FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
ROOM TO READ TO RAISE US$1 MILLION FOR BUILDING EDUCATIONAL INFRASTRUCTURE IN SRI LANKA
Initial Focus to be on the Reconstruction of Damaged Schools
San Francisco, CA – January 7, 2005 – Room to Read, an international organization that establishes schools and libraries in Asia, today announced an effort to raise US$1 million for building educational infrastructure in tsunami-ravaged Sri Lanka.
The results-oriented, low overhead nonprofit organization is dedicated to improving the lives of people in developing countries by fostering education and literacy from a young age. Today the organization announced that a pool of anonymous donors have committed to matching all donations up to the first US$100,000 for the Sri Lanka fund.
The tsunami of December 26 wreaked havoc on communities throughout Asia. Sri Lanka has been devastated with a death toll in excess of 40,000. Room to Read, which has operated in South Asia for five years, decided to accelerate its already-planned expansion into Sri Lanka.
John Wood, Founder and CEO, said that once primary relief efforts, such as the delivery of food, water, and medical supplies are secure, Room to Read will aid in the long term restoration of communities affected.
"Room to Read needs your support to ensure that the children of Sri Lanka will one day be able to return to the safe haven that a school provides," Wood said. "In the critical months ahead, our team will travel to assess the damage on the ground and to work with local non-governmental organizations to identify school sites in need. Immediate needs are acute, but it also is important to lay the groundwork now, so that these children have a future that provides education."
Previous results by Room to Read during its first five years include:
- Building 110 schools
- Establishing over 1,500 libraries
- Publishing 33 new local language children's books
- Donating over 500,000 books
- Establishing over 45 computer and language labs
- Funding over 950 long-term scholarships
- Benefiting over 500,000 children through the lifelong gift of education.
Room to Read also works in Cambodia, India, Nepal and Vietnam. "For every dollar donated to Room to Read projects, more than 90 cents is deployed directly to our programs and not to a wasteful bureaucracy," Wood added. This efficiency is one of the reasons that Room to Read is a two-time winner of the Fast Company Social Capitalist award, and a recipient of Time magazine's Asian Hero award.
Donations can be made to the reconstruction of communities affected in Sri Lanka by visiting the donate page and noting "Sri Lanka" in the Special Instructions.
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