READ (Rural Education and Development) Global

Rating: 4.82 stars   56 reviews

Issues: Education, Human Services, Economic Development, Microfinance

Location: PO Box 29286 San Francisco CA 94129 USA

Mission: READ Global believes empowering rural communities is critical to alleviating global poverty. We envision a world where individuals, families and entire communities have access to the knowledge, resources and opportunities necessary to build more prosperous futures. READ partners with communities in rural Asia to create vibrant places to live and thrive. Our proven and replicable model focuses on Community Library and Resource Centers as a vehicle for social and economic transformation. Combining education, enterprise and community development, READ collaborates with rural communities to build these centers and seed for-profit enterprises to ensure long-term maintenance and success.
Results: 1.8 rural villagers have access to READ Centers. 125 villages worldwide are served by READ Centers. 4,500 books, on average, in each READ Center. 57 READ Centers established to date. 90 for-profit enterprises sustain READ Centers. (2011)
Target demographics: Low-income rural communities in South Asia
Direct beneficiaries per year: 4,683 villagers learn livelihood skills, 2,002 villagers learn to read, 1.1 million villagers access the Internet, 1,248 receive computer training, 4,227 receive health training, 2,639 women receive legal rights training, and more
Geographic areas served: Rural South Asia (Bhutan, India and Nepal)
Programs: Literacy, livelihood skills, women's empowerment, information and communications technology (ICT), health, environment, legal rights
2014 Top-Rated Nonprofit
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EIN 23-2656376
415-563-3362
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Community Reviews

Rating: 4 stars  

I have been associated with READ for six months now. I'm glad I had the opportunity to work with the core team of READ India since I could see the dedication with which the team works towards creating proper livelihood to the rural people. The passion which the team shows in the work is what I have been exposed to and it is very inspiring to work with them. They are also too humble to boast their success stories. Even during my short association with READ I observed lots of parallel programs happening at various community centers and almost all of them were converted into successful programs since the beneficiaries were huge in each of the program.

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Rating: 5 stars  

I worked as a volunteer in READ Nepal for six months and during my volunteering time, I had many learning experiences. It was my first time working with local communities and I thank READ Nepal for giving me an opportunity to work as a volunteer. READ Centers are vehicles for community change and development. It was great fun working with READ and I am very proud to be a part of READ.

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Rating: 5 stars  

I have recently joined READ Center at Lalitpur Nepal as a part of my Bachelor's final year's internship. I am very impressed with the activities and services provided by the Center. I found READ's working modality unique and awesome as it is creating the positive impact in the lives of rural communities. READ's intervention reaches every part of community irrespective of age, gender, caste and ethnicity and I am happy to see how READ's community libraries is working to bring and engage the whole community in community development initiative. READ's community libraries have changed my perception of library, the READ Libraries are more than libraries, they are indeed the center of community engagement and development. I am proud to be associated with READ Nepal through its Center and in future, I would like to commit my time and creativity in READ's work.

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Rating: 5 stars  

I worked as a volunteer with READ Global in 2014 in the field offices in Nepal, India, and Bhutan. This was truly the experience of a lifetime for me. My coworkers in the country offices in the capital cities were great to work with, and passionate about READ's mission. It was amazing to see the impact of the work that has been accomplished firsthand by visiting the community libraries in rural areas. I also had the opportunity to get to know some of the people in READ villages and hear about how community libraries have improved their lives and communities.

When was your last experience with this nonprofit?

2014

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Rating: 5 stars  

I spent my summer as a volunteer intern at the READ Global office in San Francisco because I was so inspired by their model and work in India, Nepal, and Bhutan. READ not only encourages literacy and economic empowerment in rural villages but also focuses on the sustainability of their programs so that each village takes ownership of their Center and the impact is compounded in future generations. It was these aspects that drew me to this internship, and I am so glad to have learned even more about READ's work during the summer as I researched programs and wrote blogs and posts for the website and social media. I truly enjoyed my internship at READ and consider this to be one of the best organizations working in the field of community empowerment around the world.

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Rating: 5 stars  

I actually came across the READ Center while hunting for an apartment here in Kathmandu. It has been one of my very fortunate finds. I have been volunteering with the organization for the past 6 months, assisting with their media & communications. I have been given the opportunity to prepare impact stories, articles for their blog and to assist in proof-reading reports. I have been able to travel into the field on a number of occasions to Nuwakot, Badikhel and Panuati, and this has given me invaluable work experiences. Not to mention the office is filled with a terrific staff led by Sanjana Shrestha, and in my opinion, is really making inroads in empowering the communities of rural and remote Nepal.

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Rating: 5 stars  

I worked as volunteer in READ information and Resource Center, READ Center at Kathmandu, for 3 months. During the volunteer period, I worked as a facilitator for the adult literacy class and worked with women. This helped me realized that education and literacy is a powerful tool to change the women's status in a country like Nepal and I am glad to be a part of this initiative. I also got the opportunity to work with children and poor people. My early conviction that library is a repository of books have been proved wrong. "Libraries are vehicles for educational, social and economical transformation" and READ has been doing a fantastic work in transforming poor communities of Nepal. I am really proud to be a part of READ !

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?

A lot

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

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Rating: 5 stars  

1 person found this review helpful

I volunteered for three months with READ Nepal, and I couldn't be more pleased with my experience. I spent a summer working with READ's women's empowerment programs, and during that time I was afforded the opportunity to visit several Community Library and Resource Centers. I was so impressed by what I found. READ Nepal does not just build libraries in rural areas; these centers are so much more than book-lending institutions. Each CLRC is tailored to suit the needs of its specific community, but every one contains a number of programs to address poverty through multiple means. These programs emphasize education, livelihood training, health and healthcare, women's empowerment, economic empowerment, and more. It's almost unbelievable how many dynamic, life-changing programs READ Nepal implements; progress in just one of those areas would be impressive, but READ manages to address them all successfully.
I spoke to several women through interviews, and every single one of them was so grateful for READ's women's empowerment programs. All of them could list dozens of ways they had benefitted or their lives had improved from the presence of a CLRC in their area. These women were living proof that the READ model works.

Not only are the CLRCs impressive, but I was also extremely satisfied with the leadership and staff at the main office in Kathmandu, which is where I was based. Everyone was so friendly, helpful, and passionate about the work they do. I had nothing but positive experiences working alongside such a hardworking group of people, and I'm very grateful for the opportunity.

If I had to make changes to this organization, I would...

I have no criticisms to make, and I only wish they'll be as successful as they've been so far in expanding their work to reach even more communities.

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?

A lot

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?

2013

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Rating: 5 stars  

I did visit Read Geejgarh and Shahbad Mohammadpura centres and I work as a volunteer/intern at Read India. The models which they are working on has huge impact on the rural villages. They educated rural women in basic essentials of local language, math and this will enable women to overcome the daily hurdles such as reading a bus display board, calculate daily wages, savings. Also the library facility which they are providing will provide a platform to many rural masses who are upgrading and cannot afford to pay for such facilities.

Would you volunteer for this group again?

Likely

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

A lot

Did the organization use your time wisely?

Quite well

Would you recommend this group to a friend?

Likely

When was your last experience with this nonprofit?

2012

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Rating: 5 stars  

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!

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?

2012

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