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Caare Spotlight #1: Gates Foundation

June 24, 2013 at 10:41 pm

Gates Foundation LogoORGANIZATION

DEFINITION: A private charitable foundation, founded in 2000 and headquartered in Seattle, which aids in global health.

ESTABLISHMENT AND PURPOSE

In January, 2000, Microsoft founder and chief executive officer (CEO) Bill Gates and his wife Melinda established what has become the world’s most lavishly funded charitable foundation. The Gateses earmarked five billion dollars for the foundation in June, 1999, following this with a contribution of $106 million in 2000. By June, 2006, with additional funding from the Gateses, the foundation’s endowment reached $29.2 billion.

The endowment was enhanced substantially on June 25, 2006, when Warren Buffett pledged to the Gates Foundation ten million shares of Berkshire Hathaway class B stock, worth $30.7 billion on June 23, 2006, the most substantial charitable donation in American history. This contribution, spread over several years, gives the Gates Foundation the largest endowment of any existing foundation. Even before Buffett’s gift, its assets exceeded the gross national product (GNP) of more than one hundred nations.

The Gates Foundation provides funding in one miscellaneous and four specific categories: global health, education, libraries, and the Pacific Northwest. Its outreach, particularly in health, is worldwide, with special emphasis on improving medical facilities, training medical personnel, and enhancing medical education. It emphasizes prevention through education, inoculation, and therapeutic management of such endemic diseases as acquired immunodeficiency syndrome (AIDS), malaria, and poliomyelitis.

ORGANIZATION AND MANAGEMENT

Despite its size and complexity, the Gates Foundation controls overhead expenses scrupulously. Its emphasis is on assisting those who most need help, with minimal bureaucratic interference. With a worldwide toll of over a million deaths yearly from malaria, two million from tuberculosis, and three million from HIV/AIDS, a daunting task faces the Gateses’ global health outreach.

Buffett’s contribution stipulates that the foundation must continue qualifying as a charitable organization and must distribute an annual amount at least 5 percent more than the previous year’s Berkshire contribution. Federal laws governing charitable foundations require them to distribute 5 percent or more of their assets every year.

Even before Buffett’s contribution, this government regulation forced the Gates Foundation to distribute approximately a billion dollars every year. When Buffett’s total contribution is added to the original endowment, the foundation will be required to distribute over two billion dollars a year to qualify as a charitable foundation.

As the foundation was originally organized, Bill and Melinda Gates were actively involved as cofounders, although the demands on Bill Gates as CEO of Microsoft limited the time that he could spend overseeing the foundation. On June 15, 2006, Gates announced that after July 31, 2008, he would reduce his involvement in the day-to-day operation of Microsoft and would direct most of his energies toward overseeing the foundation.

Gates’s father, William H. Gates, Sr., has served as cochairperson of the foundation since its founding, as has Patty Stonesifer who, besides being cochairperson, is president and CEO of the Gates Foundation. The foundation in mid-2006 had 241 full-time employees, a modest number for such a complex organization.

SCOPE AND IMPACT

Because Microsoft’s corporate center is in Seattle, one of the Gates Foundation’s priorities, to sponsor projects affecting America’s Northwest, reflects the Gateses’ loyalty to that area. The overall scope of the organization, however, is truly global with special emphasis on the developing world, with its daunting health problems, notably HIV-AIDS, malaria, diabetes, and polio.

In October, 2000, the Gates Cambridge Scholarship Program, established with a grant of more than $200 million, enabled promising graduate students from outside the United Kingdom to study at Cambridge University, a program that every year subsidizes one hundred new scholars. The Gates Millennium Scholars’ Program, with funding of one billion dollars, is administered by the United Negro College Fund and provides scholarships for minority students in the United States.

The students in these programs frequently pursue careers related to world health. The foundation’s awards of $800 million a year for global health almost equals the annual budget of the United Nations’ World Health Organization (WHO). The greatest international impact of the Gates Foundation clearly is in global health.

