Throughout 2021, WTA Charities will be featuring members of the WTA family as a Community Hero for their work to make their communities a better place. The next Hero is former World No.1 and two-time Grand Slam champion Garbiñe Muguruza, who works as an ambassador for Room to Read, which focuses on literacy and gender equality in education.
For more information on the organization or to donate, visit www.roomtoread.org.
Reading is a privilege, one that former World No.1 Garbiñe Muguruza, hopes to extend to young girls in underserved communities. Since 2016, Muguruza has served as a Global Ambassador for Room to Read, an organization that promotes literacy and gender equality in education to children in low-income communities.
After learning about the inequalities in educational opportunities throughout the world, this mission has become a passion of hers:
“Many world problems can be addressed through one solution: education," Muguruza said. "Why? Because knowing how to read makes people safer, healthier and more self-sufficient — yet over 750 million people are illiterate, and two thirds are women and girls.”
The two-time Grand Slam champion has always been a role model on the court, and after meeting Room to Read’s founder John Wood, former Director of Business Development for Microsoft’s Greater China region in Singapore, she jumped at the chance to be involved.
“He told me that after a hiking trip in Nepal, he started helping a headmaster at a school in a very small village in Nepal sending books, because they only had a few, maybe five or six, and they took care of them as a treasure,” Muguruza said. “From there, he left Microsoft to change the world educating children.”
And he hasn’t been the only one changing lives. Through her partnerships and fundraising, Muguruza helped build a new library for the Banlech Prasat Primary School in the Prey Veng Province in Cambodia. She had planned to visit the school last year, but due to Covid, had to postpone the trip.
Her new goal is to empower a community of 167 young women in Cambodia through Rooms to Read’s Girls’ Education Program, which ensures that girls complete secondary school and have the skills to negotiate key life decisions. In celebration of International Women’s Day this year, WTA Charities and the ATP each donated $5,000 to her campaign.
“The program is designed to improve learning and life outcomes,” said Muguruza, “which allows girls to graduate with the ability to think critically, rely on themselves to meet day-to-day challenges and be primary decision-makers.”
Her mission through Room to Read is simple: keep young girls in school and eventually expand the program into Latin America.
“Education is everything and is a reliable journey for girls to reach their full potential. It will give them a better chance to have a better life, avoid early marriage and stay in school as long as possible.”