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November 27, 2012

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November 27, 2012

I have recently returned from a wonderful holiday trekking in Bhutan. During my weeks in the country I was able to visit 3 of READ's libraries and community centres. They were all different, a testament to READ's overarching principle that each facility must be requested and owned by the local people and reflect the specific needs of their community. URA library was a full facility with additional rooms for computer use, for youngsters and also for the many training programmes that are being provided for the local women in particular. It was decorated with the drawings and paintings created during a recent art day for the local children. I was also pleased to hear how the staff are providing outreach to a more remote village 11 km further up the valley. It is sustained by a tractor rental business which provides a much wanted service to the local potato farmers. The second library was much smaller and associated with a women's craft training centre. This is an example of how READ Bhutan develops collaborations with domestic charities as well as INGOs to provide convenient opportunites to correct illiteracy within specific groups. The final library and community centre was actually being built. It is a low income area of the capital Timphu and is situated in one of the apartment blocks right in the middle of the development. As part of the many services it will offer (computers, internet access, training, children and women areas etc) it will house representatives of other groups serving the local peripatetic population so giving them a comprehensive and convenient safe haven in which to learn and read. It was opened in mid November by the Prime Minister, another sign of how quickly the READ model of sustainable community-owned facilities has been recognised and adopted in Bhutan.

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When was your last experience with this nonprofit?

2012

November 27, 2012

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November 27, 2012

I had the opportunity to visit three READ centers in Nepal in November 2012 and was very impressed by what I experienced and observed. At the strategic level, the READ model of self-sustaining enterprise makes a lot of much needed sense in a world of historically well-intentioned giving with unintended consequences. The READ model, which emphasizes community and stakeholder engagement and ownership, is also highly replicable and does not rely on any one single charismatic individual to succeed. At the operational level, I was able to witness the positive impact READ centers have had on individual lives as well as on entire communities. It was, for example, inspiring to hear the stories of women who, through READ programs, learned to read and write late in their lives or those of the young women who learned technical skills and opened profitable, successful businesses providing valuable and needed services to their communities, or those of the women who formed a successful farming cooperative in their village. It was a moving experience to witness these women articulating how they felt empowered and were now able to contribute to the economic situation of and decision-making processes in their families and communities, rather than feeling marginalized as invisible, second class citizens in a society characterized by ethnic, gender, caste, political and socio-economic divisions. I believe READ has already achieved much and has further potential to do still more. I was also impressed by the READ team's commitment to understand its development impacts through a rigorous monitoring and evaluation process that they are implementing - it is not easy for organizations to take a hard look in the mirror and be honest about what is working versus what is not achieving desired results. READ's monitoring and evaluation program will also achieve accountability for results and give the team the tools and data to substantiate and evidence results, which is critical for ongoing reporting to donors and the public. All in all, I was very impressed with the quality and caliber of the READ Nepal staff that I met as well as with the vision and leadership of the Executive Director of READ Global. Well done everyone and I wish you much continued success!

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Definitely

For the time you spent, how much of an impact did you feel your work or activity had?

Life-changing

Did the organization use your time wisely?

Very Well

Would you recommend this group to a friend?

Definitely

When was your last experience with this nonprofit?

2012

November 24, 2012

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November 24, 2012

As a family, with my 5 year-old-daughter, we traveled to India and Nepal visiting READ centers and attend the READ conference. It was a life changing experience for all of us. We were so impressed with the READ libraries and dedication of the community and staff who work at these centers to improve the lives of all the people in their villages. We visited READ sewing centers and micro-funding centers that focus to train, educate and empower women to become entrepreneurs to start small businesses to help themselves earn a living. READ is giving rural women with no formal education or employment opportunities to transform their own lives and help educate their children. Being a mother, I was humbled and inspired by the many women who started their own businesses in their homes so their children can attend school. READ is finding solutions to many problems facing societies today and it takes funding and the right programs to help people help themselves. READ is working and cooperating with the villages to identify their needs and offer solutions. This is well worth the investment and time to be part of the answer and actually witness people transform their lives, one can only feel true happiness for humanity.

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Would you volunteer for this group again?

Definitely

For the time you spent, how much of an impact did you feel your work or activity had?

Life-changing

Did the organization use your time wisely?

Very Well

Would you recommend this group to a friend?

Definitely

When was your last experience with this nonprofit?

