Room to Read

John Wood talks about charity Room to Read

Photo: Paul Yeung; Illustration: Ken Cheng

John Wood is a Microsoft executive who gave up his lucrative corporate career to change the world. That was in 1999, and it's fair to say he's made a difference. 

Monday, 18 March, 2013, 9:47am

Beer necessities

A strong link between alcohol and literature was forged by authors such as Ernest Hemingway, James Joyce and F. Scott Fitzgerald, and it's an association that the Room to Read charity will be drawing on at a fund-raising event this week.

26 Jun 2011 - 12:00am

The gift of learning

Hundreds of flights land at Hong Kong International Airport every day. But John Wood was waiting for a particular Boeing 777 on November 30.

The plane was carrying 400,000 books for Mr Wood's charity, Room to Read, which is dedicated to eradicating poverty through education.

9 Dec 2007 - 12:00am

'Dare to dream big'

For John Wood deciding to change the world was the easy bit. The hard part was convincing others that it made perfect sense to quit his high-flying job as director of business development for Microsoft Greater China to set up a charity to promote literacy and education in the developing world.

6 Oct 2007 - 12:00am

Fight for the right to read

At the end of the school year, many students are so relieved that they get rid of their books. But for some needy students, even a second-hand book would be a gift.

Thanks to full-time philanthropist John Wood, countless students in some of the world's poorest regions are being given the opportunity to read.

12 Sep 2007 - 12:00am

'I felt that I was just helping the rich get richer'

My schooldays in the 1970s in the US were very happy, surrounded by great teachers, amazing books and parents who stressed the value of education.

The worst thing was that I grew up in a small town and wanted to explore the wider world. Fortunately, that was counterbalanced by my parents who loved travel and took the family to a lot of places.

9 Dec 2006 - 12:00am

Give & Take

A twice-monthly column on volunteerism

IF YOU HAVE time on your hands, a voluntary organisation that seeks to intervene early in the lives of children and help provide them with a lifelong education and the gift of literacy is looking for volunteers.

17 Sep 2005 - 12:00am

Charity hero's new chapter

His name is as ordinary as plain rice, but John Wood (below) is no ordinary guy. Once the No2 man at Microsoft, China, he quit five years back to return to school.

No, he didn't sit classes; instead, he built schools for the underprivileged, believing in the motto, 'World change begins with educated children'.

12 Jan 2005 - 12:00am