Every time I go downtown, I pass the Bill & Melinda Gates foundation and wonder what is behind those buildings.
I don’t know why it never occurred to me that the visitor building is a great place to just pop in and look around. A couple of weeks ago I was invited to a special media event at the foundation and I got to explore the visitors center.
I walked in and was greeted by photos of faces telling a story. The walls are decorated with images of people of all walks of life, all cultures and all ethnicities. Beauty. The most beautiful part of it is that the images are of people who have helped the foundation and people who have helped the foundation, with no signs of hierarchy, side by side as to remind us that people are people first.
There are so many causes that they are helping with; vaccinations, hunger, clean water though I was naturally drawn to the images that resonate with me.
As a friend calls my situation (the first year with a baby or babies in my case), I am in the trenches. This is partly hormonal from abundant nursing sessions and partly caused by sleep deprivation.
In this image, a mom practices kangaroo care, basically carrying her baby skin to skin can improve the health of the baby. There is so much beauty in this photo. When my twins were born, keeping their tiny bodies close to my skin helped them gain weight and overcome their premature issues. Even here in America, with access to so many nurses and lactation consultants, not many know how much this contact of skin on skin can help your baby thrive well as help the parents.
The Bill & Melinda Gates visitor center has interactive exhibits that explain all the work that the foundation does. Each exhibit highlights critical issues around the world. The walls tell the story and there is step by step explanations on how they choose a cause, from how they started by donating money and later realized that in order to make real progress, you need to listen to people, to parents, farmers and students and then advocate for those in need. And then take action.
I left there inspired, thinking of how I could explain all this to my son when I got home. It is a great place to take your older child and learn more about what this world needs and to remind us of everything we have access to. Next time you are wandering around Seattle Center, cross the street and enjoy this exhibit, take a few minutes to learn, relate and become more involved.
More information here
There are plenty of things to touch, turn and experience and learn how to take action and make changes. It is a great exhibit for all ages but I could see this being particularly impactful on pre-teens or teens who want to make a difference in lives. I will be taking my three and a half-year old there to explore and learn more about causes around the world and when I have guests from out-of-town, I will take them there too.