2015 Gates Annual letter: Global Citizen.org

5 Jul

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CONCLUSION
A CALL FOR GLOBAL CITIZENS
BILL AND MELINDA GATES
SO WHAT WILL IT TAKE TO MAKE SURE THAT THE LIVES OF THE POOR IMPROVE FASTER IN THE NEXT 15 YEARS THAN EVER BEFORE?
As we said earlier, it will take innovation in technology and in ways to deliver it to the people who need it most, which is what our foundation works on.
There’s another crucial factor: informed, passionate individuals working together to form effective movements for change. People who care about helping those in the world’s poorest places improve their lives. We call them global citizens. And with this letter, we’re helping to kick-start an effort to recruit tens of millions more of them.

American astronomer and author Neil deGrasse Tyson: “In 15 years, we went from no space program … to boot prints on the moon. I remember the day, because that was made possible … everything else was possible as well.”

Becoming a global citizen doesn’t mean you have to dedicate your life to helping the poor. It does mean you follow an issue of global importance—whether it’s one we wrote about in this letter, or another, like human rights or governance. You take a few minutes once in a while to learn about the lives of people who are worse off than you are. (In fact, if you’re still reading this far into our letter, you are probably a global citizen.) You’re willing to act on your compassion, whether it’s raising awareness, volunteering your time, or giving a little money.
Improving life for the poor will take contributions from everyone.
There is overwhelming evidence that people care about others who are suffering—when they can see the suffering. Just think of the global outpouring of support whenever a devastating tsunami or earthquake makes the news. The problem is that ongoing tragedies like deadly diseases and poverty don’t make the news. They’re invisible to many of us. And so the caring of millions of people goes untapped.
We hope to help change that. With the effort we’re helping launch, we want to raise the visibility of these problems. We want to give global citizens a way to lend their voice, urging governments, companies, and nonprofits to make these issues a priority.
It is called Global Citizen, and you can sign up. You will be able to get updates on how you can help, share what you’re learning, and connect with other people and organizations who care about similar issues. But being a global citizen is not just about being part of one organization; it’s about being part of a movement made up of many effective organizations including global groups like CIVICUS, Save the Children, the ONE Campaign, ActionAid, Oxfam, and Greenpeace, as well as smaller national organizations from Sri Lanka to South Africa. We hope this effort will help these groups grow, building the movement of global citizens. Their millions of members are also global citizens, working on different global problems.

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