Is society giving up on those who can’t access expensive education? READ Foundation has the answer

Al-Sahawat Times READ Foundation Education

Education is rapidly slipping out of reach for millions but READ Foundation has a humble solution

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Globally, education is becoming more expensive and more unobtainable every year, even for those from a very comfortable background in the developed world. So what about those whose path has not been so smooth? Does society really just give up on them?

Since their set up more than two decades ago, READ Foundation has always worked on the theory that education enables children to enjoy a life free from poverty.

Traditionally, the charity was set up to build schools and sponsor orphans to attend those schools. READ started in very humble beginnings of just £200, one teacher and 25 children.

Since then, the charity has grown exponentially and they now see their work in providing education to children in poverty as so much more than creating school places.

The word ‘education’ to them goes beyond the classrooms and textbooks, they want to support the world’s most vulnerable children in all aspects of their childhood and development, which in turn enables them to get a quality education.

As Deputy CEO Rehan Salim explains: “This year we launched a brand new arm of READ which will focus on providing education in emergency situations and we have set up a school in Aleppo, Syria, with a focus on ensuring mental well-being for those who have escaped conflict and life-changing situations. 

“We understand these children have witnessed the destruction of their homes, they’ve been torn apart from loved ones, some have missed years of school because they’ve constantly been moved from one area to another. A 2017 report found Syrian children face a PTSD (post-traumatic stress disorder) rate 10 times higher than that of other children around the world. That’s why we’re providing psychosocial support too.”

Children at the school are offered one-to-one counselling and almost half (45%) have already used the service.

While it is still early days, the charity is now looking into a project aiding an orphanage in Turkey and also fundraising to help Rohingya and Bangladeshi street children. 

Mr Salim said: “If we find donors to support us, we will certainly want to take on these projects in future. We will still focus on education, but for these children there will be other sources of help we need to look at providing first, such as mental health support, and more basic hygiene elements such as treatments for lice. We have to get those basic things right first, otherwise they simply won’t be able to concentrate in lessons.”


Anyone interested in learning more about the charity can visit

To discuss supporting future projects and helping the charity to expand its work, email

Pictured: Children in a classroom in Syria

Images: Copyright © READ Foundation. All Rights Reserved

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About the Author

Layla El Khalifa
BA in Photojournalism and Masters in Communication Journalism