Margaret lives in Nairobi, Kenya and until very recently, she was illiterate. Her husband works as an office messenger, but they were struggling to get by on a single income. They have several children to support, and the school fees in place past the primary school level added even more stress to their financial situation. Recognizing this, Margaret went back to school at an adult education center.
Even though she had never learned to read or write, she quickly became the center's top student. They were so impressed that they decided to offer her a job as a teacher. Now, most of Margaret's students are other adults who are held back in their lives because they can't read or write. Even unexpected jobs such as construction or carpentry would have to be passed up by these individuals because they weren't able to provide a written quotation.
These people are passionate and hardworking, and want nothing more than to develop their skills. Regardless of their hard work towards this goal, they often struggle to improve because there us very little around them to read; especially books which are scarce and expensive. Worldreader changes this. They are a global nonprofit working to create a world where everyone can be a reader.
Worldreader uses everyday technologies such as cell phones and e-readers to provide the one billion people held back by illiteracy with access to thousands of books. So far, the organization along with their partners have supported passionate readers in 69 countries with 28,500 relevant titles in 43 languages for a cost as little as $2 per person.
Margaret uses Worldreader on her phone to read, to teach her students, and to read with her own children. As someone who was once denied access to the written world, she's overjoyed that she can now share this gift of reading with those around her, especially her kids. Her dream is to be able to provide her them with better opportunities than she was given as a child.
She feels very strongly that education is a basic need, and Worldreader helps create a culture of reading and education within classrooms and throughout communities. In addition, they support local publishers in emerging markets, helping them to embrace digital publishing and enlarge their markets. As a result, African and Indian publishers can now reach readers far outside their local communities.
Worldreader has offices in San Francisco (CA), Accra (Ghana), London (UK), New Delhi (India) and Barcelona (Spain), where Worldreader was founded in 2010 by David Risher and Colin McElwee.
A big thank you to Worldreader for sharing about their organization, and the wonderful Margaret. Learn more about their cause here, and make sure to watch out for their inspiring stories on Boomcast.