Oct 8, 2019

Engaging women for diplomacy impacts and change

There are many public diplomacy opportunities that can have positive impacts in Guatemala. Riecken engages communities on a grass-roots level and engages women to think about their own improved futures.

This includes everything promoting better governance through democratically elected local library leadership who oversee the library and its finances, to building and supporting youth involvement in community advocacy, and women’s leadership programming to help establish, grow and run small local businesses and create “cooperativas” and credit unions to provide sustainable programs without the requirements of outside partner funding.  Through access to technology in the libraries, Riecken also seeks to institutionalize the application of science, technology and innovation as smart tools for development; and offer early childhood development/nutrition programming in regions where malnutrition is widespread.

Among the many U.S. government goals for the region is to build and support youth development and advocacy skills. Youth programming is a core component of Riecken’s library activities to engage communities. Its “Mentes brillantes”(Smart minds) reading and activity program encourages youth to know their rights and to get involved. The program’s three components -- myself, my group, and my community -- create youth leaders who get involved in resolving community development issues. Youth participants of this program have gone on to take positions within the municipal governments, and one was even elected mayor.    

Teenagers of Mentes Brillantes

The Riecken Guatemala Foundation empowers girls and women through its network of community libraries.

Learn more about the work of the Riecken Foundation and its network of community libraries in Guatemala.

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Jul 10, 2019

"Alianzas" to strength women's efforts

Entrepreneurial women in San Juan Chamelco
Entrepreneurial women in San Juan Chamelco

One of the greatest successes of Riecken Community Libraries is how women develop their emotional skills to get ahead. They strengthen their leadership skills and social commitment as individuals. Teamwork and planning means that they themselves can visualize a future of success. Once women’s group is cohesive, libraries begin to promote entrepreneurial ideas and business skills to improve self-esteem, their personal economy and above all, manage their own lives. And, Alliances are the most important strategy for the sustainability of business and women’s entrepreneurial efforts.

Gabriela Mistral Library, SAN JUAN CHAMELCO

HEIFER International and the local NGO IEPADES supported the library and its group of women artisans of pine needles to improve the finishes of their products (More than 32 hours of counselling).

Ka´k Nojib´al community library, Xolsacmaljá (Totonicapán)

The library managed to get its group of women was included in the Economic Development Plan of the Commission for Local Economic Development, Tourism and Natural Resources. They also strengthened their learning on "Business Plan and Branding formalization" with support from the Ministry of Economy, HELVETAS and the municipality. This allowed achieving the following advances:

-        Advances in the registration of the territorial trademark of "Doña Huevo"

-        6 women egg producers are registered with the Ministry of Agriculture so that they can commercialize the eggs.

-        The Alliance with Business Networks for the creation of the Cooperative will be the legal umbrella for the commercialization of the products of the women's group of the library.

Ventanas abiertas al futuro Library, CHICHE

The women's group in the library has received support from INTECAP (Technical and Professional Education Agency), the Peace Corps / USAID and the Ministry of Economy. The group of women have completed a diploma in business, strengthening budgeting skills and business techniques. Likewise, women develop initiatives of embroidery of fabrics and production of food products that support the family economy.

This women’s empowerment program is being supported by all “Glogbalgivinners” and BFB Foundation.

The Riecken Guatemala Foundation empowers girls and women through its network of community libraries.

In Guatemala, 55 women have implemented a pilot of Mujeres, manos a la obra. A small step to learn how savings could support the sustainability of their entrepreneurial efforts.

Learn more about the work of the Riecken Foundation and its network of community libraries in Guatemala.

Woman shows training material
Woman shows training material

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Jul 10, 2019

Libraries and healthier children

Little girl at library
Little girl at library

Riecken Libraries promote reading in children and adults by making it fun and accessible. Librarians, volunteers, and parents are trained on how to read aloud and story time techniques. This training and the practice of reading aloud helps children develop a positive relationship with reading from an early age. The Results achieved by the moment:

-     22 mothers are mentors and transfer their knowledge to other mothers.

-     50 children aged 2 to 5 years, motivated in reading

-     30 children involved in library extension activities.

-     Reading at home: 40 books of stimulation to the reading are lent monthly.

-     A reader's club has been organized to stimulate the reading of parents, is to replicate what they learned at home

-     Parents use social networks to publish the book that their children read during the week; This has sparked the interest of many families and they visit the library to read with their children.

 

The Riecken Guatemala Foundation empowers Caregivers, mothers and fathers, to approach books and reading to their kids and sharing knowledge to improve better nutrition habits at home.

All Riecken Community Libraries offer early childhood development and nutrition programs, quality books and safe places to read and learn, support for skills taught by the schools, story circles and more, Riecken Community Libraries brings opportunity to underserved regions of Central America that need it most! 

This Reading program is being supported by all “Globalgivinners” and BFB Foundation.

Learn more about the work of the Riecken Foundation and its network of community libraries in Guatemala.

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