On October 25, 2005, the foundation gave the Global Alliance for Vaccines and Immunization $750 million to underwrite its vaccination programs. A grant of $30 million helped to establish a new Department of Global Health at the University of Washington aimed at preparing health professionals—physicians, paramedics, nurses, social workers, and psychologists—to work with the impoverished on the prevention and treatment of diseases prevalent among them. This grant enabled the University of Washington to hire fourteen new faculty members and to support more than four hundred graduate students and staff.

The Gates Foundation has contributed nearly $300 million to be divided among sixteen teams doing HIV/AIDS research throughout the world. This gift requires that all these teams share their findings with other teams.

The foundation provides funds to help organizations dealing with emergencies such as the 2004 Indian Ocean tsunami and the 2005 earthquake in Kashmir. This funding enables medical professionals to deal with the health problems that accompany such disasters.

Some conservative critics fear that the money the foundation awards will fall into the hands of unscrupulous politicians. The wisdom of throwing money at problems in the developing world, where graft is rampant and distribution is questionable, has been viewed with skepticism in some quarters. Critics suggest that helping the developing world form stronger infrastructures and develop work opportunities for the unemployed might help

Caare101 Spotlight #2: W.K. Kellogg Foundation

June 22, 2013 at 7:25 pm

Kellog Foundation LogoWill Kellogg retired in 1929 as president of the W. K. Kellogg Company. He remained as chairman of the board until 1946. During this time he became increasingly involved with philanthropic activities. As early as 1925, he had formed the Fellowship Corporation to foster agricultural training. In 1930 he established the W. K. Kellogg Child Welfare Foundation after having been named a delegate to the White House Conference on Child Health and Protection by President Herbert Hoover. The Child Welfare Foundation then became the W. K. Kellogg Foundation; it remains one of the leading charitable institutions in the United States, donating more than $4.5 billion dollars between 1930 and 2006. The foundation has continued to focus on children’s welfare; Kellogg strongly supported educating children and giving them the means to achieve independence and security because he believed the future of humanity depended upon it.

Kellogg spent his last years living mostly in California. He owned a horse ranch in Pomona and left this property to California State Polytechnic College for use as a campus. He was opposed to leaving his wealth to his children for fear that doing so would stifle their own ambition and independence. Kellogg died in Battle Creek on October 6, 1951.

Will Kellogg’s legacy is twofold. First, his creation of the wheat flake and then the cornflake transformed the way people in America and all around the world start the day. The cereal industry that grew up in Battle Creek began with Kellogg’s experiments at the sanitarium and soon expanded into the W. K. Kellogg Company. Today packaged breakfast foods can be found in nearly every kitchen in America and many other parts of the world. Over the years Kellogg expanded its offerings to include other convenience foods such as crackers, cookies, and meat substitutes. Among the company’s many brands are Keebler, Pop-Tarts, Cheez-It, Morningstar Farms, Famous Amos, Chips Deluxe, and Eggo. The company’s trademarked figures Tony the Tiger, Ernie Keebler, and others are among the most recognized characters in advertising.

Second, his philanthropic commitment led to one of the largest, most far-reaching charitable institutions in the world, the W. K. Kellogg Foundation. With headquarters in Battle Creek, the foundation makes grants to programs and projects relating to health, agriculture, and education in an effort to help people around the world gain independence. Will Kellogg was in the vanguard of early-20th-century entrepreneurs who embraced philanthropy as a way to address society’s ills. His foundation served as a model for the great number of private charitable institutions that would appear across the United States in the economic boom years following the end of World War II in 1945.

Caare101 Spotlight #3: World Health Organization

June 20, 2013 at 10:58 pm

World Health OrgThe World Health Organization (WHO) is a specialized agency of the United Nations. With its headquarters in Geneva, Switzerland, the organization has grown from 26 member countries in 1948 to more than 190 in 2003, improving health conditions on every continent of the earth. It functions under the aegis of the United Nations’ Economic and Social Council. The governing body of WHO is the World Health Assembly, which is composed of delegations from all member states. The assembly decides the policies, programs, and budget of the organization. It selects the countries that will place one member each on its twenty-four-member executive board, which oversees the programs and budget for the coming year. These plans are presented for approval by the director general, who, with a staff of two thousand, is responsible for conducting investigations and surveys.

