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The terms “empower” and “empowerment” mean many things to different people. CEN feels that empowerment is not a magical end point, but a continuum. It is a process where someone’s ability to stand on their two feet over the long term is increased as they become more empowered. We see empowerment as a process where individuals (and by extension their communities):

  • Realize that they can achieve their goals
  • Have the skills and resources necessary to achieve their goals
  • Are not faced by so many obstacles, such as lack of energy or limited access to capital, that could otherwise prevent their success

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We employ a variety of core capabilities, including soft skills, grassroots community development, community-based tourism, and building sustainable livelihoods, in order to empower individuals and rural communities around the world to become more self-reliant.


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