2018 Annual report

a billion

one reader
at a time

Why reading matters


617 million

children are not learning at a minimum
reading level

Illiterate people earn on average


less than their literate

A child born to a literate mother is


more likely to live past the
age of 5

“The e-reader story has been very inspiring to our users. As I travel across the country, I have interacted with children, and I have seen the motivation and the inspiration in them.”

Richard Atuti, Director of the Kenya National Library Service

Our readers around the world

In 2018, Worldreader supported programming in schools and libraries in five regions, while readers across 49 countries benefited from Worldreader’s digital library.

Meet our readers. Explore our regions

Ms. Isis
Mexico City, Mexico

Digital books can introduce young adults to literature that will ignite their passions for reading, helping them become lifelong learners.

Ms. Isis is a teacher from Guerrero  – located 200 miles south of Mexico City, it’s one of the country’s poorest and most violent states.

Today she lives in Mexico City and teaches at a public high school.

Ms. Isis understands how crucial it is to prepare her students for success later in life. Unfortunately, most of Ms. Isis’ students don’t read – not because they can’t read, but because they haven’t discovered their love for reading.

Ms. Isis works tirelessly to create a culture of reading in the classroom, but until recently students were mainly exposed to textbooks, which made it very difficult to ignite their interest in reading.

With the Avanzalee app for mobile phones, Ms. Isis and her students have started reading literature that spans far beyond the coursework, inspiring them to discover new worlds.

Asuom-Amanfrom District, Ghana

A primary school teacher in Ghana uses textbooks from the Worldreader library in his classroom via e-readers.

Digital textbooks give teachers and students access to all the learnings required to achieve success in school.

Mr. Anani is a teacher at Asuom-Amanfrom District Assembly Primary School in Ghana. He teaches religious and moral education (RME) to his young students.

Mr. Anani loves his job but it hasn’t been easy. For the last 10 years, the school hasn’t had any RME textbooks. This has made it very difficult for Mr. Anani to give his students the best learning experience possible.

As part of our Ghana District Scale project, Mr. Anani’s school is one of over 40 schools in the district that have received e-readers filled with digital books.

Now, Mr. Anani and his students have RME textbooks to use in class. Students are finally able to make sense of the complex topics and values that Mr. Anani so devotedly wishes to impart to them.

Vihiga, Kenya

A young man in Kenya accesses the Worldreader library via e-readers in his local library.

Digital books can deliver empowering content that challenges gender stereotypes and helps tackle gender inequality.

19-year-old Duncan is from Kenya. He comes from a community where gender inequality and gender stereotypes about a women’s role in society continue to hold women and girls back from reaching their full potential.

Duncan, who goes to the community library every day to read, doesn’t believe in these stereotypes. His favorite book, The River and the Source by Margaret A. Ogola, teaches him otherwise. The book, which tells the story of a girl from his community, portrays women in non-traditional roles. It tackles themes related to marriage, education, motherhood, and leadership, depicting women and girls as important members of society. “The book taught me that we should not look down on our sisters,” says Duncan.

Duncan is able to access this content thanks to Worldreader’s LEAP project which brought e-readers filled with books to 61 libraries across Kenya – Duncan’s community library was one of those libraries. Duncan’s exposure to these empowering ideas is helping to rewrite gender norms.

Amman, Jordan

A Syrian mother in Jordan uses our Worldreader Kids app in her home via her mobile phone.

Digital reading can bring comfort to children in distress through empowering stories and family bonding.

Mayada is the proud mother of four girls. When the war in Syria threatened their safety, Mayada and her family fled to Jordan to find refuge. It’s taken Mayada’s daughters time to adjust to their new lives in Jordan.

To help one of her daughters overcome her low self-esteem, Mayada reads to her. She reads stories like The Birds Words by Helen Patuck. The story is about a little girl who, with the support of her teacher, learns to feel at home in a new place.

Reading books to her daughters via the Worldreader Kids app has helped Mayada’s daughter believe in herself and has brought the whole family closer together.

Ms. Alka

A primary school teacher in Delhi uses our Worldreader Kids app in her classroom via a tablet.

Digital storybooks with complementary activities help primary teachers improve early grade learning and student participation.

Ms. Alka walks inside her classroom greeting all of the children one by one. As Ms. Alka tells her students about the story that she is going to narrate today, they all jump with excitement.

The stories on the tablet are not only entertaining, they are also carefully curated and come with lesson plans mapped to learning outcomes. This helps Ms. Alka confidently support her students’ learning.

Going beyond the classroom, Ms. Alka and Ms Anju (the principal of the school) regularly meet the parents. Parents are shown how to access our library via their mobile phones and told about the importance of regularly reading to their children.

This multi-pronged approach ensures that these young students from the most impoverished communities are being given the best chance to succeed.

Our Approach

We support readers around the world with Worldreader apps and programming. Our approach is built on a foundation of these elements.


We reach readers with a digital library via affordable state-of-the-art devices such as e-readers, tablets, and mobile phones.


We deliver relevant, dynamic content with agility to our readers through acquisition, enrichment, and curation services.


We join forces with partners to make a bigger difference. Our partners range from NGOs and publishers to corporations and foundations.

Local capacity

We train schools, libraries, and families to help them get the most out of our reading programs.


We use data insights to improve our collections, improve educational outcomes, and create a better reading experience for our readers.

2018 Highlights


language added

10+ Million

readers reached since 2010

100 Million

hours reading since 2014

“My youngest boy always asks me to read him a story. He’s grown used to me reading him a story every night before he sleeps. It remind me of when I was a child and my grandmother would tell us stories.”

Shadia, Amman, Jordan

2018 Financials

Driving Sustainability



total contributions


in-kind donations


cost per reader










Earned Revenue




Total Revenue


Use of funds

Program Services


Mgmt & General




Total Expenses


Featured Partners

There’s a famous African proverb that says if you want to go fast, go alone. If you want to go far, go together. We plan to reach a billion readers: that’s far! And we couldn’t do it without the support of pioneering changemakers like our partners. Here’s just a few of the partners that have been instrumental in getting us this far.


Sponsor a school or preschool

When you sponsor a school or preschool, students will receive e-readers, e-books, and Worldreader’s expertise.

Contact us

Join with your colleagues and volunteer

Does your workplace have an employee volunteer program? Find out how you and your team can help.

Contact us

Join the Reading for Opportunity campaign

We’re working towards reaching 10 million more readers by 2020. Will you join us?

Contact us

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