Educational Causes: Room to Read


Education and learning is an inevitable part of societal development. Every nation that has developed have had to increase the literacy rate of the mass population. Indeed the Americas, great nations of Europe and Asia can boast of educational initiative which has contributed to the development of education. We looked a little deeper and found out that the advancement in the area of education has not always being the efforts of government alone. For profit and Not-for-profit organisations alike engage in education. There are many firms whose mandate is to increase education and continual learning.

Air Libraries is proud to be writing about some of these initiatives that has enhanced learning around the world. We have gone a great deal to look for organisations and information about them to present to you. So feel free to share, like and most importantly, take advantage of whatever opportunity there can be for you.

The first educational initiative we want to share with you has its global office at 465 California Street Suite 1000, in San Francisco in United States of America. By way of statistics, Room to Read has impacted about 100million children worldwide. They have presence in countries like Bangladesh, Cambodia, India, Laos, Nepal, South Africa, Sri Lanka, Tanzania, Vietnam and Zambia.


Room to Read envisions a world in which all children can pursue a quality education, reach their full potential and contribute to their community and the world.

The vision is accomplished through working in collaboration with communities and local governments across Asia and Africa to develop literacy skills and a habit of reading among primary school children, and support girls to complete secondary school with the life skills they’ll need to succeed in school and beyond.

Founding Story

The story of room to read begins by John Wood (Microsoft Executive) being invited by a Nepalese Education officer while on a hiking holiday to a village school nearby. John found out of the bad state of the school’s lack in terms of books, and heavily guarded the remaining to the point of no reading. On his way out of the village, the headmaster made a request that John may come back with some books to help them. John gathered 3000 books from friends and relatives the following year and brought them to the school on backs of eight book-bearing donkeys. 1999 was the year John left his position at Microsoft to fully dedicate his life to the cause of education due to the huge gap he found. Others helper joined him.

Dinesh Shrestha, Erin Ganju and other joined the cause in later years to help with the then known Books for Nepal project. Dinesh started from the field work going to places and establishing libraries. Sooner than later the team realized the need to go beyond libraries to addressing the issue of girl child education. Erin was influential in the expansion into other countries like Vietnam, Cambodia and India.

You can continue reading the story from their website.


Room to Read rely heavily on partnership in several forms as it is with many non-profit to implement their objectives.

Their financial support institutions are known as Institutional Partners. There are 17 institutions presently helping in various forms of support- in providing financial assistance to the building of schools, libraries, educational sponsorship etc.

Some of them are Artha Capital, Barclays, Citi, Elma Foundation, Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation, Goldman Sachs, Bloomberg …see the rest here

In-kind contributions of books, software, and services are key to our success in providing educational opportunities to children in the developing world. Some of these partners are Google, Scholastic, Sabre Foundation, Brother’s brother … you can get the rest of them from here

Impact so far

Over the years Room to read has established over 17,000 libraries, constructed over 1,900 schools, published over 1,000 books and distributed 15million copies. They have participated in the education of some 30,000 girls and in all gave educational benefits to a resounding 10million children.

Source: Official Website, YouTube Site Image source: Official Website