The Queen Elizabeth Diamond Jubilee Trust shows how royal support for philanthropy can have a decisive effect on gathering the resources to tackle global problems
When Her Majesty The Queen celebrated her Diamond Jubilee in 2012, it was her wish that in the place of presents, a charitable initiative should be established to benefit the people of the Commonwealth, an imaginative initiative which would use combined efforts to bring about change on a global scale.
The response was profound. The Queen Elizabeth Diamond Jubilee Trust, as it became known, received donations of £100 million from individuals, organisations and foundations from all over the Commonwealth, and from the governments of its member nations, big and small. In support of this collective effort, Commonwealth leaders agreed the Trust should make a decisive contribution in two areas: young people, in recognition of the fact that the world now has the largest youth population it has ever seen, and avoidable blindness. Four out of five people who are blind today are so as a result of causes which can be entirely avoided.
Over the past four years, the Trust has successfully increased capacity and access to quality eye care in Commonwealth countries, and advanced significantly the international effort to eliminate trachoma worldwide.