October 2, 2017
In March 2017, TAG Foundation Programs Coordinator Grace Riley-Adams traveled to India and Nepal to visit Rural Education and Development (READ) Centers in the region. Grace traveled with READ Executive Director Tina Sciabica and learned first-hand about the extraordinary programs READ offers throughout South Asia.
In India, Grace visited four community-owned READ Centers and met with the villagers who benefited from the literacy classes and skills trainings taught at the Centers. At each Center, Grace had the opportunity to hear stories of transformation, independence, and economic empowerment from members of the local community. Grace learned how each READ Center is a staple of the local community, a safe space for learning, and clearly valued by the participating members and their families.
In Nepal, Grace visited five Centers, spread throughout, in Chitwan, Argyauli, Kathmandu, and Panauti. At a Center in Argyauli, she was introduced to Chuna, who shared her incredible story. Chuna was married at the age of 16 and faced hardships growing up. At age 47 Chuna went to her local READ Center and enrolled in a literacy course. Once she learned to read, Chuna signed up for various skills training courses offered at the Center, including farming, chicken production, and leadership training. Now, Chuna serves as an elected leader of a READ Center in her village and is often consulted by members of the community for her wisdom and expertise. Chuna’s courage has helped to inspire other women to enroll in courses at the READ Center and expand their education.
The Asia Group Foundation supports READ’s mission to empower local communities across India, Nepal, and Bhutan.
The TAG Foundation looks forward to continuing to support community and women’s empowerment programs, such as READ Global, from the Himalayas through the Mekong to the Potomac.