On behalf of READ Global and READ Nepal, Dr. Antonia (Toni) Neubauer was awarded the 2019 Dr. Dilli Raman Regmi International Peace Award on July 13, 2020 during a ceremony in Kathmandu, Nepal. The recognition, granted annually by the Dilli Raman Regmi Memorial Library Development Committee under the Ministry of Education, Science and Technology of Nepal, is given to those who have contributed to the cause of peace and international awareness, as well as to the betterment of Nepal and its people. Past recipients of the award include Nelson Mandela, Mahatma Gandhi, Jimmy Carter, John Wood, Tony Hagen, Ban Ki-Moon and Aung San Suu Kyi.
Chin Kaji Shrestha, READ Nepal’s Head of Field Operations and a member of the READ Nepal team for more than 20 years, accepted the award on behalf of Dr. Neubauer, who was unable to travel to Nepal due to Covid-19 restrictions. The Minister of Education, the Honorable Giriraj Mani Pokhrel, gave remarks as the Chief Guest. The ceremony was live streamed and Dr. Neubauer participated virtually, remarking that it was truly the devotion, hard work and commitment of the READ team that turned her idea of building library community centers into a reality in Nepal, Bhutan and India.
As she often says, “If you give a scholarship, you help one child, if you build a school, you help children, if you build a hospital, you help the sick. But, if you build a library community center, you help an entire village.”
The late Dr. Dilli Raman Regmi, born in 1913 in Kathmandu, Nepal, dedicated his life to the wellbeing of the Nepali people. He was a pioneer in the restoration of democracy in Nepal through non-violent means and was a follower of the teachings of Mahatma Gandhi and Gautama Buddha. His legacy lives on through an international and national peace award and the Dilliraman-Kalyani Regmi Library and Museum.
READ (Rural Education and Development) Global was founded by Myths and Mountains President Dr. Antonia Neubauer in 1991 as a way to give back to local communities in the countries that Myths and Mountains clients and travelers visit. READ partners with rural villages to build community library resources centers that provide knowledge, information, and educational opportunities to community members in Nepal, India, and Bhutan. To date, 112 READ Centers have been established across the three countries reaching more than 2.52 million people. READ Nepal was the recipient of the 2006 Access to Learning Award from the Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation and READ Global was the recipient of the 2013 Barry and Marie Lipman Family Prize.