Frequently Asked Questions
The FAQ File
by Phil Bartle and Valerie Taylor
Site Utility Reference.
Answers to some commonly asked questions about CEC (the Community Empowerment Collective)
What we do
What does CEC do? Why is this important?
- The CEC maintains an on line site with training material in many languages for mobilisers and their trainers, coordinators, and managers. It provides individual guidance and encouragement to those who ask for it, It provides a range of resources for mobilisers and for training and coordinating mobilisers. The training is based on the Community Empowerment methodology aimed at encouraging and guiding low income communities to become more self reliant.
- mobilization - methodology
- training materials
- translation / localization
- support for mobilisers
How does the training material help the poor workers?
How can they access it and benefit from it ?
- The material is not aimed directly at poor workers, but is aimed at mobilisers and mobiliser trainers. It trains them in how to organize the poor workers (and other community members) to become more self reliant.
- Mobilisers and trainers copy the material to their computers and print it out to use it at local training workshops. They also send in questions about the material, and we provide guidance according to those questions. Mobilisers and trainers have computer access through their work, through Internet cafes, and even a few have their own computers.
Why is the material in so many languages ?
Why is a certain document not in my language ?
- The CEC training materials are in many languages because of volunteers like you who contribute (donate) their time, energy and knowledge to producing translations. As a contributing volunteer, you are a member of the association (CEC), which is located in cyber space. If a document is not translated, it is because we still need a volunteer to translate it.
On what ideology do you base your work ?
- We try as much as we can to have no ideology or any political or religious agenda in our work We avoid theory and concentrate mainly on "How to" do things to encourage communities to make themselves stronger
How do you benefit from this work?
- Those of us who volunteer for the Community Empowerment Collective do so because we believe in the work and its value to poor people all over the world.
What is the deal with UNV-OV? Who can volunteer? How?
- The UN Volunteers (UNV) program includes On Line Volunteers - a web site to recruit volunteers to work on line helping registered not-for-profit organizations. We (CEC) are clients of the UNV OV. Most of our volunteers are recruited through them.
- Volunteers may be eligible to receive a UN Volunteers certificate indicating that they have provided volunteer service to Community Empowerment Collective, a UNV partner organization.
Will my certificate be issued only by your NGO or it will include that it is sponsored by the UN ?
- A certificate will be issued by the UNV-OV (United Nations Volunteers - Online Volunteers) site after recommendation from our organisation. You must apply through the UNV-OV site and will need to complete an assignment (usually one module) to be eligible for the certificate.
Translation, translators and translating
Why do you use CatsCradle? Why can't I translate directly ?
- We are on line, and our training material is available to all on the Internet. Our documents are therefore web pages. We ask you to translate directly from web page to web page. The easiest and most direct way to do it is to use CatsCradle. Download CatsCradle
Is there any alternative which can be used instead of CatsCradle ?
- Notepad++ is more useful than CatsCradle but you need to be well versed in editing html (webpages) source codes.See the brief instructions.
- If any would-be translator is able to do so, please leave a message on Matthew Wai's page, and he will provide further information on it.
What if I find I have made a mistake after I send the translation ?
- It takes much time and effort to massage a translation, preparing it with the right colours and graphics for the language to which it has been translated. Do not send your translation in a second time. If it is a minor error, just describe where it is and what it should be on a Word Document. If it is more elaborate, ask us to send the document back, and you can make the corrections on the massaged version.
More about CEC
Who is CEC?
- The Community Empowerment Collective (CEC) is the not-for-profit association of members who contribute to the web site. CEC is registered as an association in British Columbia, Western Canada, and has an annual budget of zero. Members are from all over the world. The association is minimally structured, little more than a collection of individuals, thus the word "collective."
Can I obtain funding from CEC ?
- No. CEC is a training site. It has training documents on how to propose and obtain money from donor agencies. If you write to the Web Smith and ask, he can also send you a list of possible donor agencies with their addresses. See: Chickens and Cows
How do I get to know other members of CEC: ?
- We have two means of helping volunteers get to know each other, since we do not meet face to face. We encourage members to join Facebook, and on Facebook to join the Community Empowerment Group, seek all members of the group, and add them to their Facebook friends. We have two on line discussion groups, Mobilisers is for volunteers, and is about the technical means of translating and other ways of contributing, and Community Strengthening is open to all and includes all topics related to the content of the training. We invite volunteers to introduce themselves on the discussion groups, and to welcome those others who do so. We encourage volunteers to exchange email messages with those they meet on Facebook and the two discussion groups. See: Useful Links .
How can I volunteer if I cannot translate?
- There are many ways to contribute. Fundraising is not one of them. You can recruit more translators and other volunteer off line by putting up posters and notices on campus and at community centres. You can make power point shows. You can illustrate the training material with black and white drawings. You can coordinate volunteers (this is a long time commitment and does not require you to know the language). See: We Need a Volunteer .
Do you have more questions ?
- Please send them in. We appreciate your interest, and look forward to your questions and comments.Write.
Following the path of least resistance makes all rivers and some men crooked
Link to the home page of the CEC web site