Interview: “Reading for the Others” – 1st Cycle of Accelerator

1. A few words about the organization’s goals and work

Reading for the Others’ vision is that everyone is able to read “The House of Sleep”, “Foucault’s Pendulum” and whatever else they want. Reading for the Others was founded in January 2015 with the goal of equal access to knowledge and learning for all, those who can see and those who don’t.

In order to achieve this, we have developed two pillars of action:
A. We record books for our blind fellow citizens and students.
B. We keep company with live therapeutic readings to socially vulnerable groups, such as elderly people in nursing homes, children in orphanages, illiterate prisoners, cancer patients in hospitals.

2. A few words about the program that was funded

Reading for the Others has been selected by Unesco and the Municipality of Athens to participate for an entire year – (from April 2018 to April 2019) – in Athens 2018, World Book Capital program.

In this context (a) our volunteers will read each week in 20 different care homes for elderly in Athens; (b) every month we will teach students from different schools how to read fairytales to elderly people; and (c) we will read live extracts of American literature on the Athens Metro.

All actions are carried out with the support of the U.S. Embassy in Greece and the TIMA Charitable Foundation. Within this program, the event that took place for a whole week (3-7 October 2018) at the Zappeion Hall, during which volunteer readers of the organization had the opportunity to record extracts of American literature and become ambassadors of Reading for the Others about equal access of everyone to education and knowledge!

3. What advice would you give to an organization on writing successful proposals for funding?

Most importantly, the proposal reflects the vision and passion of the Organization and concerns actions that are essential parts of the existence and development of each NPO. In addition, Reading for the Others believes in the value of co-operation, and therefore supports the co-operation of organizations and foundations in the context of co-financing projects.

4. How much do you think your HIGGS Accelerator program helped you and why?

Reading for the Others will always say that there is the pre-HIGGS and post HIGGS era for Nonprofit Organizations in Greece. We feel immensely grateful not only for the knowledge we have gained but also for our networking with other organizations, institutions or potential donors. Above all, we are grateful for the certainty that we can feel that what we do, we do it right, whether it is a proposal, or it concerns a collaboration, an action or our results, our beneficiaries etc.

5. Why would you advise other organizations to join the Accelerator program?

It is an excellent way to network with other organizations and to learn concisely but in a substantial way everything that they will need for their operation.

6. What are your next steps?

Future plans: there are a lot! Collaborations with other organizations, preparation of EU proposals, development of our actions and work with other organizations.

But the most immediate and most important is the completion of our Crowdfunding campaign “Blindness: Giving Voice to their Books” which will create the first recording studio for our organization. This will allow us:
To record more and more books in steady flow!
To give to more visually impaired people access to audio books!
To be able to serve and produce the books that students who are blind need in order to complete their studies!

You can contribute to the vision of Reading for the Others here:

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