|Origins||Started as the Nottingham Book Project|
|Product||Provision of educational resource to schools in East Africa, notably Tanzania and Uganda.|
READ International is a charity (NGO) that aims to improve access to education in East Africa by renovating school libraries and providing educational materials. READ began as a United Kingdom-based charity but has since moved operations mostly to Tanzania.
READ International began life in 2004 as a Book Project based at Nottingham University, founded by a group of students following a gap year teaching in Tanzania. Since 2005 READ International has shipped a total of 1,303,890 books to Tanzania and renovated 45 libraries to improve access to these books. Since registering as a charity they have had their work recognised in a number of ways, winning Best New Charity in the Charity Times Awards 2007, finalists in the Guardian Charity of the Year Awards 2009, and finalists in the Charity Times Awards in 2009.
READ International also won the Best "Business-Charity Partnership" award at the Institute of Fundraising Awards 2010 and the "International Aid and Development Award" at the UK Charity Awards 2010. In 2014, READ changed their focus from shipping books from the UK and international volunteering projects to raising funds for direct renovations and book purchases in East Africa with support from local students.
Tanzania and Uganda follow a secondary school syllabus almost identical to the UK, but teachers often lack the resources needed to teach. In the UK newer editions of books inevitably replace the old (very often only a couple of years old), which makes for good quality, but technically out of date textbooks filling up school store rooms or ending up in landfill. READ International sends them to Tanzania; improving access to education for thousands of students each year.
Read for READ
In October 2010, READ launched their 'Read for READ' anthology at the British Library in London. The anthology is a collection of stories from the Read for READ Short Story Competition, which saw aspiring writers being given the chance to showcase their work, and be judged for final publication by writer Sarfraz Manzoor, publisher Sonny Leong, literary agent Clare Alexander, and the British Library’s Director of Human Resources, Mary Canavan. The winning stories were then brought together in this anthology alongside work from established authors Ian R. MacLeod, Rhys Hughes and John Saul.