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2014 Top-Rated Nonprofit

READ (Rural Education and Development) Global

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Nonprofit Overview

Causes: Economic Development, Education, Human Service Organizations, Human Services, Libraries, Microfinance, Rural Economic Development

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: 2.3 rural villagers have access to READ Centers. 300 villages worldwide are served by READ Centers. 4,500 books, on average, in each READ Center. 97 READ Centers established to date. 130 for-profit enterprises sustain READ Centers. (2016)

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

Community Stories

2 Stories from Volunteers, Donors & Supporters


Rating: 5

I've been working alongside READ for the past 18 months now and it has been one of the most rewarding projects of my life. No other organization that I've ever worked with has a model that manages to capture the unique strengths and culture of the individual communities they serve. The diversity of services found at each READ centre, built upon a solid common foundation of information access, is a model I try and replicate in all my other work. Every community that supports a READ centre is different, and the centres themselves reflect this in a such a genuine and harmonious way. This is truly an amazing hybridization of grassroots development. The staff in READ's 3 country offices and the San Francisco office are all a joy to work with. I look forward to every conversation with them. Amazing people doing amazing work. What more could you ask for in a nonprofit?

Yuddha O.


Rating: 5

READ Nepal, an International Non Government Organization (INGO) in Nepal is a branch office of READ Global which is now headquartered in Washington DC and registered as a 501(c)(3) corporation in the U.S. Established in 1991, READ Nepal is a Non Profit Organization which has already established several self sustaining rural libraries in various districts of Nepal. Founded by Dr. Antonia Neubauer in 1980s, READ Nepal has been involved towards a holistic development of the community through the intervention of community libraries.

With the major objective of promoting education through libraries, READ Nepal has been continuously involved in establishing and supporting libraries and helping them to sustain in long run. Conducting various literacy campaigns and involving the local participants of the rural areas has been one of the key roles of READ Nepal for social development. READ Nepal always focuses on economic growth of local communities through income generation sustainability projects and therefore, has been providing various employment opportunities in rural as well as urban areas of Nepal.

The establishment of libraries in various parts of Nepal has made the local communities literate and well able to communicate. As I have witnessed, some of the libraries also have started the literacy campaigns for housewives and the change in those housewives are remarkable and truly appreciable. They have been well able to understand and communicate in proper way and are being involved in social and health awareness programmes.
As I have been associated with READ Nepal since 2003, I have also observed that READ Nepal has truly served for the better education, social and health awareness, income generation, women empowerment and social development through local communities libraries. As sustainability has been essence of READ Nepal, READ supported community libraries are sustained by various income generation projects, whether they by establishment of cooperatives or providing training to local people.
I have always found the staff and officers of READ Nepal enthusiastic, energetic and dedicated and happy to serve the organization and well able to handle the programmes and projects conducted in a regular basis. With such effective staff as a merit, the objectives of the organization have always been achieved and indeed, READ Nepal has truly acted as a perfect organization to serve the local communities on every basis.