Library empowers Girls & Women in coastal Ecuador

by Corporacion Grupo Randi Randi
Play Video
Library empowers Girls & Women in coastal Ecuador
Library empowers Girls & Women in coastal Ecuador
Library empowers Girls & Women in coastal Ecuador
Library empowers Girls & Women in coastal Ecuador
Library empowers Girls & Women in coastal Ecuador
Library empowers Girls & Women in coastal Ecuador
Library empowers Girls & Women in coastal Ecuador
Library empowers Girls & Women in coastal Ecuador
Library empowers Girls & Women in coastal Ecuador
Library empowers Girls & Women in coastal Ecuador
Library empowers Girls & Women in coastal Ecuador
Library empowers Girls & Women in coastal Ecuador
Library empowers Girls & Women in coastal Ecuador
Library empowers Girls & Women in coastal Ecuador
Library empowers Girls & Women in coastal Ecuador
Library empowers Girls & Women in coastal Ecuador
Library empowers Girls & Women in coastal Ecuador
Library empowers Girls & Women in coastal Ecuador
Library empowers Girls & Women in coastal Ecuador
Library empowers Girls & Women in coastal Ecuador
Library empowers Girls & Women in coastal Ecuador
Library empowers Girls & Women in coastal Ecuador
Library empowers Girls & Women in coastal Ecuador
Library empowers Girls & Women in coastal Ecuador
Library empowers Girls & Women in coastal Ecuador
Library empowers Girls & Women in coastal Ecuador
Library empowers Girls & Women in coastal Ecuador
This is our safe place
This is our safe place

Back in 2016, when we started the Biblio Burro Library, we had no financial statements to show.  Our friends from Randi Randi allowed us to use their name, as an umbrella organization, to start crowdfunding in GlobalGiving.

We are extremely grateful to them and to you.  Your support made possible the construction and furnishing of our Library, acquired a Library vehicle and set in motion all the life-changing programs that are empowering girls and women in our community.

Today The Library project “Empowering Girls and Women in northern Manabí” continues under our own name Fundación A mano manaba 

https://www.globalgiving.org/projects/library-bus-for-northern-manabi-coast-ecuador/

 Please continue to support the Library you helped create as a just,
dignified and safe place for all in northern Manabí, Ecuador. 

 

 

Rut Román, Ph. D.                                                            Susan V. Poats, Ph.D.

Fundación A mano manaba                                              CG Randi Randi

 

Its never too late to finish school
Its never too late to finish school
Our benefactors come and share time and resources
Our benefactors come and share time and resources
We can embelish our sorroundings
We can embelish our sorroundings
With precautions, we continue
With precautions, we continue
This can also be an opportunity
This can also be an opportunity

Links:

Share on Twitter Share on Facebook
Our collaboration
Our collaboration

 

To all our wonderful supporters, collaborators and volunteers for the GlobalGiving  project # 24509 “Library Empowers Girls & Women in Coastal Ecuador”:

 

                                                                         Well, we did it!!

 

Hi, my name is Susan Poats and I am the vice-president of the Corporación Grupo Randi Randi (CGRR) in Ecuador.  We are part of GLOBAL GIVING and have been supporting project # 25409 since November 2016. Though CGRR figures as the institutional or fiscal sponsor, the project has always been operated and managed by Fundación A mano manaba or FAMM.  This small NGO based in Don Juan began in response to the massive April 2016 earthquake affecting coastal Ecuador. When FAMM first approached GLOBAL GIVING it was too new to qualify as part of the platform. So I proposed that CGRR, with 20 years of experience and project management in Ecuador, partner with FAMM and provide an “institutional umbrella”. GLOBAL GIVING approved and we were off, using our combined talents to reach out to all of you to help support the FAMM intercultural library in Don Juan. Beginning as a portable children´s library on the back of a pet donkey, today the library is a 2 story seismic-resistant bamboo structure where FAMM offers a wide variety of programs not only to help children improve their reading and schoolwork, but to empower young women and men, and their parents and family, to become active, supportive, egalitarian, mindful citizens in a community that has long been overlooked by the outside and dominated internally by destructive, violent patriarchal patterns.  

 3.6 years as an institutional lifespan is short.  Many NGOs are still just getting started at this point.  But FAMM has pushed hard to create the legal, organizational and fiscal structure necessary to create and conduct innovative programs. CGRR has always been ready to help with these structures, and provide guidance or oversight when necessary.  We recognize that this arrangement has been not only appropriate and expedient but fruitful.  We raised the funds needed and we have all learned a lot!! CGRR is proud of the work and accomplishments of FAMM in Don Juan, and for the impact, the library and its programs are having on the immediate community, and increasingly in neighboring communities that are following the example.

