(Illustration by Jason Brooks)

Did you know that 774 million adults in the world still cannot read or write? And that two-thirds of them (493 million) are women? It’s enough to google some literacy data in depth, and you will find this interesting 2013 UNESCO report.  Among youth, 123 million are illiterate of which 76 million are female. Even though the size of the global illiterate population is shrinking, the female proportion has remained virtually steady at 63% to 64%.

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I am a big believer in the power of education, I am aware that it can lift people out of poverty and empower them to lead a self-determined life. Social change starts with education.

My family has given me the chance to appreciate the positive role of education. Not only I was lucky enough to attend all the mandatory schooling, but I also hold a University degree in Economics and keep studying new languages, reading voraciously all I can and never miss the occasion of learning something new.

When I got approached by David, a volunteer from Zurich who asked me to help promote the cause of Room to Read, I checked what they do – and immediately accepted.

The organisation has developed a girl’s education program that supports girls to complete secondary school with the relevant life skills to succeed in school and beyond. Room to Read is a NGO that seeks to transform the lives of millions of children in Africa and Asia by focusing on literacy and gender equality in education. The organization was founded in 2000 by John Wood, a former Manager at Microsoft. Since then almost 9 million children have had better access to education through Room to Read and for 8 years in a row Room to Read has been awarded Charity Navigator’s highest 4-star rating for sound fiscal management – a recognition that only 1 perfect of their rated charities can claim.

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In 2013 Room to Read Zurich Chapter collected donations worth over CHF 700’000. Check out what they do, and get passionate about it too – because education is one of the best way for a better future for all of us: www.roomtoread.org

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