“We need technology in every classroom and in every student and teacher’s hand, because it is the pen and paper of our time, and it is the lens through which we experience much of our world.” – David Warlick
Founded by David Risher and Colin McElwee, the Worldreader is a European nonprofit organization that provides free eBook reader and digital books to underprivileged children in the developing world. As of now, the organization has distributed over one thousand Kindle (an eBook reader) in the hands of sub-Sahara African children and delivered over 100,000 e-books. According to David Risher, the project has been highly successful and he was surprised to see how the kids were reading more, reading better and improving their communities.
Why e-books and why not the real paper books?
Wordreader rejects the general opinion that promoting reading in poor countries via e-reader is costly and impractical. It states “Digital technology sharply lowers the cost and complexity of delivering books everywhere. As we make reading easier and less expensive, the the world will read more.”
Funded and supported by international organizations as well as governing bodies, Worldreader works with local communities and schools to digitize books and provides them with technical training to repair faulty e-readers. It not only helps improve reading rates and demand for books among poor children but also helps build a sustainable ecosystem to support reading in local communities.
As of now, the Worldreader project is running in three sub-Saharan African countries, Kenya, Ghana and Uganda. The success of the program has inspired the Worldreader team to take the project in other parts of the world including Southeast Asian countries.