As a Communications Advisor with The Riecken Community LIbraries, I see everyday how the entire organization works with limited resources to truly bring change to communities in poor, generally remote, regions of Honduras and Guatemala. Access to information - through books, dynamic programs, training and community gatherings - is what each Riecken Community Library is about. Anyone considering donating to their work should be pleased to learn that the Riecken Community Library model is a sustainable one - requiring partnership between the community, its municipality and the Riecken Foundation. The deep commitment of local staff and volunteers is truly amazing to behold.
We all are witness of well-meaning efforts resulting in bureaucracies eating away available funds, consultants who produce nothing more than useless reports, recipients who do not appreciate or use effectively what they get. The Riecken libraries and community centers in Guatemala and Honduras are exactly the opposite of this scenario. Available funds are used wisely and well. The results are formidable. Recipients are enthusiastic with the help they receive, especially the children. These children are growing up with something all children in underdeveloped countries of the world should have: an opportunity to improve themselves and to have the tools to get out of the vicious circles of ignorance and poverty. And the people in the communities Riecken serves have a community center where they pursue productive and worthwhile activities that benefit everybody. The Riecken model is an example of how organizations should work. I have been a witness of their efforts and their successes. The Riecken Foundation deserves all the help it can get.