary of the shocking, shame-the-public approach to development reporting. Instead, she wants to see more positive coverage—what is working, which Millenium Development Goals (MDGs) are being met:
“[Melinda Gates] cites MDG4 – the reduction of child deaths. ‘A whole host of countries you might not expect are doing very well against that goal,’ she says. Malawi, Bangladesh and Ethiopia are all making exciting progress on some of the MDGs.”
According to the Poverty Matters post, the Gateses are launching their own international tour to promote this approach:
“In October they will be in London. Next year they will go to Germany and France and possibly Spain. They are going to spread the word through an event they call Living Proof, which will tell of the success stories in aid and development. There are two ways of trying to stir the well-to-do into action on behalf of the poor—one is to shock them into reaching for their wallets and the other is to show them how aid can make a difference. Mr and Mrs Gates are headed determinedly down the second road.”
The Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation released their 2010 agriculture project progress reports and prominently among them is the Heifer International East Africa Dairy Development project. This project received a 42.8 million dollar grant from the Gates Foundation and is aimed at doubling the incomes of thousands of East African farmers in ten years.
Watch the video below to see the inspiring work of this project and read the progress report to learn more about how Heifer is working with the Gates Foundation and local project partners to change the lives of 179,000 farmers in East Africa.