Riecken Community Libraries: Using GPS Technology to Map Girls’ Futures
Riecken Community Libraries provides the technology tools and training to let communities in Central America map their futures.
Sobre Sua Organização
Nome da Organização
Riecken Community Libraries
Página da organização na internet
País da organização
Estados Unidos , CA, Emerald Hills, San Mateo County
Países onde este projeto vem gerando impacto social
Guatemala, XX, Riecken Community Libraries works in several locations within Guatemala and Honduras
Sua organização é
Há quanto tempo sua organização está em operação?
Mais de 5 anos
A organização recebeu algum prêmio ou reconhecimento público? Por favor, conte-nos mais detalhes
This year, Riecken Community Libraries has been honored with the American Library Association's Presidential Citation for Innovative International Library Project, and also a prestigious grant from the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation to support our other community libraries in Guatemala and Honduras. Riecken Community Libraries has also been invited by international library organizations to present lectures and participate in round tables relating to topics in international libraries, sustainability, and libraries as agents of development. We have participated in events hosted by the American Library Association, the Public Library Network of Bogota, and the International Federation of Library Associations.
Nome do seu projeto
Riecken Community Libraries: Using GPS Technology to Map Girls’ Futures
Selecione o estágio que melhor se aplica à solução
Estabelecido (estágios anteriores completos e com sucesso comprovado)
Há quanto tempo está em funcionamento?
Em execução por mais de 5 anos
Qual(is) item(ns) abaixo descreve(m) melhor a(s) barreira(s) que sua inovação soluciona? Escolha até dois itens.
A necessidade: Qual é o problema que você está tentando resolver?
Access to technology remains a vital problem for women and girls across the developing world, inhibiting their capacity for educational and economic success and impacting every area of their lives. For girls in rural & indigenous Guatemalan and Honduran communities, this rings true with damaging consequences for themselves and their families. Most families' monthly income is between US$40-65, usually generated through multiple activities. These communities, isolated because of discrimination and poverty, lack the funds and infrastructure necessary to provide access to technology and training. Even though women have demonstrated that they are great enablers for change and progress, this can only be accomplished when they are given the tools they need to realize their vision.
A Solução: Qual é a sua solução? Seja específico!
Riecken Community Libraries fervently believes that technology is a tool that communities can leverage along with knowledge to promote dramatic social advancements. Riecken is equally passionate about investing in women and girls for a region’s long term development. By equipping local libraries with the training and equipment needed to provide their communities with access to technology, we know that girls will benefit. Riecken libraries are trusted institutions in their communities, offering girls a haven in areas where violence means that there are few safe places. We partner with local leaders to ensure that all of our programming and services reflect the needs of our communities. Through these relationships, our libraries are able to offer technology programming that is unique and relevant to their communities. This results in several different projects that have engaged girls and connected them to economic opportunities, and in turn bringing prosperity back to their communities.
O Modelo: Demonstre através de um exemplo específico como sua solução faz a diferença; inclua suas atividades primárias
Because Riecken libraries operate through the support and volunteer efforts of members of their communities, each community library has developed a unique solution to the problem of access to technology. Programming reflects the priorities and values of each community, meaning that technology is not promoted at the expense of culture. A GPS mapping project, supported by the InHerit and Helveta organizations, allowed multiple Riecken libraries to create digital maps of natural, historical, and sacred sites within their communities. One community library in San Juan la Laguna, Guatemala has a strong presence of women-run weaving cooperatives. Weaving, a traditional craft for women and girls in the area, produces beautiful, handmade goods and textiles that are sold for a profit. Thanks to mobile GPS technology, these cooperatives are now marketing their products with location and artist specific information so that buyers can locate where their products are from and even browse items in advance for preferred styles. This also allows the weavers to anticipate which items are gaining popularity. Using CI World and SVG software, these cooperatives have uploaded coordinate data to generate maps, and use Photoshop and Google Earth to enhance their appearance. Because of GPS mapping technology, women and girls in these cooperatives are getting recognition for their individual style, which promotes creativity and increases income
O Mercado: Quem são os seus pares e concorrentes? Identificar os outros que também estão trabalhando para solucionar as mesmas necessidades que você e o que você faz de diferente em relação a eles. Quais seriam os desafios impostos por esses concorrentes que impactariam no seu sucesso ou crescimento?
Few organizations working in Guatemala or Honduras involved in mapping projects also engage & train local communities. Many of these projects concentrate on environmentalism. Green Map led a mapping project focused on green tourism sites in Antigua, Guatemala. This project is no longer active & it’s difficult to find evidence of its success. The Aboriginal Mapping Network has done work in Honduras specifically working with indigenous populations. The AMN sought to defend indigenous land use claims against encroaching corporations. AMN did seek the involvement of the Honduran indigenous community, but the level of training is hard to determine. Riecken’s mapping project is truly participatory, training community members with mapping technology and letting them select sites.
