READ’s Network of Centers Is Expanding!

The winter of 2021-2022 has been a period of growth for the READ family. Three new READ Centers have opened—one in Nepal in Badikhel near Kathmandu, and two in India in Pune, Maharashtra and Rajpura, Punjab. An additional three Centers will be opening in the Spring of 2022. With these new Centers, READ will have 70 Centers in Nepal, 45 in India and 8 in Bhutan (123 in total).

In this photo, we see a very colorful one-story building across the street. It is yellow and orange, and adorned with Nepalese Prayer Flags, as well as an arch of balloons around the entrance, celebrating the Center's recent opening. Power lines cross the sky in the foreground, and a forest of trees colors the distant in the background behind the Center.

Godawari READ Center in Badikhel, Nepal

COVID may have slowed down the construction of these new Centers, but their openings are proof that communities motivated to build better lives for their families cannot be stopped. The local people themselves have dedicated their time and energy to design their library, select its contents, and facilitate local contributions to build community ownership. That community investment is paying off. The Godawari Badikhel mayor already boasts that the library exemplifies the prestige of his municipality and has committed to supporting the creation of branch libraries to further its reach.

As COVID numbers decrease, READ Founder Antonia Neubauer and Executive Director Sanjana Shrestha will travel to South Asia to visit some of the new Centers in March 2022. While there, they will inaugurate the new READ Center in Takukot, Gorkha, once the epicenter of the 2015 earthquake.

This side-by-side set of two photos shows the interior of the new READ Center in Pune. In the left photo, we see a relaxing room, with cubicle-style walls setting off flexible meeting spaces. In the foreground, a few men are learning computer skills in one such meeting space. In the background, a pair of women in colorful Sari's are having a conversation. In the right-hand photo, six children are participating in a reading activity led by two women. The room is colorfully decorated with art for children, and each child smiles, listening to the stories being read.

The new READ Center in Pune, India

READ is extremely grateful for its local community partners and donors who have made this possible, including the Shanti Volunteer Association, Avery Dennison India, Accenture, the West Foundation, and READ Global’s amazing group of individual supporters.


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