In his endless quest to donate his money almost as fast as he makes it, Bill Gates has announced another philanthropic project. This time, he is taking on systemic poverty.
On Thursday, May 3rd, the Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation announced that between now and 2022, they intend to spend $158 million on a variety of initiatives, from data collection and research to funding activism and lobbying.
The foundation’s work will be guided by the U.S. Partnership on Mobility from Poverty, which is housed within the liberal-leaning think tank the Urban Institute. The organization has spent the past two years crafting plans to address systemic inequality in actionable ways. Their solutions involve both businesses and governments.
The money from the Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation (to date, the largest private charity organization in the world) will help turn ideas and plans into practicable projects.
“Poverty is like education, where there’s not enough philanthropic resources to take on responsibility, but if you can show how to have a lot more impact, then the policies will benefit from that,” Bill Gates told the Associated Press earlier this year.
The Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation, whose original goals were to improve the quality of education in the U.S. and the world, has expanded its focus to help underserved students outside the classroom as well. This will surely result in a more impactful outcome, given that poverty and education are closely related. It is, after all, hard to do homework if the lights are shut off. But poverty also goes beyond basic survival necessities. In today’s technological age, having access to a computer with internet access is an absolute must.
Over the course of the next few months, it will be exciting to see the difference that this donation will make in the lives of children.