‘Room to Read’ Reports Increased Reach Despite Pandemic’s Challenges

SAN FRANCISCO — Global non-profit organization Room to Read recently released their 2021 Girls’ Education Program Report, showing impressive results even amidst the challenges of the COVID-19 pandemic. As part of Room to Read’s efforts to support girls in their development of key life skills, the Girls’ Education Program focuses on keeping secondary-school-aged girls in low-income countries in school so they can reach their full potential and thus contribute to their communities and the world. These efforts seek to address a troubling education crisis: According to the organization, 98 million adolescent girls around the world are not in school.[1]

Room to Read recently released their 2021 Girls’ Education Program Report, showing impressive results even amidst the COVID-19 pandemic.
Photo by Room to Read

Like many organizations focused on education, Room to Read has faced numerous challenges caused by the COVID-19 pandemic, which, the organization said, “has especially exposed vulnerabilities and posed obstacles specific to girls.”[2] Factors such as household demands and economic concerns during the pandemic have increased the pressure on girls to drop out of school.

During these unprecedented times, and in response to its challenges, Room to Read has actually increased their efforts, adapting their methods to continue helping girls already in their program as well as reach additional girls isolated by the pandemic. These methods have included remote mentoring, TV and radio programs, direct messaging, distribution of materials, virtual training for teachers, using social media to inform and advocate, and monitoring girls at risk of not returning to school.[3]

As a result, the number of girls finding support through Room to Read’s Girls’ Education Program has increased significantly. While the program reached approximately 33,000 girls in 2019, it reached more than 2.7 million girls in 2020. According to the organization’s report, “This large increase is due to our new methods of supporting girls during the pandemic, including radio and TV programming, through which we were able to reach a much larger audience quickly.”[4]

In addition to helping girls develop life skills, the program strengthens girls’ own commitment to their education and bolsters the support they receive from their parents, school staff and communities.[5] Evidence of this aspect of the program’s success was also reflected in the 2021 report, which shows a high return rate to school of program participants in areas where schools had re-opened by the end of 2020. In Tanzania, Laos, Sri Lanka, Vietnam and Cambodia, percentages exceeded 90 percent.[6]


About Room to Read

Room to Read is a global organization with headquarters in San Francisco, USA. It employs over 1,000 staff across 17 countries, including 10 program countries in Asia and Africa. Believing that world change starts with educated children, Room to Read envisions a world in which all children can pursue a quality education that enables them to reach their full potential and contribute to their communities and the world.

Room to Read seeks to transform the lives of millions of children in low-income communities by focusing on literacy and gender equality in education. Working in collaboration with local communities, partner organizations and governments, they develop literacy skills and a habit of reading among primary school children and support girls to complete secondary school with the relevant life skills to succeed in school and beyond.[7]


Read more news on Non-Profit / Faith-Based Organizations and Children’s Education and the COVID 19 Pandemic on Missions Box.

Read GFA World’s Statement About Coronavirus.


Sources:

[1] “Girls’ Education.” Room to Read. Accessed February 8, 2022. https://www.roomtoread.org/literacy-girls-education/girls-education/#.

[2] “Girls’ Education Program Report.” Room to Read. January 20, 2022. https://www.roomtoread.org/media/zrwdbkhf/gep-rm-e-report_2021.pdf.

[3] “Girls’ Education Program Report.” Room to Read. January 20, 2022. https://www.roomtoread.org/media/zrwdbkhf/gep-rm-e-report_2021.pdf.

[4] “Girls’ Education Program Report.” Room to Read. January 20, 2022. https://www.roomtoread.org/media/zrwdbkhf/gep-rm-e-report_2021.pdf.

[5] “Frequently Asked Questions: What does Room to Read do?” Room to Read. Accessed February 9, 2022. https://www.roomtoread.org/about-us/frequently-asked-questions/?accordion=what%20does%20room%20to%20read%20do?.

[6] “Girls’ Education Program Report.” Room to Read. January 20, 2022. https://www.roomtoread.org/media/zrwdbkhf/gep-rm-e-report_2021.pdf.

[7] “About Us.” Room to Read. Accessed February 9, 2022. https://www.roomtoread.org/about-us/.

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