2011

November 24, 2012

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November 24, 2012

Books are what we say windows that open a person's mind to the world, and what I think READ Global has done is remarkable. It has not only opened READ centers in communities to help rural development, but has given an opportunity to open the minds of many children's from rural areas. I have myself been to a READ centers in my country, in one of the rural area Ura, Bumthang, Bhutan, and seeing the children being fascinated with a roomful of books to read brought joy to their faces. many book to choose to read, many reference for projects and access to internet, it was nice to see an organization do it.

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Likely

How much of an impact do you think this organization has?

A lot

When was your last experience with this nonprofit?

2011

November 23, 2012

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November 23, 2012

I'm an engineer and have have worked on projects in Bhutan for over 20 years. I was in Bhutan when READ began and have watched its progress with interest. Occasionally I've been asked to volunteer my consulting services for library construction projects. READ Bhutan is professionally managed and staffed with people committed to their mission. Making progress on any type of project in Bhutan is difficult so the great contributions READ has made to literacy, education and well being in Bhutan are truly remarkable.

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When was your last experience with this nonprofit?

2011

November 23, 2012

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November 23, 2012

I have witnessed the ways in which the libraries that READ Nepal sponsors in Nepal have transformed the lives of many people in the country. READ libraries are much more than libraries, they are development centers. Many libraries have opened cooperatives for micro-credits and provide trainings and education programs that help people from the Bottom of Pyramid to become more productive and economically independent. Furthermore, children can go to the library to read, study and play after school in a good environment instead of joining gangs and taking wrong habits. READ Nepal is a role model to me and has inspired my social work. Thank you!

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How does this organization compare with others in the same sector?

Very Well

How much of an impact do you think this organization has?

Life-changing

Will you recommend this organization to others?

Definitely

When was your last experience with this nonprofit?

2012

November 22, 2012

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November 22, 2012

I have been association with READ Nepal since its initiation time. Being myself as librarian, I have visited many READ supported libraries. Sustainability has been the essence of READ model under which each community library is financially sustained by income generation projects. Sense of ownership is also the READ’s model; the community treats the library as their own which is an excellent practice. READ supported community libraries are not just a library but also the centre of educational development, improvement in livelihood, social awareness, women’s empowerment, health awareness, and access to ICT and so on. So, I am proud to say that READ Library has been the catalyst for uplifting an entire community.

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How does this organization compare with others in the same sector?

Very Well

How much of an impact do you think this organization has?

Life-changing

Will you recommend this organization to others?

Definitely

When was your last experience with this nonprofit?

2012

November 21, 2012

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November 21, 2012

READ Bhutan, in my view, has been doing incredible job by providing the much needed services to the most deprived group of people in the country. They have opened their first READ Centre in Ura, Bhutan, my home town, which has immensely benefited the community. Since then, I was always inspired by their great work and have been following their activities and programmes effectively. My community is one of the first benefactors and we also share good professional working partnership at the organizational level.
The latest Read Centre in Thimphu has now become a model centre not only in terms of their services through library, the centre provides much beyond that. The Centre brings together other non-profit organizations providing range of social services for the community. I wish them all the very best of luck for their continued support and services to the larger group of community.

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Will you volunteer or donate to this organization?

Definitely

How much of an impact do you think this organization has?

Life-changing

When was your last experience with this nonprofit?

2012

November 21, 2012

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November 21, 2012

READ Bhutan focuses on empowerment of local and rural communities, especially targeted towards women and from then on wards to children and the community at large. Educating women is the best investment since this has a ripple effect starting from household to the whole community.  With READ Bhutan, rural communities has been empowered with knowledge and opportunities. Now a farmer in rural Bhutan know about better parenting, the value of sending children, especially girls to school, decision on family planning and other reproductive health issues, does business with a mobile phone and keep records of transactions, know the procedure of availing loans from the bank, and is aware of environmental issues. This farmer also contributes to our new democracy since he/she is empowered to think, analyse and select the best leader. READ Bhutan's impressive method of involving communities creates a sense of ownership and a sustainable way to keep the programme going on which is impressive.  Tandi

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Definitely

How much of an impact do you think this organization has?

Life-changing

When was your last experience with this nonprofit?

2012

November 21, 2012

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November 21, 2012

READ has achieved an enormous task in very little time by Bhutan standards. It had created several libraries and centres in disadvantaged communities, it has enpowered the local people by giving them means of living and responsabilities and it has created a name for READ throughout Bhutan.

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Will you volunteer or donate to this organization?

Definitely

How much of an impact do you think this organization has?

A lot

When was your last experience with this nonprofit?

2012

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