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Financial Times partners Room to Read for its Seasonal Appeal

The Financial Times has selected Room to Read, an organisation that helps millions of children gain access to education in developing countries, as its partner for its 2009-2010 seasonal appeal to readers.

The seasonal appeal, taking place from November to mid-January 2010, has raised over £2.3m in the past three years for organisations including Camfed and WaterAid. Chosen in a vote by 1600 Financial Times staff around the world, Room to Read aims to provide over 11,000 communities access to their first library by the end of 2010 and has a long-term goal of reaching 10 million children in the developing world by 2020.

The beginning of this year’s appeal on 23rd November will be marked by The Financial Times & Quintessentially Online Charity Auction in aid of Room to Read.

Lionel Barber, editor of the Financial Times, said: “The FT is delighted to be working with Room to Read on this year’s seasonal appeal and we look forward to bringing their work and cause to life for the FT readers in print and online. The FT is committed to supporting global learning and literacy and this complements Room to Read’s efforts to provide quality educational opportunities for children in the developing world.”

John Wood, Room to Read’s founder and executive chairman, said: “We are delighted and honoured that the Financial Times staff have chosen Room to Read for this year’s seasonal appeal. The funds raised will allow us to continue to think big about creating a better future for millions of children across the developing world through the lifelong gift of education.”

Room to Read was launched in Nepal in 2000 and is now a global organisation with fund-raising operations in San Francisco, London, Tokyo and Hong Kong and program offices in Bangladesh, Cambodia, India, Laos, Nepal, South Africa, Sri Lanka, Vietnam and Zambia. Partnering with local communities throughout the developing world, the organisation provides quality educational opportunities to children with the least access.

It is estimated that over 300 million children around the world do not have access to education and most likely will never learn to read or write. Room to Read seeks to intervene early in the lives of children in the belief that education empowers people to improve socio-economic conditions for their families and communities – breaking the cycle of poverty.

Room to Read has developed four programmes to promote and enable global education, including:

·Reading Room Programme – establishes bilingual libraries filled with local language and children’s books, posters, maps and games that engage children in reading.

·Local Language Publishing Programme – works with local writers and illustrators to create and publish high-quality local language children’s books for Room to Read libraries.

·Girls’ Education Programme – funds long-term, holistic scholarships for underprivileged girls to ensure their ability to complete secondary school.

·School Room Programme – partners with villages to build new schools, replace dilapidated structures, or expand schools to alleviate overcrowded classrooms.

For more information about the FT’s seasonal appeal partnership with Room to Read, please visit: www.ft.com/appeal and www.roomtoread.org/FT.

For further information, please contact:

Kristina Eriksson, Financial Times, +44 20 7873 4961 or kristina.eriksson@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 extensive news, comment and analysis, the newspaper is printed at 23 print sites across the globe, has a daily circulation of 412,854 (ABC figures October 2009) and a readership of 1.3 million people worldwide. FT.com is the definitive home for business intelligence on the web, providing an essential source of news, comment, data and analysis for the global business community. FT.com attracts 11.4 million unique users, generating 83.2 million page views (ABCe figures, March 2009) and now has over 1.2 million registered users.

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