READ Global Blog - The Library Log: On Proverty and Education in Rural Asia

Published: Tuesday, 14 October 2014

Sara Volunteer

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 far reaches of Bhutan and India. This summer I felt fortunate to volunteer with READ in India and Bhutan to help address some of these challenges, assisting with training programs in environmental education, women’s empowerment, vocational skills, and English.

Published: Thursday, 09 October 2014

Nepal children

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 were there to celebrate their pride and passion for something that had never been done before: a community library had been opened in their village – the first to be entirely funded by local Nepalis.

Published: Monday, 08 September 2014


“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. 8, International Literacy Day, we invite you to join us in celebrating the people around the world who are learning to read, regardless of their age.

Published: Tuesday, 09 September 2014

Women at READ Center

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 the world — institutions historically devoted to access to reading materials — it’s confounding that libraries are usually left out of systematic literacy efforts. This is a huge missed opportunity.

Published: Wednesday, 03 September 2014

Gathering for Celebration of Full Literacy

“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 50% for women), rural communities often have the largest populations of people who cannot read and write. But Nepal is committed to eradicating illiteracy by bringing communities together in the desire to learn to read through the Literate Nepal Campaign.