Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation

Share the Proof

October 18, 2010

Bill and I are in London for the launch of Living Proof by the ONE Campaign. The idea behind Living Proof is simple. When foreign aid is spent wisely, it’s very effective.

Our role in the launch is to make the case that aid works, to thank the UK government and people for their long history of generosity, and to encourage them to continue to support spending on global health and development.

Right now, aid is having a huge impact on the lives of poor people in poor countries, and it’s an impact that will build on itself for generations. That’s because it triggers a virtuous cycle of development. A healthy parent can work. A working parent can feed her children and vaccinate them against preventable disease. Healthy, well-nourished children can pay attention in school. Educated adults have the skills to start small businesses, to improve their farms, to do the whole range of things that people everywhere do when they’re planning for the future.

When it comes to global health and development, Bill and I are both optimists. We're optimistic because of the people that we meet when we travel in the developing world, people who are transforming their lives with the help of government investments. We meet people like Rukmini, a young mother in India who allowed me to join in the celebration of her newborn daughter Durga, or Onyebuchi Chukwu, Nigeria’s Minister of Health who talked with Bill about creative approaches for polio immunization. So many people inspire us.

We often think that if everybody could meet the kind of people we meet and see the living proof of the progress that is being made, they would be just as optimistic as we are.

And this is why Bill and I are excited about the possibilities of Living Proof. We encourage you to learn these stories, discuss them, and—most of all—share them with your family, your friends, your communities, and your policy-makers. Stories can change the world.

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