In this issue...
Empowerblog: What is Empowerment?
Why Self-Reliance is
Spotlight: Kelli Paull
How You Can Help
Letter from the Director
It’s been a busy several months since
our last CEN eNewsletter! At the end of 2009, we finished the pilot
phase of our cCLEAR
program, in which we successfully created and tested a novel
and effective methodology for helping individuals in traditional
communities build and strengthen the skills and mindsets that will
serve as a strong foundation for successfully leading community
initiatives, including the building of sustainable
The development of the
methodology, which we are calling PRATICAR, is a tremendous
accomplishment because it’s a powerful tool for tackling one
of the most pervasive and enduring obstacles to sustainable community
development by building self-reliant communities.
The development and
testing of the PRATICAR is only the beginning of our work. In order to
achieve our vision of empowering communities around the world to break
the cycle of poverty, we must reach many more communities. We will also
build upon the critical foundation the basic skills and mindsets
provided by PRATICAR through collaboration with communities, government
agencies, NGOs and businesses to strengthen the access to markets,
capital, and a wide range of services and resources that are also
needed to allow those living in the communities to build sustainable
livelihoods for themselves. We are now finishing the documentation on
the pilot and aggressively pursuing grants and other funding
opportunities in order to reach more communities.
In this edition of the
newsletter, please be sure to read a posting
from our blog, the
Empowerblog, about what we mean by the term
“empowerment” and why
self-reliance is so central
to our approach to development. At CEN, we believe that giving charity
is just another way of saying; I don’t believe you can do it.
We are motivated by a vision of a world where individuals everywhere
are empowered to achieve their own goals.
Thank you all for your
continued support. Your support makes our progress possible!
From the Empowerblog
What is Empowerment?
by Woody Ciskowski
used to roll my eyes at the word “empowerment”.
seen “empowerment” used so many times in different
contexts, that it seemed like a meaningless buzzword. Most people have
a vague idea of what empowerment means; but specific
like how empowerment differs from self-reliance, or if empowerment is a
process or a goal— are tough. So, what does the Community
Empowerment Network actually mean by “empowerment”?
does that definition influence our actions? Read More
Subscribe to CEN's Empowerblog
Profile Rosivania Costa dos Santos - Clothing
by Alicia Craven
Discipline, Persistence, Awareness to see beyond what she was
through cCLEAR Pilot:
· Increased her network of places to sell
· Significantly improved her management of
inventory and raw materials
· Earned nearly R$200 (US$108) just from existing
· Learned to incorporate additional family members
to produce products.
· Was able to demand a 50% deposit for commission
of new pieces, which improved working capitol
Goals: To develop a family business to market goods within
the community, to other communities and in the city Santarem.
Like many women,
Costa dos Santos, one of the participants in CEN’s cCLEAR
Pilot Project, struggled to balance the demands of family and work. As
a mother, full time teacher at the local school in her rural Brazilian
community of Suruacá, and caretaker to her parents and three
brothers, Rosivania was already juggling a dizzying number of titles
when she decided to add one more to the list: small business
As a participant in
CEN's Pilot project, Rosivania launched her own sewing and clothing
project, marketed her wears to surrounding communities, and expanded
her self-started business model. Read
more about Rosivania's
Read More cCLEAR Participant
is Important for Sustainable Community Development
by Kelcie Prazan
CEN’s most central guiding principle is the idea of
self-reliance. But what is “Self Reliance” and why
is it so
important when crafting long-term sustainable development strategies?
Self-reliance is defined by independence. It is the ability to think
and act without the help or influence of others, the ability to decide
what you should be and do. The Community Empowerment Network (CEN)
believes self-reliance is vital for residents in developing countries
to successfully govern their own lives and economies.
When people rely too
outside influences—even supposedly benevolent players, such
government agencies and non-governmental organizations—they
relinquish control of their resources and more importantly, their
future. CEN is working to break this dependency cycle by empowering
individuals in Suruacá to become self-reliant, pursue their
agendas and run their own independent, sustainable economy. Read
Volunteer Spotlight: Kelli Paull:
The Face Behind CEN’s Facebook
by Matthew Freed
was born and raised in Montana, where she was instilled with a strong
work ethic and sense of social responsibility. She has been active as a
volunteer for years, first in soup kitchens and assisted living homes
during high school, and then as a mentor while studying at
Montana State University. She has also been involved in a variety of
fundraising activities, such as Race for the Cure.
While in college, Kelli participated in a Social Psychology research
lab and saw how stereotypes and discrimination can impact an
individual’s potential for success. So when she moved to
last year, the more she learned about CEN’s mission of
individuals to become self-reliant, the more CEN’s work
resonated with her.
As CEN’s Social Networking Lead, Kelli is responsible for
the organization’s social networking strategy. This has her
building a team of volunteers, increasing our Facebook presence to over 350
fans, as well as expanding CEN’s Blog, the EmpowerBlog.
Her team is also working on creating a presence on LinkedIn,
in order to increase awareness of CEN. Her management of the social
networking team has made the organization more effective, allowing us
to accomplish much more. She is doing an amazing job, and was recently
nominated for the United Way MVP Award.
We look forward to the good things Kelli is doing to help empower rural
communities to reach their goals. Thank you, Kelli!
How You Can Help
Support our Team in the
Rock & Roll
of CEN volunteers is running in the Rock & Roll Marathon
Saturday, June 26th. Many on the team will be setting personal best
goals, but everyone on the team shares the goal to raise $5,000 to
support CEN. We need your help to meet this goal and hope that you can
join us in taking steps to end poverty!. Will you join our efforts to end
poverty? For more details and to pledge online click
table are Looking for
We have an exquisite tables available
which was handcrafted and donated by a CEN supporter.
It is a gorgeous wood table crafted entirely from recycled wood by
on Camano Island, WA. The piece is entitled "Laughing While on Fire"
and measures 25 1/2" x 25 1/2" and is 17 1/2" tall. The artist displays
most of his work at Area 51 in Seattle and typically run $400 - $800 .
We are asking $300.
If you’re located in Western WA or BC, we can arrange to have
delivered. We can also ship worldwide. Please let me know if you have
any questions, or would like to come by to see either piece.. More