Friday, December 08, 2006

[Opportunity] Room to Read

We're fans of John Wood and, his organization, Room to Read.

The organization was high on our favourites list before Fast Company annointed them as one of "43 Entrepreneurs changing the world".

As winners of a Fast Company Social Capitalist Award, the following was written about Room to Read:
Room to Read partners with local communities throughout the developing world to establish schools, libraries, and other educational infrastructure. We seek to intervene early in the lives of children in the belief that education is a lifelong gift that empowers people to ultimately improve socioeconomic conditions for their families, communities, countries, and future generations. Through the opportunities that only an education can provide, we strive to break the cycle of poverty, one child at a time. Organizational efforts are currently focused on Cambodia, India, Laos, Nepal, South Africa, Sri Lanka, and Vietnam--all countries with a desperate lack of resources to adequately educate their children.

Room to Read is a dynamic, results-oriented organization. Since our inception in 2000, Room to Read has reached an estimated 990,000 children by building 197 schools, establishing over 2,900 libraries, and publishing 77 new local language children's titles representing over 700,000 books. Room to Read has also donated over 1.2 million English language children's books, established 92 computer and language labs and funded more than 2,000 long-term girls' scholarships.

John Wood, Room to Read's founder and CEO, quit his senior executive position with Microsoft to launch Room to Read after a trek through Nepal changed his life. John sought to weave proven corporate business practices with his inspiring vision to provide educational access to 10 million children in the developing world. His novel approach to non-profit management called for scalable, measured, sustainable results, low-overhead, challenge grants fostering community ownership and sustainability as well as strong local staff and partnerships.

Utilizing this business model, Room to Read has developed a holistic, multi-pronged approach to help children in the developing world gain the lifelong gift of education. With the School Room Program, Room to Read partners with villages to build schools utilizing active community challenge grants. The Reading Room Program establishes bi-lingual libraries and fills them with donated English books and local language books, creating a colorful space with posters, games, and child-friendly furniture. The Local Language Publishing Program employs local writers and illustrators, and publishes high-quality children's books. The Computer and Language Room Program provides labs to students with vocational skills and employment access, and the Room to Grow Girls' Scholarship Program funds long-term girls' scholarships.

To increase the likelihood for success and long-term sustainability, Room to Read enlists community involvement and co-investment through our Challenge Grant model. Villages often raise a significant portion of the overall expenditure and provide dedicated space (land or an existing room), labor, materials and/or small amounts of cash. These challenge grants act as catalysts for community building while also maximizing the local participation and expertise to ensure our programs are run efficiently and effectively.

A key aspect of our ability to achieve results is our local staff. We hire local people who are personally vested in their nation's educational progress and we empower them to make key programmatic decisions within their country. They are already familiar with the language, conditions, customs and governments and understand the specific needs of the educational system and work to ensure that we craft new solutions to existing problems.

Here's the list of the opportunities at Room to Read - as listed at Business for Social Responsibility:

  • Chief Program Officer

  • Development Director, Asia-Pacific

  • Technology Strategist

  • Accounting Manager

  • Chief Expansion Officer

  • --------------------- Tags for information about: for:vsef, Social Enterprise, Nonprofit, FastCompany


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    Tuesday, December 05, 2006

    Heart of the World - Grassroots Theatre

    Jhayne Holmes has a plan and you're invited.

    If you don't know Jhayne, maybe you're acquainted with one of her "public art" projects ... the Zombiewalk.

    It is Jhayne's intention to transform the, currently for sale, Raja Theatre into Heart of the World, a multi-disciplinary arts facility featuring inspiring work from all over the globe that recaptures and surpasses its previous glory.

    The Raja Theatre, most recently a Bollywood movie house, has a history dating back to 1913, the theatre has been home to local theatre and live acts like Neil Young and Jane Siberry.

    What's interesting is that Jhayne has opted to create fractional ownership to help raise capital for the purchase. Yes. You too can be a theatre mogul.

    If the timeline was longer I'd suggest Jhayne connect with another local, Tom Williams and his organization GiveMeaning.

    What GiveMeaning lacks in transparency (compared to Prosper or Kiva), it makes up in technology widgets and viral messaging.
    --------------------- Tags for information about: for:vsef, Social Enterprise, Nonprofit, Fundraising


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    Friday, December 01, 2006

    [Opportunity] Mountain Equipment CO-OP - Director of Sustainability and Community Programs

    Suddenly Directors of Sustainability are in high demand in Vancouver.

    If the earlier mentioned opportunity at UBC didn't stir interest, perhaps Vancouver's venerable Mountain Equipment CO-OP (MEC) will.

    Director of Sustainability and Community Programs - #06-047

    What you'll be doing

  • Developing and managing social and environmental management systems and strategies to support MEC's Sustainability and Community programs

  • Overseeing and supporting the effective implementation of an organization-wide Sustainability and Community Network

  • Recruiting, developing, and mentoring Head Office Sustainability and Community Department staff

  • Leading program planning activities and participating in the annual business planning process

  • Participating in executive and board level strategic planning sessions to ensure the inclusion of sustainability strategies

  • Ensuring timely and accurate reporting of MEC's various community involvement and sustainability activities to the Board of Directors, staff, members, and external stakeholders

  • Developing and overseeing MEC's accountability report to detail social and environmental performance

  • Supporting the development and implementation of waste management, energy efficiency, and environmental risk management programs to reduce the environmental impacts associated with MEC's Sustainability and Community business operations

  • Facilitating community partnership programs including all forms of MEC support, sponsorships, mentorships, secondments, the Endowment Fund, and support of staff volunteerism

  • Working in collaboration with the Communications Department, develop and implement public policy advocacy plan

  • What you need to do it well

  • Post secondary degree in related discipline such as Environmental Science or Environmental Studies

  • Minimum 7 years related experience

  • Proven ability in developing, implementing, and managing sustainability and community programs

  • Extensive knowledge of the field of corporate social responsibility

  • Demonstrated leadership, project management, and planning skills

  • Ability to stimulate, influence, and manage change

  • Effective negotiation skills

  • Ability to establish effective networks within MEC and with external stakeholders

  • Strong public speaking skills

  • Exceptional communication skills, oral and written; French communication skills an asset

  • A passion for outdoor activities

  • Some national and international travel required

  • If this sounds like a good fit, then we should talk.

    If you're interested, submit resumé and cover letter, quoting posting #06-047 by December 11, 2006.

    Unlike UBC ... MEC posted this oppportunity with CBSR and BSR. Unfortunately MEC only "clicked and pasted" the announcement on the BSR site and missed the chance to inform BSR readers about the co-op. Shame they didn't take the initiative. Shame.

    --------------------- Tags for information about: for:vsef, sustainability, co-op


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