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CEN eNewsletter - June 2012                                                                  Contact Us

In this issue...

Letter From the Director
What We Do: Turning Good Ideas Into Action
From Our Blog: Looking Past the Surface - Why Soft Skills Really Matter
Participant Profile: Arimar Feitosa - Where Rubber Hits the Road: Sustainable Success in the Community of Maguary
Volunteer Spotlight: Sarah Sullivan Brings Enthusiasm and Energy to the Fundraising Team
Join Us! - Seattle International Film Festival Showing of “Xingu” - June 10th
Ways You Can Help
Donate to CEN Follow CEN on facebookFoward this NL to a friend

Letter From the Director

BobWhat makes CEN stand out from many non-profit organizations is that we believe the solution to rural poverty is to create a sense of empowerment and self-reliance in community members. Success will ultimately come not from us, but by empowering people in the communities. Check out a new blog post written by one of our interns, Kelley James, on how important soft skills are in the process of expanding livelihood opportunities.

The Juá Community-Based Eco-tourism Project is still coming along great. Recently Eunice and Paulo organized a leadership training workshop with 25 people from various regions to develop specific plans for implementing our broader regional tourism plan we created with the community. The participants of this workshop now better understand how much they can accomplish and what role they will play in developing eco-tourism in the area. While prioritizing activities for this development plan will be challenging, the process of deciding on these priorities for themselves is a key step to building self-reliance.

In this issue we would like to recognize the success of Arimar Feitosa, whose entrepreneurial skills and understanding that he has the ability to solve problems makes him a role model in the community. Another great role model and entrepreneur we are fostering is Djalma Lima, who has become a key agent for change in his community as well as a micro-entrepreneur.

Our next big event is the Rock and Roll Marathon in Seattle. Joining our team this year is Sarah Sullivan, who’s done great fundraising work for CEN since joining us just a year ago. Sarah’s excited to use her passion for running to take a more direct role in raising money for CEN. Through the marathon and other upcoming events, CEN will be able to raise enough money to keep working in the region and continue the process of fighting rural poverty. Please make a pledge to support either Sarah or our team in the marathon on June 23rd.

Thank you very much for supporting CEN's efforts to fight rural poverty by building community self-reliance!

Bob Bortner

CEN Founder and Director

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What We Do: Turning Good Ideas Into Action

by Kelly MacAvaney, Angela Christofferson and Bob Bortner

Our Approach to DevelopmentOur goal at CEN is to empower impoverished individuals to take control of their own lives. To do this, they must overcome three major hurdles that keep them from succeeding: a lack of basic skills (such as problem solving or a “can-do” mindset), a lack of more advanced skills (like the knowledge of how to run a business), and the existence of structural obstacles (problems too big for an individual or community to overcome on its own, such as a lack of education).

CEN helps address each of these problems in a variety of specific ways, using a “hands-off” approach that helps individuals achieve self-reliance rather than simply offering handouts. We provide consulting services to local micro-businesses, help groups of artisans connect to markets outside their community, build collectives like rotating savings funds, partner with other organizations to provide Internet-capable computer centers to rural communities, and many more projects that allow an individual or community to pursue their own goals. Learn more>>

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RSS Feed iconFrom the EmpowerBlog:Looking Past the Surface - Why Soft Skills Really Matter

by Kelley James

Children learning basic skillsSoft skills, such as problem solving and communication, are an important foundation to any successful livelihood.   In the U.S., despite the demand for technological abilities and educational credentials, the top skills employers still seem to desire are soft skills such as critical thinking and teamwork. What makes CEN different from many other non-profit organizations is that we recognize the importance of soft skills as a foundation, rather than regard it as an afterthought: We believe that they are critical in making economic development sustainable. Learn more>>

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Participant Profile: Arimar Feitosa - Where Rubber Hits the Road: Sustainable Success in the Community of Maguary

by Laura Preftes and Carrera Casper

Arimar FeitosaLike any successful entrepreneur, Arimar Feitosa won’t take no for an answer. A dedicated and creative businessman, he handles the marketing and sales for Couro Ecológico in addition to running the commercialization efforts for the Flona Tapajós Verde Cooperative.  No matter what Arimar’s daily activity may be, he is constantly involved in creating sustainable ways to improve the community.  Arimar's to make his business thrive, and the creativity he employs to continue growth, set him apart from other entrepreneurs and business owners in the Brazilian Amazon. Learn more>>

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Volunteer Spotlight IconVolunteer Spotlight: Sarah Sullivan Brings Enthusiasm and Energy to the Fundraising Team

by Daisy Walters

Sarah SullivanSince she joined CEN in September 2011, Sarah has found that her role on the CEN fundraising team fulfills both her international interests and her love of working with people.  She is currently gearing up to participate in the Rock & Roll Marathon and Half Marathon.  We would like to take this opportunity to thank Sarah for all her hard work and dedication and to offer our support in the upcoming race!. Learn more about Sarah>>

Please show your support for her run in the marathon by offering your pledge.

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Upcoming events imageUpcoming Events ...

Seattle International Film Festival Showing of “Xingu” - Join us on June 10th

June 10th, 2012
Harvard Exit Theatre
807 East Roy, Seattle, WA 98102

Join CEN for the Seattle International Film Festival screening of “Xingu”.  This intense docudrama focuses on the efforts to create Brazil’s first indigenous-only national park.  Join us at this event and enjoy the breathtaking beauty of Brazil on the big screen!  Please note that this movie is not intended for young audiences as it contains scenes with strong violence and some nudity.  Ticket information

You must purchase a theater ticket from the link above to attend the showing.  Meet with the group at 5:10 pm inside the theater. Look for Sarah Sullivan, who will be wearing a bright T-shirt and holding a sign.

Also, join us after the show at the Starbucks across the street for an informal discussion about the movie.

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How you can help imageWays You Can Help

Make Your Pledge for our Team at the Seattle Rock & Roll Marathon - June 23, 2012

Rock N Roll Marathon Seattle

The CEN team is showing its commitment to fighting rural poverty by running in the Rock & Roll Marathon Seattle on Saturday, June 23rd. Many on the team will be setting personal best goals, but everyone on the team shares the goal to raise $2,500 to fight rural poverty. We need your help to meet this goal and to join us in taking steps to end poverty! Learn more>>   

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Use this Amazon.com Link Whenever you Shop on Amazon.com

All the prices are the same, and support CEN at the same time.
CENs Amazon.com link

Use the Amazon.com link on the left for all your purchases. It's easy, secure, and the prices are the same as if you visited their site directly. Plus CEN will receive a percentage of every purchase you make.

To order, please click on the Amazon.com image and bookmark this link for all your Amazon.com purchases.

Over the past several years, CEN has earned hundreds of extra dollars to support our work. Please remember to use this link for all your Amazon.com purchases!

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Sign up for CEN’s Capital One® Visa Card

Your Money Works for You and Helps Us!

Save on foreign transaction fees for international travel

CEN Affinity Credit Card

CEN has teamed up with Capital One® to bring you specially designed CEN credit cards.  With every purchase, you can help build and expand our programs in rural communities!

It’s a great credit card, with low fees and no foreign transaction fees. Learn more>>



Kelly MacAvaney

Contributing Writers

Bob Bortner
Carrera Casper
Angela Christofferson
Kelley James
Kelly MacAvaney
Laura Preftes
Daisy Walters

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