It has been three years since Lenovo Asia Pacific established a technology partnership with Room to Read, one of the fastest-growing NGOs focused on deep, systemic transformation within schools in low -income countries, during two time periods which are most critical in a child’s schooling: early primary school for literacy acquisition and secondary school for girls’ education. As part of the collaboration, Lenovo has been sponsoring ThinkPad notebooks to support the Room to Read Girls' Education Program across developing areas in Asia.
Since the partnership’s beginnings, 250 ThinkPad units have been deployed across India, Laos, Sri Lanka and Vietnam, helping Room to Read's staff, especially social mobilizers who serve as mentors for the girls in the program, track the girls’ progress within the Girls’ Education program and enhance the overall quality of life skills workshops and other key Girls’ Education program components. This deployment will extend to Cambodia, Nepal and Bangladesh in 2015.
The donated Lenovo PCs have had a significant impact on improving Room to Read's operational efficiency in numerous areas including communications, program administration and monitoring and documenting the progress of the girls supported by Room to Read. For girls nearing the end of their secondary studies, the laptops have also been used for university research and to assist in tertiary education applications. Lenovo’s technology contribution has set the foundation for future education opportunities, giving the girls career options that they otherwise would have lacked due to poor information accessibility.
Room to Read’s program operator in Vavuniya, Sri Lanka, describes the impact of Lenovo’s donation: “Vavuniya was significantly impacted by the country’s 25-year civil conflict which only ended five years ago. When Lenovo provided this field office with laptops, the impact was felt immediately. We have been able to catch up on assignments, we have seen an increase in efficiency, and we are now able to use PowerPoint and DocuShare to spread our workshop message to more students. The computers have also helped us educate and expose our students to modern technology and the Internet, improving their knowledge. The long battery life of the laptops have also had a significant impact, enabling our team to work seven to eight hours without a power source, which has proven useful given the many power outages that occur daily in Vavuniya.”
Room to Read's charismatic and influential founder, John Wood, has also been a strong ambassador for Lenovo as he travels around the world raising awareness for the cause, and he actively highlights the Lenovo partnership in his numerous interactions and talks.