Traveling can be fun and exciting. It can be educational, mind blowing, and sometimes even life changing. Fifteen years ago on a backpacking trip to Nepal, John Wood found out how life altering travelling can be. A Microsoft executive at the time, John was taken back by the lack of education and more specifically the lack of books available to the children of a Nepalese village he was passing through. In fact the few books they did have, including a Danielle Steele novel, were so cherished that they were kept under lock and key. One year later John quit his corporate job, founded Room to Read and never looked back.
Photo via Room To ReadJohn and co-founder Dinesh Shrestha began with a goal to help build schools and libraries in the rural areas of Asia and Africa. Following a year of immersing themselves in these communities they realized they needed to expand the scope of their work. The reality was that the education of young girls was often being overlooked due to cultural biases. In 2000 the Girls Education program began which targets young girls and provides a long term commitment to their education.
Have they been successful? Have they made an impact? To date Room to Read has constructed 1627 schools and established over 15,000 libraries! In addition their Local Language Publishing Program, which began in 2003, has published nearly 900 books written and illustrated by local authors.12.8 million total books distributed to date in 10 countries. Over 20,000 girls education participants and nearly 8 million children have benefited from Room to Read. Impact made!
I have always been drawn to travel due to the inspiration it always seems to provide. Whether it is a new meal I’ve come across that I can’t wait to try to make, a different approach to an every day chore, or like John Wood an idea that can actually change the world for the better. The snippet below is an inspiring story taken from Room to Read’s blog:
October is a month long campaign called Booktober to raise funds and awareness for global literacy. Join Room to Read in their effort to give children around the world the chance of a brighter future.