Deborah Abela : Room to Read Writer-Ambassador

Deborah Abela is a superstar of Australian children’s literature. The author of Grimsdon, The Remarkable Secret of Aurelie Bonhoffen and Max Remy Superspy shares why she supports the amazing international literacy charity Room to Read and our 2015 World Change Challenge. It’s an attempt to raise $40,000 to buy 40,000 books for children affected by Nepal’s devastating earthquakes in April / May this year.

1. Out of all the charities in all the world, why did you decide to become a writer-ambassador for Room to Read?
There is nothing more important than educating kids. It creates understanding, tolerance, the chance to break cycles of poverty, to stop violence and an able kids to have a world of opportunities available to them.

2. What do you most love about Room to Read’s work and approach to what they do?
They don’t lecture to developing countries but give them a helping hand to create and run their own schools, libraries and publishing programs in order to educate kids who may never have had the chance. Particularly girls, who have been denied education for years purely based on their gender, when they have so much to offer.

3. What makes you care about education and literacy for children in other parts of the world?
If we help to educate kids everywhere, we stop the spread of ignorance, of antiquated ideals, of practices that are simply enslaving. Educating girls especially helps to educate an entire village as they gain knowledge of business and then pass that chance of education to their children. I loved school and I want kids everywhere to have that chance to fall in love with reading and learning.

Image care of Room to Read.

4. What kinds of things have you done to show your support for Room to Read over the years?
I’ve danced in front of a whole school of boys (not very well), I’ve spoken to kids in Hong Kong wearing my pyjamas, I’ve seen tears in the eyes of teachers and librarians as I’ve shared stories about the success of Room to Read in changing kids’ lives, I’ve led a reading where I asked a whole room to join in the cheers of John Wood’s Zac the Yak as he carried that first load of books up a mountain for the very beginning of this global charity that has help almost nine million kids.

5. What actions can schools and students perform to show their support?
I love the idea of a dress-up day or dare-a-teacher. At our school we have a kitchen and a pizza oven, so a pizza afternoon would be great! (And popular.) Invite an author ambassador to your school to tell you how great Room to Read is, gold coin donation if things are a bit hectic, talent quests, dress as your favourite hero day. You could combine a regular school event with a Room to Read donation. For example, long distance running competition or morning school exercises combined with a Room to Read dance. Fetes could have a Room to Read stand with bobbing for apples or slime-a-teacher type activities. Or maybe a walk-a-thon with a percentage of the donations going to RTR. There are so many!

Check out the above news story of one schools fun idea to raise money for the 

World Change Challenge.

Next week, another well-known writer will be here to share why they support Room to Read. Meantime, don’t be shy. Please support our 2015 Room to Read World Change Challenge.


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