4HWW Readers' Libraries in Nepal, Cambodia, and Sri Lanka Open Their Doors!

The Vang Lam preschool we built in Vietnam. So cute a lumberjack would cry! Now we have three more locations.

You all should be *very* proud.

I’m thrilled to share completion reports for the three libraries you supported and made possible. The funds were raised for my birthday campaign in 2011.

They’re finally done!

This post include photos of the dedication plaques for each library, as well as information about the impact that each library has had on the local community.

In a nutshell:

– The K-to-6 library in Cambodia will help 500 students per year become literate. 500 per year = 2,500 over the next 5 years.

– The Grades 1-5 library in Sri Lanka will help 2,000 students per year become literate. 2,000 per year = 10,000 over the next 5 years.

– The K-10 library in Nepal will help 550 students per year become literate. 550 per year = 2,750 over the next 5 years.

In the next 5 years, you all will have helped change the lives of more than 15,000 students. Not only that, but you will have helped add critical thinkers to the world who can perpetuate a virtuous cycle of solving problems. Cool, right?

Here are the dedication plaques for each school. Click to enlarge:

Now, the completion reports (and pics) for those interested…

Sri Lanka – LK-CRR-12-0015 – Tim Ferriss – CR

Nepal – NP-CRR-12-0035 – Tim Ferriss – CR

Cambodia – KH-CRR-12-0008 – Tim Ferriss – CR

In the next 12 months, I hope to plan trips to visit all of these libraries. And… bigger and bolder plans to come in the next six months or so.

In the meantime, remember: you guys rock. You can leave a positive dent in this world. This post is visible proof.

Long live karmic capitalism.

The Tim Ferriss Show is one of the most popular podcasts in the world with more than 900 million downloads. It has been selected for "Best of Apple Podcasts" three times, it is often the #1 interview podcast across all of Apple Podcasts, and it's been ranked #1 out of 400,000+ podcasts on many occasions. To listen to any of the past episodes for free, check out this page.

Leave a Reply

Comment Rules: Remember what Fonzie was like? Cool. That’s how we’re gonna be — cool. Critical is fine, but if you’re rude, we’ll delete your stuff. Please do not put your URL in the comment text and please use your PERSONAL name or initials and not your business name, as the latter comes off like spam. Have fun and thanks for adding to the conversation! (Thanks to Brian Oberkirch for the inspiration.)

49 Replies to “4HWW Readers' Libraries in Nepal, Cambodia, and Sri Lanka Open Their Doors!”

  1. This is great Tim! I was one of the donors for the Vietnamese pre school and it still makes my heart tingle to know that my $1,000 went towards something massively meaningful. You rock,


  2. This is fantastic. I’ll definitely have to visit Sri Lanka now and check out the library. 🙂

  3. This is heartwarming and awesome!

    Does anyone have any pics/data for the Nepal RoomToRead campaign from 2007-2008? I remember donating to that one for months and I never saw the results.

  4. Hi Tim – I am an architecture student at the University of Notre Dame, and nine of my classmates and I recently completed a design for a K-8 school just outside of Pokhara, Nepal. The land for the project is owned by one of the University’s industrial design faculty whose husband is Nepali. She has been working collaboratively with locals for the past decade, bringing Notre Dame students to Pokhara every summer to design traditional handicrafts that artisans in the area then produce and sell. She and her husband have committed to building a new school in the area because right now, many students walk hours every day across rice paddies to get to the nearest classroom. Pokhara desperately needs a new school facility, and we have a design and a site but no funding. Several of Notre Dame’s grant giving bodies have voiced significant interest in being a part of the project, but we have a long way to go before we can action our proposal. Any thoughts, advice, or ideas? Useful contacts in Asia? Any information at all would be greatly appreciated. Thanks!

  5. Hey Tim and company;

    My name is Norm Schriever and I’m a writer who works on travel memoir and socially-consicous projects. I’m heading out to Vietnam and Cambodia mid August to live for about 6 months or so and do a lot of writing and some charity work. If you need volunteers or teachers in any of the schools, please let me know and I’d love to help. Cheers, and keep up the great work.


