READ­ING THE FU­TURE

Hong Kong Tatler - - Philanthropy -

that “by re­main­ing stead­fast in our ef­forts on th­ese fronts, we can af­fect many other is­sues, such as health and poverty.”

In Septem­ber 2014, Wood re­lo­cated from New York City to Hong Kong to be closer to the Room to Read project ar­eas. “Room to Read has an amaz­ing base of sup­port­ers here. It has been the home of our num­berone fundrais­ing chap­ter (out of dozens world­wide) ev­ery year for eight years run­ning, and our Asia Pa­cific board is strong and con­tin­ues to grow.”

In de­vel­op­ing and ex­pand­ing the global im­pact of Room to Read, Wood had to fly more than 150,000 miles a year—equiv­a­lent to ap­prox­i­mately 11 an­nual re­turn-trip flights be­tween Hong Kong and San Fran­cisco. Now, based in Hong Kong, the city’s ef­fi­cient trans­porta­tion sys­tem and cen­tralised lo­ca­tion will help to min­imise Wood’s stress and travel dis­tances. He adds, “I also love the en­ergy of Hong Kong, the ease of do­ing busi­ness and the sense here that all things are pos­si­ble.”

Although he works more now than he ever did as a Mi­crosoft ex­ec­u­tive, Room to Read gives him a greater sense of ful­fil­ment. “When I visit our coun­tries of oper ation, I see hope. I am con­stantly in awe of the pas­sion and ded­i­ca­tion of our lo­cal teams, and re­joice along­side fam­ily and com­mu­nity mem­bers who see the value and op­por­tu­nity that ed­u­ca­tion brings to the chil­dren of their vil­lages.”

Nearly nine mil­lion chil­dren have ben­e­fited from the ser­vices of­fered by Room to Read so far, and Wood ex­plains that they hope to reach mil­lions more in the years to come: “Room to Read will have com­pleted its mission when no child can be told ‘You were born at the wrong place, at the wrong time, to il­lit­er­ate par­ents—and there­fore will not have ac­cess to a qual­ity ed­u­ca­tion.’ We be­lieve that premise be­longs in the scrap heap of hu­man his­tory.”

NEARLY NINE MIL­LION CHIL­DREN HAVE BEEN HELPED BY THE ROOM TO READ CHAR­ITY

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