Equality in Education
THE FOUNDER OF ROOM TO READ, John Wood, LEFT THE CORPORATE WORLD AND STARTED A CHARITY TO TACKLE GLOBAL ILLITERACY. HE TELLS Esther Wong WHY THE NEW DIRECTION GIVES HIS LIFE MORE MEANING
Globally, it’s estimated that nearly 800 million people lack basic literacy skills—an issue that prevents them from getting quality education and therefore affects their livelihoods. John Wood, founder of the charity Room to Read, aims to tackle this problem by empowering society’s youngest through the gift of education.
Established in 2000, Room to Read’s global mission is two-fold: to tackle illiteracy and promote gender equality. To date, the organisation has established more than 16,000 libraries, constructed more than 1,750 schools, published 885 original children’s book titles and distributed more than 13 million books in 10 countries across Asia and Africa, with more than 25,000 young women enrolled in Room to Read’s Girls’ Education programme.