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.
Nov 19, 2012

Girls Read, Girls Rule, Boys .......

Girls participating in a story hour.
Girls participating in a story hour.

As 2012 comes to a end help us bring this project to a close so that we can start another one.  A little more than $1800 is all we need to get a few more books into the hands of eager female readers.  Astrid, one of our young girl readers, is now in an international school in Guatemala on a scholarship and is asking in English for explanations about taxes, poverty and corruption.  Yes, Astrid!  So, you see what we can do for impoverished girls in Central America with your help.  

We start with story hours then book clubs.  Reading gives young girls confidence.  This weekend we are delivering a load of books to one of our libraries.  After a two hour drive the books will go into a boat for a 45-minute boat ride and then arrive at the library via a tuk tuk.  Long journey but there are lots of girls waiting eagerly for the new books.  Once the girls gain the reading habit then they are onto computers where the sky is the limit.  Thanks you so much for all of your contributions and hopefully you can give these girls a little bit more.  

Happy to see the arrival of new books.
Happy to see the arrival of new books.
Now the sky is the limit.
Now the sky is the limit.

Links:

Nov 13, 2012

Experts Agree on Early Learning

Story hour for the little ones
Story hour for the little ones

We are making a year-end push for this project to be able to expand it in 2013.  It is a very successful pilot project that we hope, very soon, will get picked up by institutional donors so that we might offer it to many more Central American families.  If you have any doubts about the importance of early childhood stimulation I hope that you will take the time to watch this TED talk video on YouTube. http://youtu.be/ozNo1tSARh8.  At this writing Alba is conducting two completely full sessions each week.  Due to the small size of her library she has to lock the doors to other would be library users for the duration of the early childhood sessions.  People in Alba's community write and tell us that she is the "soul" of their little library and that the library is the soul of the community, that it is giving a community that suffered mightily during the 36-year civil war some hope for the future.  Children are the future and the hope of this and every other community.  We are very grateful for your donations to date and are very hopeful as 2012 comes to a close that you might give just a little bit more to ensure that this program continues and expands too.  Muchas gracias.

Links:

Aug 27, 2012

Meet the Project Director, Alba Estrada

Alba Estrada (L) with Rotarians from Reno NV
Alba Estrada (L) with Rotarians from Reno NV

Alba Estrada is the director of the program which takes place in the village library.  Alba was born and raised in the indigenous community of Quiche which is not far from the famed Chichicastenango market for those of you who have been to Guatemala.  Alba's family is not indigenous and she reports that she was only accepted by the indigenous population when she started working in the Riecken library. Quiche is an area where there was a lot of violence during Guatemala's 36-year civil war and the wounds are healing very slowly.  If you haven't seen Alba talk about the early childhood program I would encourage you to click on the link below to watch our video.  The mothers in the community were initially reluctant to participate in the early childhood program most likely because most of them are illiterate and lacking in self-esteem.  Now the program is so over subscribed (and by demand including a lot of information on nutrition) that Alba is searching for funding for a second floor for her library.  Currently, when the early childhood program is in session the little library has to be closed and all the furniture moved around.  We also invite you to click on the interview link and listen to a 2007 interview with the founder of the Riecken network, Allen Andersson. Please help us to report to Alba that we have full funding for her project. Muchas gracias.  

In front of Alba
In front of Alba's little library
Alba reading to all her children.
Alba reading to all her children.

Links:

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