Temas relacionados à inscrição
Qual(is) tipo(s) de solução(ões) sua iniciativa apresenta para melhorar a vida de meninas e mulheres através do uso da tecnologia? [selecione alternativas que se aplicam ao projeto]
Acesso a tecnologia, Acesso a educação/treinamento, Acesso a oportunidade econômica.
Qual foi o impacto da sua solução até hoje?
Riecken Community Libraries is proud to say that our libraries have impacted their communities in profound ways by providing free access to technology and training. In Guatemala and Honduras combined, we have connected over 310,000 people to the internet and various technology workshops, with 34 of our 64 libraries offering access. Each of our libraries see 200 unique visitors a month, the overwhelming majority of whom are children adolescents who are brought in by their young mothers. Over half of our volunteers who work on local development are women from the communities. Our GPS mapping project has enabled communities to select sites relevant and important to them, resulting in the identification of more suitable area for farming and reforestation, activities which generate income. The maps generated from our GPS project have served marketing tools for weaving cooperatives; guides for tourists; additional marketing for the cooperatives’ hostels; & content for an upcoming website.
Qual é a sua expectativa de impacto para os próximos 1 - 3 anos?
Within the next 1-3 years, we want to increase the impact of our GPS mapping project by replicating it other communities with Riecken libraries. Ultimately the community decides what to map, so while their focus may not be on weaving cooperatives, other local initiatives run by women will undoubtedly be helped. We want to increase technology training for girls in general throughout Guatemala and Honduras, including training with GPS mapping technology. We want to increase training for internet based marketing using blogging and social media for women-focused initiatives, so that they can expand on the success of the mapping project.
Quais são as barreiras que podem impedir o sucesso do seu projeto? Como você planeja superá-las?
Sustained funding is the largest barrier to continuing our work increasing girls and women’s exposure to technology with our libraries. We need to have a reliable source of funding so that appropriate hardware and software can be acquired; so that a reliable internet connection is constant; and so that we can train librarians, who will in turn train their communities in the use of the technology. We plan on overcoming this barrier by aggressively applying for grants and funds from organizations that see the value of technology education for girls and women.
As inscrições vencedoras apresentam um plano sólido sobre como vão alcançar e acompanhar o crescimento do projeto. Identifique as metas de seis meses para aumentar seu impacto.
Community maps are fully complete with sites mapped for the weavers’ cooperatives, including individual weaver information.
Identifique as três maiores atividades que você terá de completar para obter a meta estabelecida para os seis (6) meses
Community leaders will brainstorm with cooperative representatives for locations to be mapped.
Girls and women from the cooperative, along with community members, will physicially map locations.
Collected data will be uploaded to the maps.
Agora pense grande! Identifique qual seria sua meta de impacto para 12 meses
Maps are effectively spread, resulting in greater exposure for the weaving cooperatives.
Identifique as três maiores atividades que você terá de completar para obter a meta estabelecida para os doze (12) meses
Maps are shared within the community for transparency.
Maps are promoted throughout business and nearby tourist locations.
Cooperative members start marketing online to increase exposure.
História: Queremos saber mais sobre o momento de descoberta desta solução. Conte-nos um pouco a história sobre onde e quando o(s) fundador(res) vislumbrou(aram) o potencial desta solução para mudar o mundo:
Susan Riecken and Allen Andersson always had a passionate interest in Central America due to Allen’s days in the Peace Corps. Seeing the social injustice in rural villages first hand, they decided to devote their time to lessening the inequalities that plague the area. Of all of the disparities, information was the one thing that each community lacked access to. Accessible information is central for many social institutions, like transparent government and schools. Susan and Allen’s idea to create community-owned libraries spawned Riecken Community Libraries, giving people in Guatemala and Honduras access to books and internet so that they could develop their communities in ways they saw fit. Empowerment has always been central to Riecken’s mission, and many of the individual initiatives of our organization start as ideas suggested by members of our community libraries. The weavers who wanted to map their individual locations, started earlier this year, is just one of these projects.
Por favor, explique de que forma o estabelecimento de parcerias é importante para o sucesso de sua inovação
Riecken Community Libraries have always championed community sourced projects, of which the GPS mapping project was an example. InHerit pledged their support to heritage location mapping projects in Guatemala. With their assistance, Riecken was able to collaborate with the Guatemalan communities, who had suggested mapping the women’s weaving cooperatives in informal meetings. Riecken also works with Rising Voices to offer workshops to train young girls how to use ICT for development. Riecken also partners with local governments & institutions, ensuring our libraries are community supported.
Fale mais sobre as necessidades ou ofertas que você selecionou anteriormente e/ou sugira categorias de apoio que não foram listadas
Like any NGO, Riecken continuously seeks to strengthen its board with individuals committed to the mission and prosperity for Central American communities. This means an ongoing search for strong board candidates who will rotate at the end of their term and be replaced by others. Riecken seeks to expand the number of individuals who want to serve by increasing its social media and PR presence.