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Financial Times and Room to Read raise $3,324,000 at ninth annual fundraising event in Hong Kong

The Financial Times and Room to Read last night raised USD$3,324,000 for Room to Read’s global programmes in Literacy and Girls’ Education at their ninth annual fundraising event in Hong Kong at the Four Seasons Hotel.

The event, co-hosted by Room to Read and the Financial Times, is one of Room to Read’s most successful fundraising events of the year. Since 2000, the organisation has transformed the lives of nearly nine million children with the lifelong gift of education.

Guests were treated to the culinary delights of the Four Seasons and wines were sponsored by Watson’s with tasting notes by renowned FT wine columnist Jancis Robinson.

Speakers included John Wood, Room to Read founder and board co-chair, and a Room to Read Girls’ Education programme alumna named Nisha Sajwan from India.

The live auction was run by Christie’s and presided over by Simon Tam, Christie’s Head of Wine in China. Auction items included:

  • An eight day all-expenses paid vineyard tour to Moet-Hennessy’s wineries in Argentina & Chile, donated by Moet-Hennessy.

  • A 1980 Bowmore Whisky from the Queen’s private collection, donated by Berry Bros. & Rudd.

Since 2011, Room to Read’s Hong Kong gala has raised more than USD$10 million.

FT Group CEO John Ridding said: “I am delighted by the amount raised for this important cause. The money will go towards helping children around the world reach their full potential, by allowing Room to Read to continue to invest in their literacy and gender equality education programmes worldwide. We are proud that our longstanding partnership with Room to Read has helped raise significant financial support over the years.”

Room to Read founder and board co-chair John Wood said: “We have seen growing momentum for Room to Read in the Hong Kong community year after year, and last night’s high energy annual gala was a testament to this trend. We are so grateful for the support of the Financial Times, Moet-Hennessy and countless other corporate and individual supporters that together, turned one evening of inspired philanthropy into a wave of empowerment that will reach millions of children around the world, with the largest effect being felt in developing Asia.”

- Ends -

For media inquiries please contact:

Gemma Terry
Senior Communications Manager, Financial Times
T: +852 2905 5519
E: gemma.terry@ft.com

About the Financial Times:

The Financial Times, one of the world’s leading business news organisations, is recognised internationally for its authority, integrity and accuracy. Providing essential news, comment, data and analysis for the global business community, the FT has a combined paid print and digital circulation of 652,000 across (Deloitte assured, Q4 2013). Mobile is an increasingly important channel for the FT, driving 62% of subscriber consumption, 45% of total traffic and almost a quarter of new digital subscriptions. FT education products now serve 37 of the world’s top 50 business schools.

About Room to Read:

Room to Read is a global organization seeking to transform the lives of millions of children in Asia and Africa through a focus on literacy and gender equality in education. Founded on the belief that World Change Starts with Educated Children, Room to Read works in collaboration with local communities, partner organizations and governments to develop literacy skills and a habit of reading among primary school children and to ensure girls have the skills and support needed to complete their secondary education. Since 2000, Room to Read has impacted the lives of nearly nine million children by providing increased access to high-quality educational opportunities through its network of libraries and schools, local language children’s books and its girls’ education program. Room to Read is changing children’s lives in Bangladesh, Cambodia, India, Laos, Nepal, South Africa, Sri Lanka, Tanzania, Vietnam and Zambia and aims to reach 10 million children by 2015. Learn more at www.roomtoread.org.

About Nisha Sajwan, an alumna of Room to Read’s Girls’ Education programme in India:

Nisha , 19 is an alumna of Room to Read’s Girls’ Education programme in India. Born of illiterate parents and raised in a small rural village in Uttarakhand, Nisha dreamed of completing school and becoming a teacher despite the socioeconomic circumstances she was born into. When an accident left her father paralysed and unable to work, Nisha was asked by her parents to quit school as they could no longer afford the expense. Nisha negotiated with her parents and continued her studies while managing her father’s tea shop. After a car accident left Nisha hospitalised and unable to attend school for several months, she began to lose hope. With the encouragement of Room to Read’s staff and her teachers, Nisha regained her determination and successfully graduated secondary school. She is now enrolled in university and has a part-time job to support her studies. Nisha is one of over 25,000 girls who are empowered to fulfill their dreams through Room to Read’s Girls’ Education programme.

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