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 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:

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:

 
   

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