The World Health Organization is divided into six regional subdivisions working in Europe, the Americas, Africa, the middle eastern Mediterranean, southeastern Asia, and the western Pacific. These regional organizations have headquarters in Copenhagen, Denmark; Washington, D.C.; Brazzaville, Congo; Alexandria, Egypt; New Delhi, India; and Manila, the Philippines, respectively.

The regular budget is contributed directly to WHO by its member states. The United Nations also devotes many resources to the Fund for Technical Assistance to Underdeveloped Countries, of which a substantial part is for health work. Other financial sources are individual donations for promoting good health practices and eradicating malaria. Despite these incomes, there is a continual drain on funds because many underdeveloped countries cannot afford to pay for the drugs, vaccines, or technical medical assistance that they receive.

One of WHO’s enduring achievements has been to communicate to the world an understanding and acceptance of the idea of a common, basic list of drugs. The model Essential Drug List has been a powerful tool in providing scientific justification for the improvement of health standards and practices through publicity, workshops, and training in the developing world. The first list of essential drugs was published in 1977 and included 205 drugs; the list published in 1999 contained 306 preparations. Drugs are included based on recommendations of expert committees from both developing and developed countries. The committees consist of clinical pharmacologists, health officials, and university professors. The drugs are chosen for efficacy, safety, quality, and stability. By emphasizing generic agents, the list has stimulated international competition among drug suppliers and brought down prices—an important consideration since some countries spend 40 percent of their slim health budgets on drugs.

WHO concerns itself with the needs of those billions of people in the world who are still without regular access to the most basic drugs at the primary health care level. It seeks to establish equitable access to essential drugs for people. The organization has helped more than 90 percent of its member nations to develop a partly or fully developed essential drugs policy. The Essential Drug List is a valuable resource for countries trying to develop their own national lists. Changes have been made in the list for several reasons, including oversight or omission, accumulation of more conclusive evidence of the therapeutic advantages of various drugs, and changes in the perceived role of the list itself.

WHO attacks communicable diseases in every country through prevention, control, and treatment. The cornerstone of prevention and control is education. Public information is of crucial importance in controlling epidemics. Also vital to many populations is information on nutrition, breast-feeding, personal hygiene, cleanliness, and the use of safe water. Stress is placed on the public’s ability to play an important role in prevention and early detection. With full and accurate information, symptoms may be correctly interpreted and conditions correctly diagnosed, thus preventing the spread of disease.

Various WHO commissions continue working on projects to improve health standards. Efforts continue for increasing the number of trained medical personnel in many countries. Systems for selecting, procuring, storing, and distributing drugs and supplies more efficiently are continually being refined. WHO is cognizant of a global range of concerns, from promoting a healthy environment to revising guidelines for ethical conduct in research on an international level.

Caare101 Musical Leadership and Awareness – U2

June 15, 2013 at 11:13 pm

U2 caare101

Rather than following War with a similar set of socially conscious anthems, U2 took an unexpected, and somewhat riskier, turn on their next studio album. Splitting with original producer Lilly white, they recorded with the production duo of Brian Eno, the former Roxy Music keyboardist who’d become both an influential solo artist as well as a producer for the likes of David Bowie and Talking Heads; and Canadian engineer/musician Daniel Lanois.

The result of the new partnership was The Unforgettable Fire, whose title was borrowed from an exhibition of paintings created by survivors of the atomic bombs dropped on Hiroshima and Nagasaki in the final days of World War II, which the band members viewed at Chicago’s Peace Museum.

The Unforgettable Fire traded the punchy rock sound of its predecessors for a more experimental approach, emphasizing sustained atmospherics over rockist fireworks. The songs’ arrangements emphasized the growing nuance and subtlety of the Edge’s guitar work, whose distinctive textures enhanced the songs’ cinematic qualities.

Lyrically, the album was largely inspired by the band’s experiences traveling in America, surveying the gap between the country’s idealized mythology and its reality. The collection produced U2′s first U.S. Top Forty single in “(Pride) In the Name of Love,” a stirring tribute to slain 1960s civil rights leader Martin Luther King Jr. whose anthemic chorus contrasted the subtle sound that dominated the album. The Unforgettable Fire also yielded a significant live showpiece in the six-minute “Bad,” which poignantly addressed the issue of heroin addiction, a growing problem in the band’s home country.

