The first step of mentoring is to help community members identify what issues most concern them. These issues often revolve around matters of income, education and health care development. After assessing these needs, we move forward with more active mentoring, building first on basic skills and mindsets through the CEN PRATICAR Learning Approach.
Self-reliance is a state of being; empowerment is the process that gets people there.
Attaining new knowledge is an integral part of the PRATICAR empowerment process, although it is not an end unto itself, but rather a process with steps varying from learning a useful skill, to altering a belief or attitude and then building a habit of using it. When people become self-reliant, they use their own judgments, skills and resources to solve a problem, rather than depend on outside parties for help. Self-reliance is a state of being; empowerment is the process that gets people there.
This strong foundation for self-reliance can be applied by communities to address a wide variety of development efforts, ranging from strengthening local education, improving health, improving governance and much more. We are currently focusing on helping communities in the Brazilian Amazon build entrepreneurship as a way to create sustainable incomes through our Creating the Culture of Empowerment in the Amazon Region (cCLEAR) Program . CEN hopes to eventually offer other programs focused on other areas of development.