John Wood, founder of Room to Read, was commended by the World’s Children’s Prize in 2014 for his fight for children’s right to education. John quit his job as a manager at the Microsoft company to fulfill his dream: to fight poverty by giving children all over the world the chance to go to school.
John believes that when children can read and write, they are better equipped to demand their rights and to defend themselves against abuse, trafficking and slavery. John and his organisation, Room to Read, have built almost 1,700 schools and over 15,000 school libraries in some of the world’s poorest countries.
Room to Read have published more than 900 children’s books in local languages and given over ten million books to poor children who have never before had access to books.
John and Room to Read have a special focus on girls’ education and empowerment and have helped over 20,000 girls to finish their education and have a better life. Room to Read works in Bangladesh, Cambodia, India, Laos, Nepal, South Africa, Sri Lanka, Vietnam, Zambia and Tanzania, and has reached 8.8 million children!
John and Room to Read: • Work with education departments to develop school books and better teaching methods. • Build school libraries and fill them with books, jigsaws, games, colourful furniture and cushions that turn the libraries into the children’s favourite place. • Get local authors and artists to write and illustrate new children’s books in local languages, so that the children can read good books that they can identify with. In many of the languages, they have never had children’s books before. • Build or renovate so that the children have safe, bright classrooms where it is easy to learn. • Give scholarships and support to girls who would otherwise have to quit school to work or get married.
Learn more about John and Room to Read in The Globe Magazine:
The facts and figures on this page were accurate at the time of writing, in 2014