Summary: READ Global empowers rural communities in South Asia by engaging them to invest time and resources in Community Library and Resource Centers (READ Centers) that offer access to information, education, and skills training. They are supported by local, self-sustaining enterprises seed funded by READ and governed by Center Management Committees. --- READ partners with rural communities in India, Bhutan, and Nepal to improve quality of life and prospects for the future — particularly for women and children — through access to information, education, and livelihoods resources and trainings. Its model focuses on Community Library and Resource Centers (READ Centers) as a vehicle for social and economic transformation. Combining edu...
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Description of Scale and Reach
READ Global has experienced significant growth since 2007. From 1991 to 2006, READ operated only in Nepal with no employees in the US. Prior to 2007, READ’s US-based fundraising efforts produced on overage $200,000 - $250,000 annually, with nearly all of the donations coming from private individuals and/or family foundations. Most donors learned about READ through Founder Toni Neubauer and her adventure travel company, Myths and Mountains. READ Global’s US presence, particularly its fundraising role, was run out of the Myths and Mountains office and supported by a group of dedicated volunteers and READ board members. In 2006, READ Nepal applied for and received the $1 million Access to Learning Award (ATLA) from the Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation, given annually to one organization globally in recognition of the innovative efforts of public libraries or similar efforts to connect people to information. In 2007, READ won the first and only ATLA Replication Grant, which enabled the organization to hire staff in the US for the first time as well as to expand its operations into two new countries—Bhutan and India. After initial inception and set up, READ began establishing Centers in these two countries in 2009/2010. Since then READ has focused on expanding the breadth and depth of its programs, establishing 28 new Centers across all three countries and providing more trainings on education, livelihoods, women’s empowerment, health and more to the communities. More information on READ Global's progress to date is available via the Interactive Timeline on the READ Global website. This timeline chronicles the organization's growth from its first library launched in Nepal in 1991 to its expansion to India and Bhutan in 2008.
Nepal, India, Bhutan