The Michael & Susan Dell Foundation – Transforming the lives of children living in urban poverty through better health and education.

What does it mean to be a child living in urban poverty? For too many of the more than one billion impoverished kids in cities and towns around the world, it means living with less. Without access to decent schools, basic health support and financial stability, these children fall behind their peers.

Michael & Susan Dell - Founders
Michael & Susan Dell – Founders
  • In India, an estimated 47 percent of children, many of them living in the country’s urban slums, suffer from malnutrition, while an estimated 85 percent of school children drop out of school before grade nine.
  • In South Africa, less than one in 20 black students ends up with a posthigh- school qualification or degree, compared to one in two white students.
  • In the US, two-thirds of children are overweight or obese, and rates can largely be predicted by zip code. Socioeconomic status is equally determinant in educational outcomes: 90 percent of students in low-poverty schools graduate, compared to just 68 percent in high-poverty schools.

Overwhelming as these issues can seem, we believe that, with the right approach, lasting change is possible. Results-oriented organizations from all sectors – business, philanthropic, governmental, community, the public health sector and others – are already making enormous progress. But we can and must push ourselves to do more. To that end, we’re issuing a challenge to ourselves and to others:

We must push ourselves to ensure we’re taking the smartest, most pragmatic steps to achieve transformation. Achieving transformation at scale demands that we focus on six key actions:

1. Seeking out and supporting promising, early-stage ideas and innovations
2. Working toward systemic change
3. Fostering the creation of new markets
4. Maintaining a clear focus on social progress
5. Managing the financial impact of investments and grants
6. Executing with discipline