 So, we are very pleased to report to all of you that CGRR has completed its role, and now is the time for FAMM to become independent on GlobalGiving and take full responsibility for the work you support.  Together with the GlobalGiving staff, we have navigated a process to hand over the original Library project to FAMM’s new location in the platform at NGO # 40234 and transfer most of the credit and recognition, as well as the funding process.  We invite you to visit the project now listed as # 46889.  The project reports and history will remain under CGRR and #25409 for the time being until we can make all the information available on the FAMM website.  All the funds raised as #25409 to date have been received by CGRR and transferred to the FAMM bank account.  GLOBAL GIVING will now channel new donations bi-annually directly to the FAMM account. 

 CGRR relinquishes its fiscal sponsorship with delight and now becomes an equal collaborator with FAMM as we develop new ways to support learning and empowerment in coastal Ecuador.  COME VISIT US!!!

Our beginnings
Our beginnings
Seismic-resistant
Seismic-resistant
Homework with friends
Homework with friends
Our books
Our books
Intercultural Center and Library
Intercultural Center and Library
Together, we've come a long way...
Together, we've come a long way...

Links:

Share on Twitter Share on Facebook
Our library in Don Juan, Manabi
Our library in Don Juan, Manabi

Dear Donor 
Friend of Fundación A mano manaba (FAMM)

Hopefully, these words find you in the midst of the calm and discretion necessary in these unprecedented days and weeks in the social life of the entire planet. 

I am writing to thank you for your generosity during the GlobalGiving Girl Fund Campaign on March 6 -13th and for accompanying us in the strengthening of our Library and Intercultural Center. This was our first time to participate in the Girl Fund and thanks to the diligent enthusiasm of our volunteers, in addition to raising $5,806 we were able to expand our donor base by 50% and we have acquired important experience for future campaigns. 

At the end of the first stage of the campaign we placed sixth among 250 participating organizations and this was made possible because of your response and contribution, so Thank you! 

Reaching sixth place was an important achievement, especially if we compare the size of Fundación A mano manaba FAMM's organizational structure with that of most other finalist organizations. In the second stage of this competition, the 15 organizations that obtained the largest number of donors had to choose the 6 organizations that would accompany the first 2 that had already secured the bonus offered by GlobalGiving. During this second stage there was a discussion among the 15 on a a private GlobalGiving page on Facebook. 

Unfortunately, we were not chosen among the six voted to receive the bonus. We believe that the small size of our organization and the limitations of our technological resources and promotional material did not work in our favor. Now in the midst of the imminent needs of the present pandemic, we want you to know that the funds raised are going to be crucial to sustain the current programs and to extend our support to other girls and members of the Don Juan and Jama community. 

Temporarily we are working behind closed doors of the Library due to the COVID-19 pandemic, but we are still active in Don Juan, supporting the neighbors in their weekly purchases, helping the elderly collect their monthly bonuses and delivering previously disinfected reading material, to the homes of our users.  We are also preparing readings and other activities that will be shared by virtual means on our social networks. 

We hope that, in a few weeks, we will be able, gradually and according to official regulations, to reopen our reading, art and sports programs to empower girls and women in the north of Manabi that all of you so generously support. We say goodbye with the solidarity and affection that unites us in all our efforts to improve our earthly home.

 

Rut Román 

Fundación A mano manaba FAMM President

Rosaura
Rosaura
Im going to be a Doctor!
Im going to be a Doctor!
Sun set
Sun set

Links:

Share on Twitter Share on Facebook
Emilie & Alberto
Emilie & Alberto

It is the last sunset we share with Emilie (France) and Alberto (Spain). During their fruitful volunteering with us, we have become allies and friends.  This energetic, enthusiastic couple worked tirelessly and way beyond their obligations to make sure the most vulnerable population in this tiny fishing village was imbued with a sense of self-worth and pride in their culture.  We want to take a few minutes of our afternoon to hear their opinion about our common dreams for this village.

 Q: How would you describe Don Juan?

 Alberto: Don Juan is a small fishing village with 1200 inhabitants, a few main roads and 3 little stores. It has a beautiful natural heritage, with an amazing beach, an unforgettable landscape. It is quite fascinating to discover the fishermen downloading their catch in the morning. Don Juan has a smooth daily rhythm, and it is very peaceful to live there.

 Q:  Has your experience as a FAMM volunteer given you a different perspective on Ecuador?

 Emilie: Volunteering at FAAM definitely gave us another perspective about Ecuador. First, we were able to understand the impact that the 2016 earthquake had on people’s lives. We honestly hadn't realized how hard and terrible this earthquake was. Second, we discovered the richness of Manabi culture, gastronomy, and natural heritage. Beaches and landscapes are amazing, food is delicious and craftsmanship is a real treasure.  We also got to see first hand a very strong artisanal fishing trade in Ecuador. Third, this experience gave us a more realistic image of machismo in this part of the country. It is directly linked with the education level that we have seen in Don Juan. Thanks to FAMM, we have a much more authentic and profound feeling about Ecuador.

