Facts about schooling for women in poverty-stricken nations:
Just as Andrew Carnegie worked with local communities to set up thousands of libraries throughout the English-speaking world, Room to Read  is working with its partners to do likewise in Nepal, Cambodia, Vietnam, and India. R2R also builds schools, distributes books, and awards scholarships to help girls stay in school.
Room to Read was founded half a dozen years ago by former Microsoft executive John Wood. R2R strives for efficiency: its overhead is only ~5% (an astoundingly low figure in the charity world) --- so ~95% of donations go to help the people who need help. A gift of $250 funds a scholarship so that a young woman doesn't have to drop out and work to support her family. If cold, hard statistics aren't enough, see  for an extraordinarily moving briefing on the R2R Girls' Scholarship Program --- a slide-show that may bring tears to your eyes, as it did to mine.
R2R's motto is simply:
|"World change starts with educated children."|
It's hard to think of a better long-term investment.
(see also My Business (30 May 1999), EducationOfTheYouth (1 Dec 2001), LearningAndLosing (23 Dec 2001), Boston Public Library (20 Jun 2002), InvestInPeace (9 Jul 2002), FreedomPeaceCommerceEducation (13 Sep 2002), TiltTheoryOfHistory (1 Jun 2004), ...)