Room to Read

Program 150 • 29 mins


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On vacation in the mountains of Nepal at age thirty-five, successful Microsoft executive John Wood happened to encounter a local schoolmaster. The impoverished conditions Wood witnessed motivated him to leave his profitable career for a life of nonprofit service. He quickly founded Room to Read. Its goal is to establish public libraries and schools in developing nations in Asia and Africa. His book, “Leaving Microsoft to Save the World” tells the inspiring story of how Wood built the group from a germ of a good idea to a viable resource that has touched — and uplifted—the lives of millions of children. Share this story with friends and loved ones. Said former President Bill Clinton of John Wood: “Just think of what would happen if a couple of hundred people followed his example.”

John WoodThe headmaster said something to me that would really change my life forever. He said, ‘We are too poor to afford education but until we have education, we’ll always be poor.’ And I think that really sums up the situation for the poorest people in the world. What a terrible conundrum to be in: too poor to afford education, but knowing that if your kids don’t get educated, they’re going to inherit the same poverty that their parents and grandparents have known. So that statement was really sad, but then he said something that was very hopeful. This headmaster said to me, ‘Perhaps, Sir, you will someday come back with books.'”

—John Wood, founder of Room to Read


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