 Q: Describe your daily routine, something like "a day at the Don Juan library"

Emilie & Alberto: A day in FAAM usually started with either English classes for adults or the remedial reading program where kids who do not know how to read yet come to the Library for help. We would algo go to the local school during recess  to play with the kids in the playground. Our intent was to promote more gender equality in the use of the tiny playground. In the past, a few boys usually took over the ground to play soccer while the girls and little ones were left to idly watch them from a distance.  We would usually bring some games like balloons or jump ropes so everybody could join in organized games. This part of the day was very exciting and it was interesting to see how slowly the gender dynamics among boys and girls started to shift towards equality in the playground. After that, it was our break time: lunch and swimming at the beach! Afternoons were different every day of the week depending on the topic of the day: Monday: computers; Tuesday: art; Wednesday: music; Thursday: environmental education; Friday: board games.  But we would always have a moment to read with the kids. At 5 pm the library would close and we would usually head towards the the beach for the beautiful sunsets! During our last week at FAMM, we were invited to offer marketing and sales pitch workshops in the Night School for adults. This was such a cool way to connect and get to know many of the young women that have returned to the classrooms they had to leave due to teenage pregnancy. By the time we left night school and headed back to the Library, we were exhausted and happy.  We went to bed with a rewarding feeling of having spent our day in a meaningful way. This project is changing the lives of locals and volunteers alike. 

 Q: After your experience with FAMM do you think this NGO is the same or different from what you understood as an NGO?

 Emilie: This NGO is similar to what we understand as NGOs should be as its aim is to implement actions to help people in need. However, it is different from the majority of NGOs as every bit of help and donations go directly to the project. We have witnessed that any kind of external help is going directly to the project. This is a huge advantage and the reason why we definitely want to encourage people to contribute to FAMM.

 Q: MM: Do you think FIRM's purpose to empower girls and women in northern Manabi is realistic? 

 Emilie: We believe that empowering women and girls in northern Manabi is necessary and a perfect goal for FAMM. It is absolutely pertinent to work on this matter. Women and girls need this support to grow as adults, to become responsible moms, spouses, and women capable of making their own decision and believing in themselves. FAMM is playing a key role in making this goal possible. We also believe that these changes will happen if the endeavor includes little boys. FAMM is helping them to discover “new masculinities” that will enable them to grow to respect women and girls. 

 Q: What do you think about FAMM ‘s preference for volunteering couples?

 Alberto: We think it is a great idea to receive couples as volunteers. They can create a good synergy and vibe, and share it with the kids. Couples also dedicate their full time to the project while they are in Don Juan. In our case, there is no doubt that this experience has enriched us a lot, both as individuals and also as a couple.

  

The afternoon slowly fades into a peaceful night and we have to say our final goodbyes to Emilie and Alberto. They will take the early morning bus to their next destination.  The last few days of their stay were full of going-away gatherings at the Library, at the beach and at our home. Many tears were shed, children and young girls and boys grew very fond of them and we all are sorry to see them go.  But this is the nature of A mano manaba, to welcome new friends and send them on their way wishing them safe travels and a future return. Thank you, guys! You are a wonderful couple! 

Don Juan
Don Juan
A good read
A good read
Chess club
Chess club
Emilie
Emilie
Meetings
Meetings

Links:

Share on Twitter Share on Facebook
With friends in the Library
With friends in the Library

Every day our work in the Library is rewarding. It starts when we approach the local school and see the children’s faces light up at the sight of the Library bus that will take some of them to remedial reading sessions. It’s rewarding when we reach the Library and are greeted by the international volunteers that live there and have arranged everything so as to receive the children.  Each volunteer has something to tell us about their weekend or the day before: how they discovered a new fruit or met a new neighbor. Some are on a long term world trip and spend a couple of months of their trip with us; others, like Myriam and Danny, have come all the way from their home in Murcia, Spain just so they can participate in this project. This is their first visit to South America and after serving as volunteers, they will head back home.  We are always happy to see their gradual transformation. They arrive with urban mores and limits, dependent on strict schedules and structured time. In a few weeks, they start to loosen their ties and constraints and start to feel more at ease about the way time is enjoyed in a tiny fishing village. Danny, an account by trade, is enjoying his first experience in the tropics, and his first experience working with children. “I truly appreciate this opportunity to be involved in an effort to help these children overcome the barriers of illiteracy in such a challenging context; this makes every day meaningful”.  Danny is beaming with happiness, and we all can see how significant his presence is for the children. His calm and warm demeanor has a soothing effect on the children.

