Fans of The Fault In Our Stars and John Green’s YouTube channel may already know that the author recently joined forces with billionaire Bill Gates to visit a rural health center in Ethiopia.
Bill Gates is a noted philanthropist and computer technology innovator, while John Green and his brother Hank founded a charity organization called The Foundation to Decrease World Suck. According to the Wall Street Journal, Gates and Green headed out to Ethiopia as part of a continued effort to make the world a better place. While there, Bill Gates and John Green spoke with local students and the people leading a health center in Southcentral Ethiopia.
The purpose of Gates and Green’s team-up might be slightly different than you’re expecting. Bill Gates didn’t take Green along on a philanthropy mission trip to simply donate money to the Foundation to Decrease World Suck and help out the natives of Ethiopia. In fact, Gates and Green were there to learn.
John Green talked about his trip with Bill Gates on his personal tumblr, stating that the health center operates 24/7 providing healthcare to 5,000 people in the area, all without running water or electricity. Gates and Green learned about how the center provides treatment of illness and disease, contraception and medical testing. John Green provided a chart showing that infant mortality rates in Ethiopia before the health centers opened. In 2004, 11 percent of children in Ethiopia died before the age of five. Currently, it’s less than 7 percent. John closes out his post by saying:
“the world has a lot to learn from Ethiopia’s health investments.”
The site Two Paragraphs speculates that Bill Gates contacted John Green after seeing a YouTube video he posted this past January discussing “the three myths at the center of Bill and Melinda Gates’s 2013 annual letter,” which possibly caught the attention of the Gates Foundation.
The Gates Foundation is the charity organization founded by Bill Gates and his wife Melinda Gates. The goal of the organization is to find solutions to critical global problems like hunger, health, poverty and education.
It seems on the subject of charity and philanthropy, John Green and Bill Gates are kindred spirits. While they come from different worlds, they seem to agree that there is much work to be done to improve the quality of life across the globe. John Green said that Bill Gates is “the best listener — and question asker — he’s ever met.”
For more on Bill Gates, check out his favorite book on business, which may have contributed to his success with Microsoft.
— Bill Gates (@BillGates) July 25, 2014