Sunday, March 24, 2013

Creating Room To Read

"Creating Room To Read" by John Wood

It's not often that I read a just out book but I happened to be perusing the new releases at the library and found this. It is the second book for the author, "Leaving Microsoft to Change the World", is his first book. I haven't read it but am now wanting to. The author used to work at Microsoft and left to start a non-profit. He has one of the most successful non-profits in the country. His non-profit opens schools and libraries throughout the world. It is an amazing non-profit and a much needed one that is brining about hope for many nations. "Two thirds of the illiterate people in the world are girls and women." Room to Read also has a girls education program helping to right this statistic. "Once you have an education, no one can ever take that away from you." We take for granted our education here in the states while so many children wish and hope that they could go to school and learn. "If you have a good book in your hands, you will never be lonely." I love a good book. "We are too poor to afford education. But until we have education, we will always be poor." This statement led the author to start Room to Read, something needed to be done to offer hope and he was willing to be that hope. "Our team believes that by requiring the community residents to pitch in, we are saluting their inherent dignity." Room to Read only builds in places where the local community pitches in. They are not giving a hand out but a hand up. By the community investing in the project it ensures they will take pride in it and it will be successful. "The only thing we wanted our young organization to give was an opportunity." And it has given so many opportunities. "As it turns out there is an alternative to school for these girls-prostitution. It seems unfathomable that in the modern world children of such a tender age could be relegated to this deplorable choice. But this is the reality not only here but in so many other places where abject poverty and antiquated notions of a woman's place in the world force young girls into lives of sexual slavery." For just a few dollars a day these girls can go to school, just a few dollars. "Being blunt immediately cuts through the clutter, of which the world has too much." I like bluntness, with love of course. "I think to myself that the things in my life I consider problems are so trivial that I should be ashamed of ever complaining." This is so true. "In many parts of rural Zambia, four out of five girls do not make it past seventh grade. And yet again, just as with the lack of books, people act perplexed as to why hundreds of millions of people live in poverty, generation after generation." Why are we so perplexed? They can't afford book or schools which continues the cycle of poverty they so long to get out of. Who will help them?" "The world has managed to find ways to get soft drink, beer, and chocolate bars to thousands of rural villages, but not books." This is so maddening and sad to me. "Inaction in the face of tyranny is cowardice." This book is inspirational and an achievement to what can be done when one is willing to dream big and offer hope. It has challenged me to look into what I can do to offer others the value of an education and books to read. I hope that it challenges you too.

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