Posted by guest blogger:
Ellen Wood, DSVP Partner and Board Member
Certainly, our focus at DSVP is to engage with our local investees. But it is also great--through our association at DSVP-- to find high energy, successful organizations to support outside that portfolio, as individuals, or groups of partners.
We have a great opportunity to do so for Room to Read. We were fortunate to have the opportunity to co-host a luncheon with Room to Read founder John Wood in March. Talk about sky-high goals....Room to Read wants to become the Andrew Carnegie of the developing world.....to set up libraries and schools and help increase the number of young women who get educated in countries in Asia and Africa. Currently they are opening new schools at the rate of one every 1.5 days and libraries every 4 hours. We were amazed at the business model his team has developed: with an aggressive growth trajectory, full accountability of results, which was led by local R2R teams that required the local community to contribute (land, labor, materials, some funding) to the "hand-up". No "hand-outs" allowed! Room to Read is a beautiful example of what social enterprise can be.
Over the last two months, a group of about 15-18 DSVP partners have organized a DSVP Room to Read Giving Circle in order to raise the money to build a school for children in Nepal. We are hoping to also organize a Texas Trek to Nepal sometime next year to go visit the school we build. So there are a few extended learning opportunities ahead for our group! We are so appreciative of a $15,000 dollar for dollar match that we were recently awarded from the Hudson Foundation in the interest of increasing the ability of our group to make a more significant gift. We have $10,000 raised so far, and need an additional $7,000 to reach our goal of $32,000 that it takes to build a (4 classroom) school in Nepal. More details on the School Project can be found on their website.
Even if you missed hearing John speak, we hope you will consider joining us in investing in the education of children outside our own community. I love to travel, and seeing the young kids in poor countries such as those in the Room to Read portfolio, has always made me want to do something for them that would last. Room to Read is the first organization that I have found where I know my investment will be optimized.
Please let us know if you want to join us. Contact DSVP and they will put you in touch with our work. Also, you will find even more detail on the need and the countries on their website.
See previous post on Room to Read.