  6. Hey Tim,

    I’m just wrapping up a year of teaching in the Eastern Provinces of Sri Lanka (the hardest hit by the war), and the library you built will go a long way towards helping the community.

    One suggestion – the plaque is only in Sinhala and English. The area the library was built is likely Sinhalese, but all three languages are widely spoken and inclusiveness is crucial to creating a cohesive society.

  7. Great to see the results of your hard work + dedication of the readers paying off, Tim. Keep it up and happy to see such a good cause being supported.

  8. Everyone should be VERY proud of this! Tim, thanks to you we not only get to be fans but also help others that we might not have otherwise. Ironically, I first read the 4HWW with the sole intention of improving my life, only to realize that the reward was in helping others.

  9. Tim you continue to inspire us all! Thank you so much for doing OUTSTANDING WORK! I really believe that helping others on our beautiful Mother Earth is what we all need at this very moment. Thank you for your enthusiasm and positive energy that vibrates into our Universe! 🙂

  10. This is wonderful Tim! And so touching to see the kids IN the place. Keep up your good work.


    jeanne omlor

  11. These 15,000 students in next 5 years, will each one influence dozens around them.

    This kind of actions are in long-term so much more powerful than political actions.

    In the very beginning of 20th century, a lot of these kinds of schools in Iran resulted in mid 1950s in the movement which elected the first democratic prime minister Mossadegh.

    And I love the expression Tim uses “problem solver”, because it’s not question of “PhD” or whatever… but state of mind and creating logic problem solvers.

    This type of posts on fridays make me have better WE 😉

  12. Awesome!

    While there may be different interpretations as to what makes the world a better place, I think that supporting literacy is undoubtedly a global improvement.

  13. Thoroughly cool. I especially like the post-completion support and making sure everyone’s trained to use them.

    I officially challenge you and Benny the Polyglot to spend some time teaching those kids everything you know 😀

  14. Wow Tim, congratulation for helping to make a difference in the world! The gift of education is truly amazing 🙂 and you’re even getting your readers involved.

  15. Mr.Tim Ferriss, Great work overseas! There is a situation a little closer that needs attention. Pennsylvania is incurring a massive influx of refugees and immigrants from Nepal through their relationship with Catholic Charities and other church groups. Local teachers and case workers cannot communicate and serve this vulnerable population. A Pimsleur language program is not currently available. I know you have language skills. Can we think of a way to serve the needs of these new Americans, and at the same time educate our public sector employees?


    Michael Herleman

  16. You must go see the projects in person!! I used to head up the Hong Kong chapter of Room to Read and we raised a few million $$ for them, but nothing compared to going to visit in person and meeting the kids. I have traveled a ton and have been lucky to see some amazing things, but visiting one of these projects that you helped create is life altering.

    I actually met my wife on a school/library site visit in Sri Lanka back in 2006 (we’re both donors). 🙂


  17. Thanks for the update Tim. Great to see the projects finished & successful! Definitely a nice birthday wish. Congrats!

  18. I don’t like to be negative, but I have very mixed feelings about projects like these, so I’m glad you posted the coolness in a question, “Cool, right?”

    While I don’t doubt the good intentions of the project, the implication of it, and many others like it, is that the root of many problems is literacy. To examine the pros and cons of this huge assumption is well beyond the scope of a comment box, but if you care to look at one of my posts on this issue, you’ll get a feel for my concerns, and no, this is not spam . . . it’s certainly not about me.

    Coincidentally, the title of the post is “Being Cool in the Media”.

  19. Awesome! So nice to know that there are people who are very generous to share their blessings to others by means of building learning facilities. More power!

  20. “Amazing!” The first word that pops in my head. This thing is enormous, why? Because those kids will really benefit on this project that was done, given by those people who have huge heart and never expect anything in return.

