Bill Gates reveals what he would do if he lived on $2 (£1.38)
If Bill Gates was a country, he would be the 37th richest country on this planet. If he put all of his wealth in to a high-interest account paying around 6% then it would earn him $114.16 (£79.02) every. Single. Second. Despite being one of the wealthiest people in the world he is well known for being very generous with charitable donations. Gates’ has recently talked about what he would do if he had to live on $2 a day, which is the total amount most people in poverty live on.
When faced with the $2 a day challenge, Gates’ says that it is pretty clear that people in extreme poverty are better off if they buy chickens and that is exactly what he would do if he were in their shoes. By his calculations, he could buy a bird for about $5 (the average cost in most West African countries) and then pay a small amount for things like vaccines and wood to build a holding pen / shelter. He works out that if he dedicated most of his income to buying chickens then after a month he could own a few chickens and continue to increase as more money comes in, in the future.
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After doing this for several months he would own dozens of chickens that he could either sell or decide to keep so that he could increase the size of his flock. Doing this would help him get out of poverty and give him opportunities to generate more income.
With this line of reasoning, Gates donated 100,000 chickens through his livestock & foundation charity called Heifer International and he describes the eventual goal as being to help 30% of rural families in sub-Saharan Africa raise 5% more healthy vaccinated chickens than they are currently producing.
The idea is that chickens multiply on an ongoing basis so there is a considerably high ROI (return on investment). He concludes by referencing the bible parable of teaching a man how to fish so he can feed himself forever rather than just giving him one so he can only feed himself once. Gates says that parable could have been stated in terms of giving someone chickens so they can feed themselves forever and get out of poverty at the same time.