Why literacy and gender equality?
We believe that World Change Starts with Educated Children and have committed to focusing on two key areas where we can have the greatest impact: literacy and gender equality in education.
Literacy is the cornerstone of all learning and fundamental for participation in today’s global society, yet 793 million people across the globe lack the ability to read and write. That includes every medicine bottle, employment ad and ballot form they encounter. Of all the illiterate people in the world today, two-thirds are female and over 90 percent live in developing countries.
Educating girls and women is widely acknowledged as the most powerful and effective way to address global poverty. Women who finish secondary school earn more money, have smaller, healthier families, and are more likely to educate their own children—breaking the cycle of illiteracy in one generation.
Room to Read partners with communities across the developing world to promote literacy and gender equality in education by establishing libraries, constructing classrooms, publishing local-language children’s books, training educators and supporting girls’ education. We believe all children deserve the opportunity to reach their full potential, and that investing in education now will pay dividends for generations to come.
Where we work
Room to Read currently operates in ten countries in Asia and Africa. In each country, we adapt our five core programs to suit the individual needs of the population in question, ensuring that each dollar spent has the most possible impact on the children we serve.
We employ local teams, which are personally invested in their nation’s educational progress and familiar with the challenges ahead. They speak the language, know the customs, and understand what it takes to implement each program successfully.