CEN works in communities within developing countries. Even though these communities face extreme conditions such as isolation, poverty or recent civil unrest they are in a position to take advantage of the power of information and technology to address the challenges they face.
The communities where we work are extremely poor by American standards. For example, 45% of the residents of the Brazilian Amazon – where CEN is currently focusing most of its energies – earn less than US $2/day. Nepal, where we've also recently started to work, is one of the poorest nations in Asia, and over half of the population over 15 years old is illiterate, including 74% of women. Economic opportunities in both areas remain very limited.
Unlike most relief organizations that focus on meeting people's most basic needs, we do not focus with the poorest of the poor. CEN focuses on helping people who are one rung up the ladder of poverty: people who are still very poor by Western standards but who have most of their basic needs met, such as basic nutrition, improved levels of child mortality, and at least basic health care.
This next "tier" of the poor, which is estimated to number well over one billion people worldwide, are often overlooked but also have the right to aspirations for themselves and their families and are in a better position to apply the skills and resources that CEN offers. Furthermore, if the majority of the population is fighting for even its basic survival, few have the energy or resources they need to improve education or pursue more strategic income-generation opportunities. CEN looks beyond people's day-to-day survival and helps empower them to make long-lasting and sustainable improvements to their communities and lives.
In the past we also have worked with the village of Rivan-6 (HumdhiLampata) in Nepal through our participation in the Youth Action Nepal Workshop Pilot. For the immediate future, however, we plan on focusing our attention to communities in the Brazilian Amazon. Once we have been able to establish good progress in this area, we plan to expand to other parts of the world. See our future plans.
We invite you to browse through this section to learn more about the people in these communities where we work, including the challenges they face and what they are doing to overcome these challenges.