Archive for 2014

Access to Information as a 2015 UN ‘Sustainable Development Goal’

Most of us take for granted our ability to easily access information, almost wherever and whenever we want. Books, computers, and cell phones are standard tools in our homes, schools and offices. Now, imagine that for one day, you couldn’t use the Internet or read books. You couldn’t check your email, scan the news online, […]

Education in Nepal – A 30-Year Retrospective

When I first trekked up to the beautiful blue pilgrimage lake of Gosainkund in Nepal in 1984, the national literacy rate was about 33% (less for women), and the average yearly income was about $160 per person, though much of the economy was based on a barter system. Infant mortality was very high, and health […]

READ Nepal Recognized for Best Practices in Literacy – Library of Congress

READ Nepal was recognized this September for best practices in literacy by the Library of Congress Literacy Award. A Best Practices publication was produced to highlight outstanding work of organizations. READ Nepal was recognized for its best practice in increasing motivation to read and write.   READ Nepal Program Director Chhatra Bahadur Khatri was invited […]

Early Childhood Education in India – Rural Playschool

This blog post was written by Reema Ahuja, School In-Charge of the READ India Playschool. More than 80% of brain growth occurs between birth and age six in a child. These early years form perhaps the most crucial period in a person’s life, when the rate of development is very high and foundations are laid […]

Libraries Reach the Unreached in South Asia

Despite widespread efforts over the past fifteen years to improve education in South Asia – mostly through access to primary education – the ground reality is that hundreds of millions of people are being left behind, and the causes and implications go far beyond school walls. Drop-out rates remain staggeringly high: 1 in 3 students […]

Volunteering for Environmental and Social Change

This blog post was written by Sara Mitsinikos, who volunteered with READ in Bhutan and India in the summer of 2014. Our world is globalizing at an increasingly rapid pace, impacting everything from local economies, to social norms around gender, to the environment. These changes impact people around the world – including rural villagers in […]

The Pride of Nepal is in its Libraries

READ Nepal Country Director Sanjana Shrestha reflects on an important milestone for local philanthropy in Nepal. Nearly two thousand Nepalis came together in the historic village of Panauti this past August, walking through rain-flooded streets lined with flower-filled copper vessels, passing oil lamps laid ready with their wicks, and children in traditional Newari dress. They […]

How Public Libraries Can Support Community Literacy

This article originally appeared at Beyond Access. READ Global and IREX are both collaborators of the Beyond Access initiative. As the starting point for access to information, opportunity and advancement, literacy is understandably a key priority for governments and organizations across the development spectrum. So, with more than 230,000 public libraries in developing countries around […]

Tackling illiteracy through libraries in Asia

“My parents are farmers. They don’t know how to read and write,” said 10-year-old Thinley Pelzom, from rural Bhutan. Growing up in this extremely remote Himalayan Kingdom, access to education is limited for villagers like her: 36% of public schools are not accessible by road, and around half of Bhutanese adults are illiterate. On Sept. […]

Nepali Community Becomes Fully Literate

“At last, I can write my name and address!” says Subhagya Mahato, a 40-year-old woman from Bacchauli, Nepal, who is happy to finally be able to recognize the Nepali alphabet, and to no longer have to use her fingerprint as a signature. In a country with an overall literacy rate of only 60% (less than […]

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