First, we gave books to girls and they are reading. Now they want to learn computer skills which will connect them to the global community and also give them job skills. Women in our communities are also using the internet to find global markets for their handicrafts. This project is earmarked for a completely indigenous community in Xolscalmaja, Totonicapan, Guatemala. In spite of its rural location this is a progressive community with standing room only for their existing aging computers.
The library serves as a community center for a number of remote, rural communities with a total population of about 10,000. As there is a city nearby where job opportunities exist computer skills and a decent education are essential to qualifying for those jobs and/or learning entrepreneurial skills.
The project will add new computers to the library, updated software and a satellite internet connection sufficient to allow for streaming videos. Girls will then have access to the educational resources of the Khan Academy, now available in Spanish along with everything else that those of us with connectivity enjoy. Offline access to educational resources will also be provided in order to spare the rural bandwidth. Women will also learn how to market and sell their handicrafts online.
This project will bring this community into the 21st century by giving them the resources to "leapfrog" traditional education which is mediocre at best in Guatemala. Those who want to learn will now be able to do so at their own pace. Those who want to explore the global marketplace will be able to do so. Computer skills translate into job skills and jobs will help to lift this community out of poverty. The beneficiaries will be hundreds initially with the potential of thousands.
Source of free offline educational content
Facebook page Riecken Community Libraries
Website link to community information.