READ Global wins the $100,000 Lipman Family Prize of the Wharton School and the University of Pennsylvania
(Philadelphia, 24 April 2013) The Wharton School of the University of Pennsylvania announced today the winner of the second annual Barry & Marie Lipman Family Prize – READ Global, an international non-profit bringing together education, enterprise, and community development through libraries that create lasting social change in rural South Asia.
Chosen from over 115 organizations worldwide devoted to social impact and building sustainable solutions for social and economic challenges, READ Global received USD100,000 at an award ceremony last night at the Wharton School. READ Global, along with the two other finalist organizations, d.light design, a for-profit social enterprise whose purpose is to create new freedoms for customers without access to reliable power, and MCI, a not-for-profit development organization seeking to revolutionize how deadly diseases are prevented and managed worldwide by promoting what they call “contagious health”, will all profit from unprecedented, synergistic opportunities with Penn and Wharton.
These opportunities will take the form of student case work and site visits to each of the finalist organizations, executive educational offerings, and the chance to network within the larger Penn and Wharton academic and alumni communities.
READ (Rural Education and Development) Global believes that empowering rural communities is critical to alleviating global poverty. READ partners with rural villages in Bhutan, India and Nepal to build Community Library and Resource Centers (READ Centers) that offer educational and economic opportunities and programs to villagers that lack the most basic resources. Each READ Center is paired with a for-profit enterprise that generates revenue to sustain the center in the long run. READ works with some of the most disadvantaged populations in the world, where literacy rates are less than 50 percent and more than half of families live below the poverty line. By engaging and investing in READ Centers, rural communities are empowered with access to information, education and skills training – ultimately experiencing positive social transformation and increased economic opportunity. This cumulative “READ Effect” results in increased knowledge and prosperity for rural communities today, and better prospects for the future.