Once upon a time, when I was back in Zurich, a friend of mine told me over lunch that I should research a charity organisation called‘Room to Read’ (RtR). Little did I know at the time, how important & much it would become part for my life…
Now, I know that most of you have been appropriately ‘brain washed’ by me on what RtR is. However, I don’t want to miss this opportunity to highlight what makes it such an unique organisation, worthy of your attention.
800 million people are illiterate in the world today. Over 530 million are women and children.
Imagine for a moment, they have the chance to learn how to read & write...and I mean with teachers that are trained, a curriculum, measuring parameters, with books in their language that have been developed locally with writers especially for children. Give them access to libraries that are filled with books and run by a trained librarian. You might think that this scenario is surely the standard across the globe, because that’s what we know from discovering the ABC. Well, it just isn’t…although we all know that literacy plays a fundamental impact on quality of life, health and economical standing, i.e. people creating their ‘productive’ life, communities and surroundings.
Now, let’s take it further and assume that both girls & boys can continue schooling after 6th grade. Again you might say, that this is the norm – for us. The truth is that girls are taken out of school to either work or be married off. The positive impact on lives of these girls on top of the economical benefits is a no-brainer really.
Room to Read exists to turn these two scenarios into reality – World Change Starts with Educated Children ® – with a Literacy and a Girls’ Education Program. The idea is to enable children to develop the skills and habit of reading and ensure girls complete secondary school and have skills to negotiate key life decisions.
What’s so different is that RtR collaborate and engage the families, local communities, partner organizations and governments in the transformation. RtR sets measurable goals and collects action-oriented data to ensure the programs are run with quality and impact, while maximizing cost efficiency. Results and reporting are shared with transparency and key indicators ensure rigorous evaluation of more than 7’000 projects. RtR has been reconized by Charity Navigator for its transparency, financial excellence, and responsible work that each donation has maximum impact.
Still want to know more? Read the two books that John Wood the founder has written ‘Leaving Microsoft to Change the World’ and ‘Creating Room to Read’ or visit the global website.
We are so thrilled that we have achieved our goal of reaching 10 million children by the end of 2015! Of course, we have a new goal and that is to benefit 15 million children by 2020.
Please reach out to me, if you want to discuss fun-fundraisers, volunteering, company engagement or maybe a trip with me to one of the Room to Read projects?
I was a member of the Zurich chapter and was welcomed with open arms into the Vancouver chapter. In April I had the chance to attend the RtR Global Leadership Conference in San Francisco and honestly, I was blown away…what a feeling…to be part of such a passionate, active, fun, intelligent group & movement. And just like that Room to Read has become an intrinsic part of my life – happy (me) end.
‘How you imagine the world determines how you live in it.’ David Suzuki
Zurich Event June 2014 – Music & Art for Education