We Help Communities Help Themselves

Community Empowerment Network (CEN) is a U.S.-based nonprofit organization that fosters grassroots community development and sustainable livelihoods by empowering communities and their residents to break the cycle of poverty.

The CEN team is dedicated to ending the cycle of dependency within poor communities by helping people acquire and apply the basic skills, habits and mindsets necessary to be self-reliant in the modern economy. Our goal is to empower rural communities with the capability to address their economic challenges on their own terms, and improve their living conditions while maintaining their vibrant culture and preserving their environment. Our focus is to help transform an "I can't" or "I'm not worth it" mentality to one of "I might not know how, but I will figure it out."

We distinguish ourselves from other rural development initiatives by not handing our clients the solutions to their problems. Dictating needs undermines each community member's potential to tackle their own priorities with knowledge, skill and confidence. We help communities help themselves.

Throughout our work, we have developed a set of core competencies that are key to our development approach, including soft skills, grassroots community developmentcommunity-based tourism, and building sustainable livelihoods. Working hand in hand with locally based organizations, as well as nongovernmental organizations, government agencies, and corporations, we train participants in our PRATICAR methodology. From the onset of our work, we put the decision-making power in the hands of the individuals and communities we serve. We allow them to decide their own priorities and objectives. Then, using tools such as mentoring, training and information technology, we help them build the skills and confidence to achieve these goals. Our aim is for community residents to use the skills and mindsets honed in this training to create a better future for themselves and their families. After we have disengaged from the community, CEN continues to look into and support their progress.

 

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