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.
Jan 12, 2016

Rural Communities grow up with Libraries

Meeting of women at library
Meeting of women at library

In some of the poorest, most remote regions of Central America, a network of community libraries is offering opportunities for a better life for girls and women. A network of more than 60 Riecken Community Libraries provide access to information - books, dynamic programs, technology and training – since 2000 in areas that are largely underserved and poverty-stricken. Each year, these libraries serve over 400,000 villagers, over half of whom are girls and women.

 Why communities grow up with the libraries?.

  •  Riecken Community Libraries increase life’s quality of people and their democracy through social participation, free access to information (Democracy and Citizens)
  • Riecken Community Libraries improve community development through information services based on local needs. They are a toolkit to reduce the divide between Info-Rich and Info-Poor citizens (Information for Development).
  • Riecken Community Libraries are culture institutions with a responsibility about culture, literature and literacy (Culture and linguistic Diversity)
  • Riecken Community Libraries has a sustainable infrastructure for Long-Life Learning and easy access to digital contents. They help to students of all degrees in formal education (Lifelong Learning)

All Riecken Libraries are an inspiration, personal development and knowledge center for people; they are a really social facilitator which serves to the community.

With the generous donations of people like you, and our partners, we strengthen and empower girls and women though youth development projects, provide reading and writing activities that support the work of local schools, promote the importance of health for mothers and their young children, and offer programs like the Women’s Leadership Program that nurture the entrepreneurial spirit and support women-owned small businesses.

Training of Young women at library
Training of Young women at library

Links:

Nov 24, 2015

Reader Girls, Empowered Woman of the future

E-Girl in a Reading Club
E-Girl in a Reading Club

Over half of Guatemalan population is rural, indigenous, lives in poverty, and is disproportionately young. Guatemala has the highest illiteracy and school dropout rates in Central America, with rural areas disproportionately affected. It is estimated that more than 30 percent of the people above the age 15 cannot read or write. In Guatemala, young people represent 39% of total population; rural women of Guatemala are synonyms of social exclusion; despite the significant increase in educational coverage at the primary level, 59 of each 100 girls go to the primary school.

Riecken Community Libraries want to support reverse this situation through Reading for Pleasure and improving young people organization. Riecken Community Libraries offer a safe and comfortable space for girls and teenagers of nearby villages known their rights and strengthen their social abilities.Reading Club using kindles or printed books, Projection activities, Technology access, Creative writing, Entrepreneurship training… a lot of options for girls of rural areas to building their future.

When girls in rural communities strengthen their Reading habits, leadership skills and abilities, and are provided participation to promote the women and children rights at the community level, there will be an increase in positive community development and improvement of quality of life in the communities. When girls learn to self-organize and work in a coordinated manner, they increase their community standing. Right’s Promotion activities that they generate will likely be more sustainable and have greater impact; and Reading and Technology will be our toolkits to do that.

Girls in a reading Club in Guatemala
Girls in a reading Club in Guatemala

Links:

Sep 25, 2015

Riecken Libraries of Guatemala are a space for all

Ananias at Library
Ananias at Library

“I learned about colors at library”.

Riecken Community Libraries of Guatemala are a space for all.

It’s not easy to know the number of people with disabilities in Guatemala; Official data are not very accurate or current and social silence increases invisibility of this reality. According to World Health Organization (WHO), 10% of the population of the world lives with some form of physical, sensory, intellectual or mental disabilities; 2002 Population Census of Guatemala estimate is 6.2% in Guatemala. Rights of people with disabilities could be violated with several ways; lack of access to information, to free movement, to basic services such as health, education and rehabilitation, denial of opportunities of job training, employment and economic participation, social and political, even situations of abuse-physical, psychological, sexual, threats to its integrity and his life. According to UNESCO, 90% of children with disabilities don’t go to the school.

Riecken Community Libraries want to support reverse this situation. Riecken community libraries contribute to finding a solution to the social exclusion in rural communities of Guatemala.

People with disability are excluded in the community of La Libertad (Morales, Guatemala); a cause of their disability, they didn’t learn to read. One of them is a person with a mental disability and his greatest wish is to learn the colors, but also he wants to learn to read and write. Riecken Community Library of La Libertad offers a safe and comfortable space in which both are taking their first steps in learning to read, using the library computers.

Vinicio likes animals book
Vinicio likes animals book

Links:

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