The Frances and Henry Riecken Foundation, Inc.

We offer Central Americans hope and the opportunity to overcome poverty by promoting democracy and prosperity through community libraries that spark a spirit of discovery and foster citizen participation.
Oct 17, 2011

Reading and Self-Esteem for Girls in Guatemala

Older women often sign in with a thumbprint
Older women often sign in with a thumbprint

We are hoping to get this project fully funded by the end of the year so that we might expand the program to include even more girls.  Women and girls in rural Guatemala are second class citizens and only with the power of knowledge is that going to change.  If we can help girls learn to read and gain access to books they will have the most basic key to a better life.  When we are fully funded we hope to launch "girls only" book clubs encourage the girls to not only read to to communicate with each other about what they have read and to gain confidence in numbers.  Discussions about their reading will also enhance critical thinking skills which are not addressed in the Guatemalan education system.  

After multiple visits to the libraries offering enhanced girl reader programming I often see an increase in the number of girls in the libraries and also see gains in their confidence level.  With unlimited access to information because of their reading skills young girls in Guatemala can truly change their world.  

Mother and daughter reading in Chiche
Mother and daughter reading in Chiche
Reading in a rural community
Reading in a rural community

Links:

Sep 30, 2011

Rural book deliveries in Honduras

Mounted book deliveries
Mounted book deliveries

I recently participated in book deliveries in two, very rural indigenous (Chorti) communities in the Copan Ruinas region of Honduras.  In one case there is already in place a single bookcase containing no more than 100 books.  A community leader described this "bibliomovil" (mobile library) as the "soul of the community."  Books are delivered a few at a time by horseback to this community.  Books for all age groups are included and the books area also user to story hours conducted by Riecken Community Libraries volunteers in the local kindergarten.  With a 4-wheel drive vehicle equipped as a mobile library we could deliver more books to more communities reaching more eager readers. We have a long ways to go to achieve our funding goal.  Every little bit helps.  

The "soul" of the community, their library.
The "soul" of the community, their library.
Story hour with delivered books
Story hour with delivered books

Links:

Sep 20, 2011

Even one father is now coming to learn

This program, which began in June of this year, is carried out weekly every Thursday at 3PM for over an hour and a half. Approximately 15-20 mothers are now participating in each session (up from 4-5).  One father is participating, which is considered an achievement in the context of Guatemala’s highly chauvinistic society.  Participating children are between the age of 8 months to 5 years old.  One child, 11 years old with special needs, has begun participating with his mother; another learned lesson for the library.  Each session includes a small educational talk on one or more of the pre-literacy techniques, plus activities, games, even songs, and now hands-on preparation of nutritional, appropriate, affordable foods.  In order to develop the nutritional component of the program, Riecken staff has researched multiple sources and is receiving hands-on training from the Institute for Nutrition of Central America and Panama (INCAP).  One of the biggest challenges for this library is one of space as other would be users have to be asked to come at another time.  Conversations are being had with US Rotary Clubs and institutions to find funding for a second floor for this library.

Links:


Attachments:

donate now:

An anonymous donor is matching all new monthly recurring donations. Terms and conditions apply.
Make a monthly recurring donation on your credit card. You can cancel at any time.
Make a donation in honor or memory of:
What kind of card would you like to send?
How much would you like to donate?
  • $10
    give
  • $25
    give
  • $50
    give
  • $150
    give
  • $300
    give
  • $400
    give
  • $800
    give
  • $3,500
    give
  • $10
    each month
    give
  • $25
    each month
    give
  • $50
    each month
    give
  • $150
    each month
    give
  • $300
    each month
    give
  • $400
    each month
    give
  • $800
    each month
    give
  • $3,500
    each month
    give
  • $
    give
gift Make this donation a gift, in honor of, or in memory of someone?

Reviews of The Frances and Henry Riecken Foundation, Inc.

Great Nonprofits
Read and write reviews about The Frances and Henry Riecken Foundation, Inc. on GreatNonProfits.org.