Dec 8, 2011

PREPARING A GENERATION OF CENTRAL AMERICAN LEADERS: Knowledge is the currency of the 21st century. Democracy and prosperity require informed populations

Volunteers, helping/teaching one another the Riecken Learning Center way
Riecken Community Libraries awaken a spirit of discovery and a love of reading. Equipped with quality books and new technology, they pull isolated communities into the bigger world, where they can both benefit from globalization and contribute to it.

¨Globalization has pulled billions of people into a dynamic, interconnected world where they benefit from unprecedented access to information, goods, services, jobs and opportunities. But even as those billions move into a powerful future, another billion are being left behind. Persistent poverty destabilizes both the countries where it exists and the world as a whole.

Central America is a stunning example of the uneven benefits of globalization. It is marked by the special problems of states that have emerged from conflict and where democracy, while anchored, is still fragile.

Riecken Community Libraries are proving to be keystones for dramatic social advances in Central America, allowing the most vulnerable populations in the region to cross into the global economy. To stimulate human talent and advance human capacity – a transformation that can only occur with unfettered access to information – we support quality community lending libraries with the aim of offering free Internet connections.

Some of the Ladies who thrive
In communities with Riecken Community Libraries, more than 40 percent of the library patrons come from households with monthly incomes below $100 and more than a quarter live in homes with dirt floors. About half the library users have fewer than six books in their own homes, and less than one percent own home computers. Riecken Community Libraries offset those shortfalls to accessible information, providing disproportionate benefit to the most vulnerable populations in developing countries: children, women, indigenous people and rural populations...¨ HERE

Meet Riecken’s Israel Quic

Recently Israel was asked “what is your dream for your village?” Without much thought the 36-year old director of the Biblioteca Comunitaria Rija’tzuul Na’ooj in San Juan La Laguna, Guatemala responded “more educational opportunities for the children.” Israel, whose first language is tz’utujil, was recently one of the stars in a US west coast fundraising trip. Not only did he speak to groups in his native language as well as in Spanish he managed admirably all of the technology needs for a week of presentations.

Israel lives with his family including three of his five siblings, 26 or so chickens, three dogs and an internet connection. He credits his mother, who was an orphan who never was able to go to school, with the fact that he and his five siblings all have university educations...¨ HERE

·  Thanks to Riecken Community Libraries
·  Thanks to Israel Quic
·  Thanks to  Biblioteca Comunitaria Rija’tzuul Na’ooj

¨Tis the Season¨

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Riecken Foundation
214 Lakeview Way
Emerald Hills, CA 94062

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