67% of people in South Asia live on less than $2 a day.1
READ Centers provide educational resources and training programs focused on creating livelihoods and building financial literacy. 70% of people in South Asia live in rural communities; a majority of those people live below the poverty line. We provide villagers with skills that enable them to earn a living without having to migrate to urban areas, so they can invest in their families and the development of their communities.
- Livelihood skills training: We partner with local experts to provide skills trainings to rural villagers so they can earn or increase their income, in areas like sewing and weaving, fish and poultry farming, organic agriculture, and hospitality training.
- Small business skills training: Training in financial literacy, marketing, and management helps villagers successfully run their own micro-enterprises and manage their finances.
- Sustaining enterprises: With each READ Center, we also launch a business that generates profit to support the Center’s ongoing operating costs. Enterprises range from agricultural and sewing cooperatives, to storefront rentals.
- Savings cooperatives: In Nepal, most READ Centers operate savings cooperatives that enable women to deposit savings for the first time, and apply for loans to start their own businesses.
Our impact at a glance: 86% of villagers surveyed in India and 76% in Nepal increased their income after taking a livelihood skills training at a READ Center. They report spending this income on healthcare, their children’s education, and food for their families. In Bhutan, we have just begun formal economic empowerment programming, and anticipate similar outcomes in the future. Learn more about our impact data here.