Bibliotecas comunitarias Riecken (Fundación Riecken)
The Riecken Foundation promotes a network of innovative community libraries in Honduras and Guatemala that awaken the spirit of discovery and social participation through activities in the libraries. We have shown that community libraries are essential to a democratic society. Libraries are institutions that citizens use to make informed decisions and reach their full potential. They provide essential knowledge, encourage critical thinking, and encourage self-education and lifelong learning.
Organizational contacts & locations
Mission, vision & values
Our mission is to promote democracy and prosperity in Central American communities through a network of community libraries that awaken a spirit of discovery and social participation.
We believe that prosperity and the consolidation of democracy depend on quality education and free and unlimited access to knowledge, thought, culture and information; We believe that community libraries democratize access to information, generate opportunities for social change and are an agent of community human development.
Products, services, and programs
Our services are:
- Capacity building and training for community organization
- Training of librarians and reading mediators
- Youth leadership development
- Fostering the spirit of discovery
- Informational and digital literacy
Our programs are:
- Reading mediation program (early stimulation, Storytime, Book Club, and Bright Minds)
- Community leadership training program
- Library training program
- Program for the formation of associative networks
Six out of ten people in rural communities are poor. Poverty is synonymous with social exclusion and this implies the lack of access to basic services such as education and health. Libraries are born to generate and support responses that help change this horizon. This approach was taken from our origin as a foundation The Riecken Community Libraries provide development opportunities in topics such as the environment, care and promotion of the rights of children, empowerment of women, digital literacy, skills and capacities for their development, economic entrepreneurship, rescue of cultural memory, promotion of family and community values, attention to young people in matters of culture, education and body care, among others. Our intervention is based on the postulates of the UNESCO Manifesto on the public library, 1994 and the United Nations Agenda Culture + Development and ODS.
Impact, adaptations & objectives
In the last five years, the Riecken Foundation has managed to promote libraries as authentic local development centers, with the support of cooperation organizations and private foundations such as the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation, the Strachan Foundation, the Embassy of Finland, the Spanish Cooperation, AIR / USAID, among others.
The network of community libraries support the improvement of educational quality. They have involved 30,000 boys and girls and 1,200 teachers from 121 schools supported by the mediation of more than 80 volunteers from the libraries with story hours in the Spanish class. Community libraries promote community health through early encouragement to reading and nutrition; More than 250 families with children under 5 years old apply new eating habits and more than 6,700 people actively participated in promoting community health.
More than 13,500 young people strengthened their leadership skills. Technology represents an opportunity for social inclusion; 2,509 people used the technology for the first time and more than 216,000 people applied the technology to their daily activities. More than 12,000 people (50% women) were digitally literate.
Our monitoring and evaluation system based on internal measurement instruments, at the community and country office levels. Internal progress reports are issued quarterly and according to the development projects in execution.
The 2008 financial crisis marked a before and after in our way of managing funds. Prior to this date, the founder was the only source of institutional income. After this crisis, we expanded our portfolio of funding sources with international development cooperation and individual donors.
Expansion of the library network.
Increase community volunteering (community boards of directors).
Increase youth involvement in library decision-making processes.
Strengthening the associative development of libraries as a means of institutional sustainability.
Improve our training processes to deepen the strengthening of local leadership capacities.
Community ownership of library-driven development processes.