Rob Vols Selfie

Heres to Another 10!

We’re feeling pretty good about ourselves over here at READ. It could be because we just had a fantastic party last week to celebrate our accomplishments.

Maybe we’re feeling so great because tons of supporters came to celebrate with us and sing our praises.

It could be because of this cake. Actually, I’m almost entirely sure it was because of this cake.

Photo 9-11-15, 12 23 30 PM

But cake aside, I think we’re feeling so fantastic because the 10th anniversary event just really reminded us how far READ has come from 10 years ago and how incredibly important the work we do is.

72 libraries. 1,425,300 books donated. Over 45,000 students now have access to a library. Not too bad, right?

The night was filled with great conversation, even better speeches, tasty food and beautiful displays of our libraries.

Madimba 10th Anniversary

Peter and Comfort from the February 2015 refurbishment cycle standing in front of the banner of their library

From conversations with supporters to speeches later in the night, it was just so clear how passionate everybody  is about changing education in Tanzania. Our volunteers who were present at the event were just beaming with pride at the work they did. Their enthusiasm for READ and our mission rubbed off on everyone who had the opportunity to talk to them and hear about the refurbishment programme. Our favourite moment from the night? When alumni volunteer, Amani Shayo, said “If there is one thing that I will always remember as a READ volunteer is that I gave the students and teachers at Nasuli secondary school the opportunity to change their fate”, during his speech. It really is all about changing their world.

Amani Speech

Alumni volunteer (Summer 2014), Amani Shayo, speaking at the 10th anniversary event

We couldn’t do the work that we do without the support from the various Tanzanian sponsors that fund our projects and support our office. The Karimjee Jivanjee Foundation, Mantra Tanzania, Bakhresa Group, BG Tanzania, Atlas Copco, Wentworth Foundation, Simba Cement, Learning Insync, The Oysterbay Group, Radar Education, Songas, Corona Tanzania, Qway, Nabaki Africa, Aggreko and Raha have all been instrumental to the growth and evolution of READ International in Tanzania.

Mantra Khadija Thecla and Maria

Alumni volunteers, Maria and Thecla, with Mantra representative Khadija Pallangyo at the 10th anniversary

The event reminded us how far we’ve come, but also how far we have to go. We have so much more work to do in Tanzania; more schools to work at, more students to reach, more volunteers to work with. So here’s to another amazing 10 years!

Rob Vols Selfie

Of course a selfie had to be taken at the end of the night! READ founder, Rob Wilson, with volunteers