Rob & Nikki Wilson co-founded READ International in 2004 – a student-led charity which collects books from UK schools, sorts them and sends the most relevant, up-to-date, and high quality to schools in Tanzania and Uganda. Any books collected not appropriate to send are sold online or recycled to generate funding.
READ now has close to 1,000 student volunteers involved across the UK. To date they have sent over 1,000,000 books to East Africa, benefiting millions of school children. READ also delivers school workshops to British school children about global citizenship and social entrepreneurship. Ever since its inception, READ’s success has shocked Nikki and Rob and brought with it incredible accolades including ‘Best New UK Charity in 2007’ and ‘Best International Aid and Development Charity in 2010’.
Rob is also the founder of NoPC, an IT social enterprise aiming to provide affordable, low power and low maintenance computer technology to schools across the developing world. For his work with READ and NoPC, Rob has been recognised as Enterprising Young Brit 2010 and a Beacon Fellow 2010 for Young Philanthropist of the Year. Since coming back from his Cape to Cairo experience, Rob now works for Ashoka.
Nikki started her career after university at Cancer Research UK, the UK’s largest charity, where she worked in a range of fundraising roles, from Strategy Planning to Community Fundraising, Direct Marketing and Retail. Since coming back from Africa, she’s decided to work for an organisation at the smaller end of the charity spectrum. She’s currently heading up the UK division of Wings for Life, a charity funding research into finding a cure for spinal cord injury.