Three weeks ago in Nepal, 1,000 villagers gathered to mark a momentous day in the history of Room To Read, a charity that builds children’s libraries around the developing world. They celebrated the opening of the group’s 10,000th library.
John Wood, founder and executive chairman, launched Room to Read 10 years ago after a trek through Nepal where he visited several local schools. He was amazed by the warmth and enthusiasm of the students and teachers, but also saddened by the shocking lack of resources. Driven to help, John quit his senior executive position with Microsoft and built a global team to work with rural villages in furthering the educating of young people.
Wood wrote on his blog, “This achievement was not just an achievement for me but it was an achievement for all of us -– for our staff that has worked tirelessly over these past ten years to enable us to reach this point, and for our partners who have helped us to create a global movement to bring change to the world through education.”
Room To Read boasts an astonishing average of 6 library openings every day in the developing world -– that’s 3,000 kids every day who gain access to a well-stocked library with the tools they need to further their education.
Since 2000, the team has supplied more than seven million books to more than four million children in Bangladesh, Cambodia, India, Laos, Nepal, South Africa, Sri Lanka, Vietnam and Zambia. The non-profit organization has also built 1,000 schools, particularly empowering girls with increased access to high-quality educational opportunities – including 10,000 girls this year who are attending school on scholarship.
“Marrying the best business practices John and I learned from the private sector with those from the nonprofit sector has allowed us to scale to the degree that we have with maximum efficiency and quality,” said Erin Ganju, Room to Read Co-Founder and CEO.
WATCH the Room To Read Video below, Celebrating its 10,000th library: