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.
Aug 27, 2012

Librarian Training Underway in Honduras

Library in San Pedro Sula ready for training class
Library in San Pedro Sula ready for training class

Thanks to a recent grant from the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation we have embarked on a program to re-train all the librarians in the Riecken network.  This past week 35 librarians attended five days of training in San Pedro Sula.  The training was developed by Honduran Country Director, Paco Alcaide, who has a library science degree from the University of Grenada in Spain.  As a result of this training the librarians are now even better equipped to not only serve their libraries but also very remote communities where there are no libraries and no books.   The best way to serve these remote communities is with a mobile library and with your continued support this could become a reality.  We are still a long way from our goal but are ever hopeful that someone who cares about development in Honduras will turn up and agree to help with this project.  In the meantime, please donate whatever you can to bring books and information to the less fortunate in Honduras.  We invite you to click on the links below and listen to a 2007 interview with founder, Allen Andersson, about how he can to build this network of libraries.  Muchas gracias.

Honduran Director Paco Alcaide conducing training
Honduran Director Paco Alcaide conducing training
Team Member Dasil Mejia works on group project
Team Member Dasil Mejia works on group project

Links:

Aug 15, 2012

Good News! The Books are Wearing Out.

New books, Science, Debate, Links and more
New books, Science, Debate, Links and more

Today we had a group of visitors cross Lake Atitlan in Guatemala by boat to visit our San Juan La Laguna Library. This library recently requested new books as so many of their books were very, very worn.  This library has a very high percentage of girl readers.  Funds were raised from the Rotary Club of Reno and by the library itself by showing movies in the evening and asking attendees to pay for popcorn to buy new books for everyone including the girls.  

Your donations also go towards buying new books particularly oriented towards young girl readers. Community volunteers engage the girls with story hours then help the girls read until they are reading on their own.  As you might guess reading is power in a country where women and girls have been disenfranchised for decades.  Included with the report are a couple of photos of the recent arrival of new books at this library.  You might want to also listen to the interview done in 2007 with Allen Andersson, who with his wife Susan Riecken, founded the Riecken Community Library network.   Muchas gracias (Thank you) for your help.  

Girls listening to story hour.
Girls listening to story hour.

Links:

May 29, 2012

Reno Rotary Club Visits Pilot Project

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

During the month of April several Rotarians from the Reno Rotary Club visited our pilot early childhood development project in Quiche, Guatemala.  They also delivered a number of supplies for the program.  The small library was crammed with mothers and children.  Personnel from the local health center came to do a presentation on vegetables to the mothers while Alba Estrada, the director, read a story to the children involving vegetables.  Several children dressed as vegetables did a presentation for all present.  Alba asked the mothers to discuss what the program meant to them and one mother spoke very passionately about the difference in her daughter since they have been attending the early childhood development program.  She indicated that her daughter talked more and asked more questions and that she felt that she was a much better mother because of the things she had learned.  

While we have recently received a grant (see link below) from the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation to strengthen our network of libraries we need your help to continue and expand this program to our other libraries.  No donation is too small to be appreciated.  A few dollars is very useful in Central America.  Muchas gracias.  

Learning about vegetables from a story book
Learning about vegetables from a story book
Presenting vegetable benefits to the moms
Presenting vegetable benefits to the moms
Practicing new skills
Practicing new skills

Links:

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