Amanda Erlanson
11 Nov. 2012

Our Room to Read in Cambodia

During the holiday season last year, we wanted to create some meaningful change in honor of our devoted friends, clients and crew members. After putting a lot of thought into it, we decided to give the gift of literacy to a group of kids in rural Cambodia by funding a library through the wonderful nonprofit Room to Read.

Less than a year later, we're excited to announce that our library has been completed in a small village on the Mekong Delta called Chheu Teal Srot Kraom! Within Rumchek Primary School, a spare room was converted into a comfortable, welcoming space for reading and discovery.

In addition to more than 2,300 books, the room is stocked with art supplies, games, puzzles, posters and maps that will expand the horizons of hundreds of children every year. Room to Read has also trained local people to act as librarians and has enlisted teachers to help their students use the library to its best advantage. Here are our first images of the new library in operation.

Nearly 50% of girls and 30% of boys growing up in Cambodia are laborers, rather than students. In this district of Cambodia, just 7% of boys and 3% of girls complete secondary school. Though the overall literacy rate is about 70%, only 28% of women and girls know how to read and write. Through educational programs, local language publishing and libraries, Room to Read plans to offer the gift of literacy to 10 million children around the world by 2015, including hundreds of thousands of Cambodian kids.

All of us here at Riverstreet are so happy and proud to have been a part of bringing this opportunity to the children of Chheu Teal Srot Kraom, and are now looking forward to embarking upon next year's project. More news on that coming soon!