Letter from the Director
quite a few months since I’ve had a chance to update everyone
on everything that’s going on with CEN. Since our last
issue of the newsletter, we’ve been making progress on several
projects. Progress with the Suruacá entrepreneurs is picking up.
Suruacá resident Djalma Lima, a former participant in our work, has
been leading a community initiative to support the efforts of local
entrepreneurs to build sustainable livelihoods by encouraging them to
share knowledge and resources with each other. For example, just last
week Regina Souza began coaching Marilia Santos, a new entrepreneur in
the community, on improving her basket weaving techniques. Read
Our partners Eunice Sena and Paulo
Campos de Melo have already accomplished many primary goals of the
first phase of the Juá
Community-based Tourism Project well ahead of
schedule. The communities involved in the project have completed a
regional development plan, and they have successfully organized a
formal association to coordinate regional development efforts. Each of
this association’s 10 operational commissions are in the process of
establishing priorities for the plan’s many activities. These are huge
accomplishments necessary for the successful mobilization of the
communities in the region. We are currently in discussion with several
potential funders for the next phase of the project, which will focus
on the execution of the community development plan that we hope to
begin in November. Until then, your support is urgently needed to allow
us to take advantage of the project’s excellent momentum. Read
Please don’t miss an essay by our new volunteer Newsletter editor Kelly
MacAvaney and myself about the role empowerment plays in overcoming
poverty. We believe that poverty is not just a lack of material
resources. Poverty is also a sense of political, social, and
psychological disempowerment. Therefore, our goals are developed under
the notion that empowerment is necessary to overcome poverty. Read
In this issue we are also pleased to share with you a volunteer
spotlight on our website editor, Angela Christofferson, who’s been
doing a fantastic job overseeing some great improvements to the site.
CEN is entirely staffed by volunteers in the US, and their efforts make
our work in Brazil possible. Read more>>
I would like to thank everyone for your continued efforts in support of CEN
and our goal to empower communities around the world. I am looking
forward to many more accomplishments this year.
CEN Founder and
From the EmpowerBlog:
Create Local Incentives
to Reduce Illegal Logging
by Robert Bortner
In most editions of the
highlight one posting to CEN’s blog. Please subscribe
to receive notification of new postings
reductions in the rate of
deforestation in the last 10 years, the Amazon rain forest will still
diminish another 40 percent by 2030 if the current rate is maintained.
According to World Wildlife Federation Brazil, deforestation and forest
fires are responsible
for 75 percent of Brazilian greenhouse gas emissions. One enormous
obstacle to conservation is that politicians in many parts of the
Amazon are extremely beholden to timber and cattle farming interests.
Several other forest-rich countries around the world bypass this
problem by creating incentives that benefit local officials. By
learning from these policies, Brazil can help get local officials and
politicians to support, rather than thwart, conservation efforts. Read
Disempowerment is at the Core of
by Kelly MacAvaney and
economic development and social change are difficult because the causes
of poverty are complex. Communities and their residents must overcome
the disempowerment they face if change is to become sustainable.
By addressing the economic, social, and
psychological aspects of poverty, CEN helps empower individuals and the
communities in which they live. Learn
Update from our Suruacá Entrepreneur
by CEN Staff
Entrepreneur Project helps participants from our cCLEAR Pilot
Project build upon their success in the pilot project. Over the past
few months, participants are increasingly sharing advice with each
other, which has provided them with needed moral support and greater
motivation. As result, the participants are seeing their
microenterprise ventures grow. Learn
Participant Profile: Salu Assunção
da Silva Farias - Basic Skills Come Before Both the Chicken and the Egg
by Shelley Loeng
Salu Assunção da Silva Farias is
ambitious, patient and full of self-initiative. His dedicated
perseverance, along with the skills that CEN helped him develop, is
helping him past difficulties he encountered in pursuing his dream of
raising and selling chickens. Learn
Angela Christofferson helps Revamp CEN’s Website
by Shelley Loeng
a Masters in Library and Information Science and a background in
library technology, Angela Christofferson has been applying her
professional skills to CEN’s website as website editor/coordinator
since November 2011.
As an intranet/web developer at The
Seattle Public Library, Angela manages the Library’s intranet and plans
projects for the Library’s information technology department.
While looking for volunteer opportunities in her off-time, she
discovered CEN and was interested in being a part of a non-profit that
focuses on “helping people help themselves.”
As the website editor, Angela
coordinates content published on the website and is in regular contact
with volunteer writers. Her biggest accomplishment yet has been
updating the What
section of the website by changing the navigation, content, and
graphics to make the information more accessible and easier to use for
first-time users. In addition, she has found herself learning
more about the ideas of empowerment and self-reliance. Angela’s
next goal is to re-design the CEN
home page with director, Bob
In her own time, as one would expect,
Angela lists reading as one of her hobbies. Another passion is
traveling. Some of the places she has traveled to include Costa
Rica, New Zealand, Tahiti, and Greece. She loves traveling
because she has a great interest in learning about different cultures
Angela’s skills and interests have
made her a great asset to the CEN team, so thank you Angela for all of
your hard work!
Upcoming Events ...
The Revenge of the Bellinghamster
Trivia Night (Bellingham, WA)
Thursday, April 26th
join us on Thursday April 26th from
6-8 p.m. at
Bar & Grill (aka Downtown Johnny's) for the The
Revenge of the Bellinghamster Trivia Night.
Form or join a team (of up to four people) and
show off your knowledge about Bellingham trivia.
$9 at the door ALL AGES, drinks will be available for +21 crowd.
Proceeds from the event will go to CEN.
Great prizes for the winners – not to mention
bragging rights! Come by for a really fun night.
(For those of you not from Bellingham, WA, a "Bellinghamster" is the name given
to Bellingham residents)
How You Can Help
Help the Amazon Communities Take
Control of their Development!
tourism program will build the Juá
Communities’ ability to guide their own
development, rather than
simply become bystanders. The project has already made
great progress - the communities in the region have successfully
organized a formal
association and created a regional development plan, and we are
currently in contact with several potential funders for the next phase
of the project.
But we need your help to keep making
progress while CEN works to secure long-term funding for the full
project through foundation grants by the end of the year. The Juá
Community-Based Tourism Project - as well as the successful Suruacá
Entrepreneur project and Couro
Ecológico - have great momentum but need support to keep growing!
CEN relies entirely on supporters
like you to help those in poor, under-served communities become
self-reliant and rise out of poverty. We ask that you PLEASE
Are you a Runner (or do you know one)?
team at the Seattle Rock
'n Roll Marathon and Half marathon Saturday,
June 23, 2012
This will be CENs fourth year hosting
a team at the Seattle Rock &
Roll Marathon. It’s an incredible experience and by joining CEN's
team of runners, you will help raise awareness and funds for ending
poverty, have access to FREE group training and individual training
tips, as well as a cool CEN team t-shirt! If you’re interested in
possibly joining our team and want to know more, please e-mail Bob.
Sign Up for CEN’s Capital One® Visa Card
Your Money Works for You and Helps Us!
foreign transaction fees for international travel
Capitol One Credit Card CEN has teamed up with Capital One® Card Lab
Connect to bring you specially designed CEN credit cards. With
every purchase, you can help build and expand our programs in the rural
It’s a great
credit card too, with low fees and no foreign transaction fees. Learn more>>