READ Global

READ Global empowers rural communities in South Asia by engaging them to invest time and resources in Community Library and Resource Centers (READ Centers) that offer access to information, education, and skills training. They are supported by local, self-sustaining enterprises seed funded by READ and governed by Center Management Committees.

CEI Plus Status

Program Results Status
Monitoring and Evaluation Reporting
DeliveryRural Education and Development (READ) Global

Location Data

READ partners with rural communities in India, Bhutan, and Nepal to improve quality of life and prospects for the future – particularly for women and children – through access to information, education, and livelihoods resources and trainings. Its model focuses on Community Library and Resource Centers (READ 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 sustaining enterprises to ensure their long-term maintenance and success.

Education | Recognizing that education is critical to personal and economic empowerment, READ programs and resources are centered on creating a culture of reading, learning and knowledge for all - adults and children, students and teachers, literate and illiterate. READ starts by working with the local community to set up READ Centers that contain the following resources: 

  • A library with 3,000-5,000 books, magazines and newspapers
  • An information communications technology (ICT) section with computers, Internet access (where available)
  • A women’s empowerment section providing a safe space for women and girls to attend classes and trainings and receive medical exams
  • An early childhood section with child-friendly furniture, educational toys, and reading materials
  • A multimedia and communications section including TV, video, DVD player, telephone, fax and copying
  • A training/meeting hall where staff and partners conduct various programs


On top of this foundation, READ provides trainings based on the needs of the community. Through partnerships with local NGOs and governments, and through READ itself, Centers provide trainings on:

  • Literacy
  • Livelihood Skills
  • Health
  • Computer Proficiency
  • Rights
  • Women's Empowerment
  • Environment
  • Community Development and Sustainability


Economic Empowerment | READ works with the community to launch at least one for-profit sustaining enterprise to support each Center, providing a vehicle for the community to cover the costs of maintaining the Center in the long run. Communities use profits from sustaining enterprises to cover librarian salaries, Internet and electricity costs, purchase new books and resources, and maintenance and ongoing operational support for the Center. The net result is a strong sense of pride and ownership of both the Center and the sustaining enterprise. These businesses are governed by Center Management Committees that are supported by various sub-committees for specific branches of the Center such as the library, computer lab, and women's empowerment group.

The "READ Effect" | READ Global has observed that its Centers have a catalytic multigenerational impact on rural communities. READ's pay-it-forward model spreads organically through communities and neighboring areas, thus making its interventions both far-reaching and sustainable.

Who we work with: