A few months ago, when I noticed the Writers Abroad call for stories from expat writers for their fifth anthology Kaleidoscope, one of the things that attracted me was that all proceeds from the anthology would be going to Room to Read.
Room to Read? I’d never heard of it. Had to check it out of course!
Turns out Room to Read has quite a story of its own!
While on a hiking holiday in the Himalayas in 2000, John Wood, an executive at Microsoft, accepted an invitation to visit a local school where he happened to notice that the very few (mostly inappropriate) books were kept under lock and key to protect them from the students.
This was the spark that led to the creation of Room to Read, an international charity that focuses on “establishing school libraries, building schools, publishing local-language children’s books, training teachers on literacy education and supporting girls to complete secondary school with the life skills necessary to succeed in school and beyond.”
In 1998, John Wood was a rising executive at Microsoft when he took a vacation that changed his life. What started as a trekking holiday in Nepal became a spiritual journey and then a mission: to change the world one book and one child at a time by setting up libraries in the developing world. He was soon driven to leave his career with only a loose vision of the change he wanted to bring to the world. Leaving Microsoft to Change the World
So often submitting a story is about a personal dream: the glory of having one’s story published!
Now I’m not knocking personal or literary glory! I’m all for it – and kudos to any writer who manages to snag it…but I’ve found a different satisfaction in having Writers Abroad accept a story of mine for their anthology.
What a good feeling to be part of a community of editors and writers working towards the goal of making a difference in the world.
“Kaleidoscope” will be available from Monday 12 October 2015 from Lulu and Amazon.