WORDS OF WIS­DOM

Hong Kong Tatler - - Philanthropy -

“I WAS SHOCKED TO SEE THAT THE STU­DENTS HAD NO BOOKS—ONLY A HAND­FUL OF OLD PA­PER­BACKS LEFT BE­HIND BY TRAV­ELLERS” up the moun­tains on the backs of don­keys to the same school a year later. But it soon be­came some­thing much more sub­stan­tial. It be­came a per­sonal mission to bring about sus­tain­able change in th­ese re­mote ar­eas of the world.”

Though it’s been nearly 15 years since the or­gan­i­sa­tion’s found­ing, Wood’s ded­i­ca­tion to the cause has not fal­tered. “The early years of Room to Read came with many chal­lenges, but I al­ways re­mem­bered that head­mas­ter in Nepal and the joy on his stu­dents’ faces when I re­turned to their school. I could’ve pur­sued my in­ter­est to ad­dress global il­lit­er­acy as a hobby—but hob­bies don’t scale. I de­cided to jump in with both feet. And although there were a few scary mo­ments along the way, I am lucky to have many great peo­ple join me on the jour­ney.”

Some of those peo­ple he refers to in­clude Room to Read’s co-founders, Erin Ganju and Di­nesh Shrestha. To­day, the or­gan­i­sa­tion has of­fices around the world to over­see fundrais­ing ef­forts for their pro­grammes, in­clud­ing chap­ters in Hong Kong, San Fran­cisco, New York, Van­cou­ver, Lon­don, Syd­ney, Mumbai and Tokyo. Lit­er­acy and gen­der equal­ity in ed­u­ca­tion re­main at the core of Room to Read, and Wood be­lieves

JOHN WOOD ( BE­LOW) FOUNDED THE CHAR­ITY ROOM TO READ IN 2000 TO TACKLE IL­LIT­ER­ACY AND PRO­MOTE GEN­DER EQUAL­ITY

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