Once the day is over we all take a few minutes to talk about the events of the day. We exchange anecdotes about this or that child who shows slight progress.  Myriam tells us how L (age 9) had a breakthrough, for the first time he acknowledged his frustration and anger. L’s father is constantly coming in and out of prison due to domestic violence and other bullying habits.  After reading, coloring and talking about the “emotionary,” a beautifully colored book that addresses children’s emotions and passions, L was relieved when leaving the Library. This is how we are trying to nurture new masculinities. 

We are thrilled to see adult women come to the Library, this is something that has started to occur with the soccer training sessions on Mondays and Fridays. Some women were not able to come, not because they were not interested, but because many of their husbands would not allow them to be away from house chores. When they showed interest in attending night school, which we were able to start through an Agreement with the Ministry of Education, again, their husbands did not see fit that they should be away, especially during dinner time or any other meal to be served. 

With the soccer training for boys and girls, and especially with the boys training, many moms come because they carry the water for their boys. While girls bring their own water, change their shoes; some boys require their mom’s assistance.  Ironically this is the only way N (age 26) is starting to learn how to write her own name and give her first steps towards literacy. N was born into a large family, she was the first child among 15 siblings; so much of her childhood was spent in rearing her younger siblings. In her family, only the boys went to school, N was married off at 15 with an older man and now, she must attend to her own family’s needs.  She could not register for night class or come to the Library, but with the young boys soccer training, she is now coming twice a week. It is exciting to see her childish delight about every step she conquers towards reading and writing. 

With our current volunteers we continue to empower girls and now are addressing new masculinities.  Myriam, our wonderful Spanish volunteer is a professional Learning Counselor and has set up an “Emotional corner” where we are tending to young boys and helping them draw, write and express emotions that are culturally forbidden for boys. This void makes young boys disconnect with their feelings.  Myriam has come up with the idea of decorating a corner of the Library with these “emotional monsters”: figures of the monster of anger, or the monster of fear, jealousy, tenderness, sadness, grief, or happiness. Boys, as soon as they register are invited to come and write or paint on how they are feeling when they come to the Library, and if they feel like it, register how they feel, when they leave. All these small events are part of our great rewards. 

These rather simple, but ambitious steps are what make our days.  Just recently we were invited to a soccer match a few miles down the road to Tabuga, a small fishing village north of Don Juan. We took almost 30 of our kids to this event, and were happily surprised at the difference in the interactions among the different groups.  While the other kids were very violent with each other -especially boys- and verbally abusive, the children from Don Juan just looked at this behavior as one they don't feel compelled to do anymore. 

So, yes, this Library is changing lives, starting with our own lives that are now so much more meaningful and filled with different kinds of content.  Children are doing much better in school and have a sense of ownership with the Library, after all, it’s theirs. They come in with a sense of pride and, after doing their homework, reading in Spanish or English with one of our lovely and caring volunteers, they leave at their ease.

Maybe this is why this project is being replicated in a number of small Libraries in neighboring villages.  Estero Seco, El Cruce, Tasaste, and La Division have asked our help in providing them with books, resources, experience, and training.  We are now scheduling our weekly visits to see how we may continue to support, advise or celebrate their achievements. Our purpose is that each small Library be its own model.  We are not imposing anything, we are sharing an experience.  

A library is a welcoming place where a child finds a librarian that knows how to invite her to read and explore interests she may not be aware of, a place where she’s always greeted with love and respect. 

And this rewarding project is possible only because of your generous support.  Please do continue to help us sustain this life-changing Library.

Working towards our goals!
Working towards our goals!
The dream
The dream
Board games
Board games
Learning can be fun
Learning can be fun
A quiet afternoon
A quiet afternoon

Links:

Share on Twitter Share on Facebook
 

About Project Reports

Project Reports on GlobalGiving are posted directly to globalgiving.org by Project Leaders as they are completed, generally every 3-4 months. To protect the integrity of these documents, GlobalGiving does not alter them; therefore you may find some language or formatting issues.

If you donate to this project or have donated to this project, you will get an e-mail when this project posts a report. You can also subscribe for reports via e-mail without donating.

Get Reports via Email

We'll only email you new reports and updates about this project.

Organization Information

Corporacion Grupo Randi Randi

Location: Quito - Ecuador
Website:
Facebook: Facebook Page
Rut Roman
Project Leader:
Rut Roman
Jama, Manabi Ecuador

Retired Project!

This project is no longer accepting donations.
 

Still want to help?

Find another project in Ecuador or in Gender Equality that needs your help.
Find a Project

Learn more about GlobalGiving

Teenage Science Students
Vetting +
Due Diligence

Snorkeler
Our
Impact

Woman Holding a Gift Card
Give
Gift Cards

Young Girl with a Bicycle
GlobalGiving
Guarantee

Sign up for the GlobalGiving Newsletter

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.