June 29, 2018
Garbiñe Muguruza, professional women’s tennis player and ambassador for Room to Read, reached her philanthropic goal to establish a brand-new children’s library in Cambodia with the support of her fans and supporters worldwide, it was announced today by Room to Read. Muguruza was named an Active for Education ambassador for Room to Read, a global non-profit focused on literacy and girls’ education, shortly before winning the 2017 women’s singles title at Wimbledon.
As a Room to Read ambassador, Muguruza launched an online crowdfunding campaign and set an initial fundraising goal of US$35,000 to support Room to Read’s comprehensive Literacy Program, including the creation of a brand-new school library in Banlech Prasat Primary School in Prey Veng Province, Cambodia. Prey Veng is one of the poorest provinces in Cambodia with 52.4% of its population living below the national poverty line. This economic need has made quality educational resources scarce, and the recent establishment of garment factories in the region poses a threat to school completion for many children who feel pressure drop out in order to contribute to their household income.
Room to Read partners with government schools to address gaps across three areas that are critical to literacy learning: teacher training and support, quality reading materials, and child-friendly learning spaces. Banlech Prasat Primary School serves approximately 80 students in grades 1-6. The new library established at the school contains 750 local language children’s books, more than half of which are original titles published by Room to Read. Room to Read also provides literacy instruction professional development and library management training for the educators at the school. Grade 2 children in Room to Read supported schools read two times faster than their peers, on average, as compared to peers in comparison schools.
Muguruza featured her Room to Read ambassadorship and philanthropic commitment regularly on her social media channels, inviting her worldwide community of followers to take action alongside her. Inspired by Muguruza's passion for Room to Read’s mission, fans and supporters responded. Over 50 monetary donations made across seven currencies were invested through her Room to Read online fundraising page at https://give.roomtoread.org/Garbine, accompanied by inspiring words of encouragement.
“I wanted to give this opportunity to children, especially young girls, who face many barriers to accessing a quality education and realizing their full potential,” said Muguruza. “I am so grateful to my fans who supported my campaign. Together we are bringing the joy of learning to deserving children and changing the future of this community.”
Earlier this month, Muguruza pledged to donate her doubles prize money from the Nature Valley Classic in Birmingham to Room to Read. She plans to visit the school in Cambodia to meet the children, teachers, and members of the community she has supported, as well as to witness the impact of her campaign first-hand. Muguruza will announce her next fundraising goal as a Room to Read ambassador later this year.