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.
Mar 2, 2016

Respecting and Preserving Cultural Identity: Women in action!

Women participates in Book process
Women participates in Book process

For over 20 years, Riecken Community Libraries - each a partnership of the Riecken Foundation, local communities and their local governments - have offered access to information, leadership development and a safe place to learn and grow in some of the most underserved communities of Guatemala and Honduras.

• Create lifelong readers

• Bridge the digital divide in   Central America

• Support someone’s first hands-on computer experience

• Provide dynamic library programming and community outreach

 

February 21st is International Mother Language Day (IMLD), a worldwide annual observance held to promote peace through awareness of linguistic and cultural diversity and multilingualism. It was formally recognized by the UN General Assembly in its resolution establishing 2008 as the International Year of Languages. For Riecken Community Libraries, our active promotion of literature and books in native languages alongside Spanish, is a perfect example of the spirit of International Mother Language Day, and tightly aligns our work with the UN Sustainable Development Goal of preserving cultural identity agreed upon in September 2015.

The creation of such books has been an ongoing project bringing people of all ages to collaborate in writing, illustrating and producing high quality books about their own communities for their local libraries. Participating communities have included Chiché, El Quiché; Copan Ruinas, Copan; Xolsacmaljá, Totonicapán; San Juan la Laguna, Sololá, San Carlos Sija, Huitán and Cabricán in Quetzaltenango. Supported by funding partnerships for a creative and educational process coordinated by The Riecken Foundation, the project brings publishers, local library directors, writers and artists, plus a host of volunteers to compile and publish oral histories and folktales narrated by Mayan elders in their communities. One book, The Tzijolaj: Mayan Kiche Oral Tradition (oral maya kiché, Ri Tzijol Aj), was compiled with the Mayan people of Chiché (El Quiché) and produced as an audio book!

The project, with a very high women participation, aims to conserve traditional culture, inspire creativity, and value diversity. Bilingual literature in Spanish and Mayan languages is rare in Guatemala and the region, and the books empower local people to express their traditions and values in word and art through high quality materials.  

Links:

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:

 
   

donate now:

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?
  • $25
    give
  • $70
    give
  • $100
    give
  • $250
    give
  • $500
    give
  • $750
    give
  • $1,250
    give
  • $5,000
    give
  • $25
    each month
    give
  • $70
    each month
    give
  • $100
    each month
    give
  • $250
    each month
    give
  • $500
    each month
    give
  • $750
    each month
    give
  • $1,250
    each month
    give
  • $5,000
    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.
WARNING: Javascript is currently disabled or is not available in your browser. GlobalGiving makes extensive use of Javascript and will not function properly with Javascript disabled. Please enable Javascript and refresh this page.