Creating a Culture of Learning and Empowerment in the Amazon Region (cCLEAR)
The Community Empowerment Network’s cCLEAR Program is a comprehensive, integrated program aimed at sustainably transforming the economic opportunities of communities within the Lower Amazon Region – and, in the process, becoming the model for adaptation and replication for the many other regions of the world which experience similar problems.
cCLEAR aims to transform an “I can’t” mentality into an “I can.” The program will help participants develop their knowledge, skills, confidence, and social capital they need to drive their own development objectives. It will also generate meaningful and sustainable livelihoods by empowering participants with the skills, confidence, and means they need to become more self-sufficient, as well as gain access to capital and markets for products they produce.
The program has three phases:
We will initially work with 30 thought and action leaders (including health care workers, teachers, youth, entrepreneurs, and women’s groups) in Suruacá and Maguary, two Amazon communities that already have ICT access and where CEN already has a great deal of experience.
Phase 1 focuses on developing “soft” skills, including leadership, critical thinking, management, problem-solving, and evaluation, as well as building confidence. To do this, we will develop a toolkit consisting of a set of activities and tools, such as traditional and computer-based training, Project-Based Learning (PBL), workshops, and regular interaction between communities, using electronic tools and personal exchanges. More about our Methodology.
During this phase, most projects will be small in scope, with the goal of developing participants’ confidence, as well as encouraging them to internalize and apply what they learn.
CEN is partnering with Link Social, a Brazilian-registered non-profit based in Rio de Janeiro, to implement the cCLEAR pilot project. Link Social's mission is to transform the economies and culture of rural communities. Angela Viemayer, Link Social's Program Director,
The pilot for Phase 1 began in May 2008 and will continue through July 2009 in Suruaca and until November 2009 in Maguary and Jamaraqua.The objectives for the Phase 1 of the cCLEAR Program Pilot are:
- Develop and implement a cost-effective and replicable program:
- That fosters a culture of learning and empowerment and provides skills which participants can successfully and sustainably apply to a broad range of community-development priorities
- Becomes a solid, replicable platform for our subsequent activities in these and future communities
- Builds the skills of 10-15 community leaders (youth, health, teachers, and entrepreneurs) in two communities by mentoring them on a variety of personal income generation projects
- Results in the eventual full implementation of a variety of community-driven projects and initiatives, such as:
Please see our project proposal
for more details on the first phase of the cCLEAR program.Phase 2
The skills achieved during Phase 1
could be applied to a wide range of community and individual initiatives, including health care, governance, building livelihoods, and more. Due to limited resources, however, we chose to initially hone in on two of these during Phase 2: building entrepreneurship (IEDP) and improving education (CTM).
Both IEDP and CTM build on the skills from Phase 1, but provide more specific and tangible skills to entrepreneurs and teachers. The IEDP will develop skills, such as production, design, running a business, and management. It will also help overcome market weaknesses by improving access to markets and capital
, as well as building product value chains. CTM will work with local teachers to apply and deepen their teaching skills. This will serve to improve the quality of local education, as well as help institutionalize cCLEAR within the community. Both IEDP and CTM will rely extensively upon individualized mentorship and the projects' participants goals will be more complex than in Phase 1.Phase 3
Phase 3 focuses on building the long-term sustainability of the program in preparation for CEN's disengagement from the individual communities. Sustainability will be ensured by building the capacity of local partners to advise and support community initiatives (but NOT do it for them). Physical and social infrastructure, such as the Amazon Network – a network of communities in the region, which we have started – will also serve to ensure the sustainability of the results of the cCLEAR program. cCLEAR Project Proposal (147K)(pdf)cCLEAR Participant ProfilesAccomplishments Most documents are available here in Adobe Acrobat Reader format (PDF). To view or print them, you must have Adobe Acrobat Reader (version 3.0 or higher) installed on your computer. If you do not have the reader, you can obtain it free from Adobe Corporation. Click on the icon below to download the program from their Web site.