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John Wood and Room to Read Nominated for World's Children's Prize

February 11, 2014

In the News Asia Cambodia

Room to Read is honored that John Wood (on behalf of Room to Read) has been included as one of three nominees for the 2014 World’s Children’s Prize along with Malala Yousafzai (Malala Fund), and Indira Ranamagar (Prisoners Assistance Nepal). The nominees were selected by a jury of children from 15 countries with the final award, often called "the Children's Nobel Prize," being chosen through a global vote by millions of children. All nominees will be honoured at the Award Ceremony at Gripsholm Castle in Mariefred, Sweden, in October 2014, where H.M. Queen Silvia of Sweden will help the children present the awards. Please read our press release for more about this nomination.

The story below originally appeared in The Globe magazine, published by the World's Children's Prize and has been republished with permission. For more stories like this one about children supported by Room to Read, please read the World's Children's Prize's magazine, The Globe.


Reaksa, 14, lives with her grandparents [in Cambodia] because her parents are divorced and can’t take care of her.

Lisa, Sopheak, Sokhit and Kunthi have just learned to write their names. They love their new school library and learning to read colourful, fun-filled books in their mother tongue, Khmer.

“Without Room to Read’s help I could never have carried on attending school,” she says. “My grandpa is always nagging me to quit school and start working. He grew up under Pol Pot and the Khmer Rouge and in those days there were no schools. So he doesn’t understand the point of education. But that just
makes me want to study harder. My favorite subjects are Maths [sic] and Khmer. My dream is to become a teacher.”

“We have just learned to write our names,” explains Lisa, who has just started Year 1 with her friends Sopheak, Sokhit and Kunthi. Their favorite room at school is the library, which was built by Room to Read with help from the local community. Everyone lent a hand. The library is now full of Room to Read’s own children’s books, in Khmer.

“It’s much easier to learn to read with these beautiful, funny books,” says Sopheak. “And both the librarian and my teacher are great at explaining things! They are teaching us the alphabet, and how to make sounds and put words together.”

Learn more about our work in Cambodia.