    Kudos! To those who are part of these kind of projects. Little angels here on earth just like those kids do deserve proper education and it will start and have its way thru this projects that were made.

    Praying for more blessings and success to these people!

    Keep it going and more power! 🙂

  21. This is amazing Tim, your original post inspired me to fundraise for Room to Read last year whilst cycling the length of Britain, I was astonished by peoples response and raised £1982.5 in 17 days. That experience compelled me to want to help build a school and on August 3rd I start cycling around the world to raise £26,000. So in a round about way your blog will have helped to build one more school. Keep up the great work!!!! Fraser @cyclehacker

  22. Ciao Tim,

    although fewers comments, this post is very meaningful.

    You might wanna check out Grameen Bank (M. Yunus, nobel prize), that with its micro loans system is actually reducing poverty (I think its one of the few pro-active charities…well isn’t properly a charity).

    Also, Mr. Feynman might have a successor, the controversial but genius Kary Mullis (nobel prize him too). If there was just one book I had the chance to suggest to Tim Ferriss, his book would be the one (Dancing naked in the mind field).

    Alla prossima,


  23. Just wanted to say thanks for the updated edition of the book – reading it now. Read the original back years ago and started my online business 🙂

    Let’s see what this can do for developing countries

  24. Hi Tim! Good job! You are really a kind hearted man. People nowadays tend to ignore this kind of social issue and just leave it in the government without helping and afterwards in the end they will just blame it all in the government. Why not start in a small steps? By these small steps it can lead us to change. What you have done is really patriotic for me. I can now say that there are still people like you who are willing to do everything just to help others without expecting in return. I tried also giving school supplies to the less fortunate children in the school of Marawer in Digos City during our community exposure in our class. All our hardships for that project was paid off just because of their smiles that means a thousand words.

  25. It’s nice to know that there are still a lot of people who really devote part of their time to give a helping hand to those who are need; not for power, not for fame, but simply because they genuinely care. When I look at these children, it makes me realize how lucky I was as a child for I never had to starve not only for food but also for knowledge. It’s just sad to think that some children nowadays take the education being handed to them for granted when there are kids out there who would love to be in their place. Anyway, hands down to you Tim!

  26. Tim,

    Hey could I hit you up for contact info on the Cambodia project? I’m putting plans together for a Crossfit gym there and maybe can coordinate some stateside fundraising and pack some books/materials in the container with the gym gear.

  27. Hi Tim,

    I am of Sri Lankan nationality living in Colombo, and i take this opportunity to thank you in behalf of all the Sri Lankan citizens, for all the good things you are doing for our country and the world.

    I am an avid reader of your material and started using most of your techniques at work (Software Business Analyst work ) recently and am absolutely content with the results so far.

    Kindly let me know whether you have plans to come down to Sri Lanka. This island has a lot of things to see. 😛



  28. Wow this is amazing Tim!

    I’m about to move to Cambodia along with my husband at the end of the year. It’s great to see people who are actually helping the country get back on its feet. I’m definitely visiting that library.

    I’m also going to volunteer for giving English classes while I live there. If you need a teacher, drop me a mail and I’ll be more then willing to help out!



  29. Very very cool. Cambodia has been one of my favorite countries since I first visited it in 2008. The people there are amazing, and glad to see a cool project like this helping give the kids there a better chance to succeed.

  30. if we could precisely measure how our actions, for things like these libraries, not only help in the short term but actually see the ripple effects over 10-20 years and how it affects so many people and things for the better, i think we would all be really addicted to giving of our time, experience and money for things like that. My story is ar from these children’s story but i used to live in a remote area and books had a big impacts on me. can only imagine the impacts of these kids. kudos!

  31. Tim,

    Curious about your thoughts on capitalism. How it effects todays world and the world of the future? What’s good, bad, and ugly? How do we fix the issues in front of us? And how can the 80/20 principle be applied toward a future of sustainable growth. What’s your role?