Transcript “David Risher, 2011 Integral Fellows Award Finalist” Video
“Reading for me when I was growing up, it was the way I explored the world. And that was everything from going to the library and coming home with a big stack of books, to literally reading as I walked to school in the morning. In the United States we are incredibly privileged in a way that we almost don’t even recognize. We can go to a library, we can go to a bookstore, Amazon will deliver a book right to your door in 24 hours. In a country like Botswana, which is a country the size of France, there are 6 bookstores in the whole country. Half of the schools in sub-Saharan Africa have no textbooks at all or the kids have to share textbooks. In that environment it’s really hard to find your passion, it’s really hard to do the basics of learning. We use e-readers to bring books to kids in the developing world.
When I walk down the aisles of the library now, I’m thinking about the kids in all of sub-Saharan Africa, and the developing world that don’t have access to anything like that. But now they really can. Now what we can do is we can give the kids a library that they can hold in their hands. Here’s this little device that they can carry. It holds thousands of books and it has access to any book they can pick up. And that, I hope, is going to give them something like what I was lucky enough to have as a kid – this experience of going to a library and being able to pick any book I wanted off the shelf and start reading immediately. The work that we are doing is today having an effect on kid’s lives. And the day after tomorrow is going to have an even bigger effect. And that is how I’ve chosen to do my version of philanthropy. These kids are going to be able to pursue their dreams and help their country thanks to the work we are doing at Worldreader.”