On Monday evening I had the chance to go along to Living Proof, which was hosted by Bill and Melinda Gates, and attended by many of the international development world including DFID Ministers, heads of all major NGO’s and lets not forget ONE co founder Bono. I bumped into my fellow campaigner Jen Crago (Outreach Campaign Coordinator, London for OXFAM). Here is her take on the night:
Occasionally, and I am sure that any seasoned campaigner will sympathise, you feel like all of your efforts have been wasted. This week has been different; notably fantastic re-affirmation from George Osbourne that Britain is on track to deliver its promised 0.7% of GNI as ODA by 2013, and also the launch of ONE’s ‘Living Proof’ with Bill and Melinda Gates at London’s Science Museum on Monday night. The two of us were fortunate enough to be invited to attend.
Bill and Melinda presented a story, full of the charts and graphs that you would naturally expect from the mind behind Microsoft, that we don’t hear often enough; 99% reduction in Polio, 98 million less people going hungry in 2010 than there were last year, 500 million anti-malarial bed nets which are saving 200,000 lives per year. Proof that over the past decade smart aid has achieved real, demonstratable results. They also offered a sincere expression of appreciation to Britain (naming some of our largest NGO’s, including Oxfam) for all of our efforts to end extreme poverty and our leadership on the world stage.
Following the presentation we attended a reception where Jen had the pleasure to chat with Oxfam’s own Duncan Greene, personally thank Andrew Mitchell, our Secretary of State for International Development, for his reassurance of the governments promise to deliver and not make cut backs to spending on aid and development, and also chat with numerous fellow development sector professionals, journalists and economists. Adizah took the opportunity to speak with Bill Gates, shake his hand, and tell him how impressed she is with the work that he and his wife, Melinda, are doing, especially in the eyes of a 21 year old.