Despite its less overtly accessible direction, The Unforgettable Fire duplicated War’s sales success, entering the U.S. Top Ten after its release in October 1984. U2 supported The Unforgettable Fire with a massively successful world tour that spawned another live EP, Wide Awake in America.

In late 1984, Bob Geldof, the habitually outspoken lead singer of Ireland’s Boomtown Rats, was moved by television news coverage of famine in Ethiopia to create a benefit project to help address the desperate situation. The result was Band Aid, whose seasonal single “Do They Know It’s Christmas?” offered a historic assemblage of some of the British pop world’s biggest names. Bono was prominent among the all-star supergroup, which also included Sting, Boy George, Phil Collins, Paul McCartney, George Michael, Paul Weller, and Paul Young.

Rush-released in time for the 1984 Christmas season, “Do They Know It’s Christmas?” topped the pop charts on both sides of the Atlantic, selling over 50 million copies worldwide. Geldof then raised the stakes by staging Live Aid, an all-star transatlantic concert spectacle, on July 13, 1985, at London’s Wembley Stadium and JFK Stadium in Philadelphia, which was simulcast around the globe to raise even more funds for the cause.

Not surprisingly, U2 was one of the first acts to sign on for the concerts. Performing at Wembley—an outdoor venue far larger than those in which the band was used to performing—the band kicked off its abbreviated seventeen-minute set with a rousing “Sunday Bloody Sunday” and continued with an extended “Bad” that interspersed portions of the Rolling Stones’ “Ruby Tuesday” and “Sympathy for the Devil” and Lou Reed’s “Satellite of Love” and “Walk on the Wild Side.” During that medley, Bono took a spontaneous leap off the stage into the photographers’ pit in order to dance with a female fan. While the stunt cost the group the time to do its planned third number, “New Year’s Day,” it drove the Wembley crowd into a frenzy.

If there had been any doubt previously, their Live Aid performance offi-cially served notice of U2′s new status as a world-class band. For a band that specialized in big gestures while maintaining an intimate connection with its fans, it was a perfect coming-out party.

In the autumn of 1985, U2 once again joined Bob Geldof and the Boomtown Rats, along with Elvis Costello, Van Morrison, and several Irish acts, for another high-profile benefit concert. The Dublin show, dubbed Self Aid For Ireland, was designed to raise awareness of that country’s dire unemployment situation.

Also in 1985, Bono became a part of Artists United Against Apartheid, a benefit project organized by E Street Band guitarist Steven Van Zandt to resist South Africa’s brutal system of racial segregation. Bono quickly wrote a new original song, “Silver and Gold,” for the album, and recorded it with help from Rolling Stones guitarists Keith Richards and Ron Wood.

In the summer of 1986, U2 joined the Conspiracy of Hope, a series of six stadium concerts across America to raise funds and awareness for Amnesty International, an esteemed organization that works to draw attention to the plight of political prisoners around the world. Others on the rotating Conspiracy of Hope bill included the Police, Peter Gabriel, Lou Reed, Joan Baez, and the Neville Brothers. For their Conspiracy of Hope performances, U2 did something they hadn’t done since their early Dublin days. They added cover material—namely, the Beatles’ “Help,” Bob Dylan’s “Maggie’s Farm,” and Eddie Cochran’s “C’mon Everybody”—to their set list.

The tour, which began on June 4, climaxed eleven days later with a live MTV broadcast from New Jersey’s Giants Stadium. The day before, the members of U2 attended an anti-apartheid rally in New York’s Central Park, where they joined Van Zandt onstage to perform “Sun City,” the main song from the Artists United Against Apartheid album.

In March 1985, four months before U2′s breakthrough performance at Live Aid, Rolling Stone—a reliable indicator of mainstream American tastes—featured U2 on its cover, accompanied by a headline anointing the group “Our Choice: Band of the ’80s.”