Experiencing China

'Experiencing China' is about ordinary life in China and the wealing and dealing of a Dutchman in the Middle Kingdom. Marc works for DuoArts Consultancy and the Empowerment Foundation, travelling between the Netherlands and China.

Thursday, January 01, 2004


Address information

Empowerment Foundation
Koningsstraat 45, 1211 NJ Hilversum, The Netherlands
Telephone: (+31) (0)35 623 24 42
Mobile: (+31) (0)6 536 84 322
E-mail: empowermentfoundation@hotmail.com
Website: (temporary) www.bureau-icc.nl
Bank account: Rabobank 1062.37.578, c/o Empowerment Foundation

Board of Directors:

Chairman (program manager Ruanda)
Edith Mol

Accounting (program manager Malawi)
Eveline van de Putte

Secretary (program manager China)
Marc David Brand

Local Representatives:

Representative Ruanda
Annonciata Mukamugema

Representative China
Li Chuan Gong

Introduction
A foundation which goal it is to initiate and support projects worldwide aimed at helping people to become financially independent. This happens through a process of realization of one’s own (hidden) capacities and which will make people (mostly women) more confident and powerful to put dreams into actions.

Philosophy
Every human being possesses certain capacities, but these capacities are not always acknowledged and recurrent within the individual him or herself and/or within the individual’s immediate environment. Sometimes it is easier to think we cannot do something than to think we actually can by using creativity and do the things we like and can do best. Acknowledgment of this is the first step to link people and their capacities. This is called ‘empowerment’, in other words, to empower people by utilizing a positive approach and, thus, bring human beings in contact with their deeper desires and capacities.

Negative thinking within societies turns people into second rate citizens. Just think about the subjected position of women in many countries. Poverty is a second reason refraining people to develop themselves into better human beings. A small financial injection already can do a lot to empower people. Secondly, by stimulating these people to think beyond suppression and poverty, people can develop creative thinking and become full human beings.

Targets
The Empowerment Foundation worldwide initiates and coaches projects and takes responsibility for financial, emotional and educational support. The ideas come from the local people themselves or from other non local but dedicated people. Many individuals have good ideas but lack the money or knowledge to change ideas into successful action. Our involvement is to give those people a change in order to empower them (especially women) to benefit themselves and others. The projects are aimed at:

• making people financially independent
• educational development
• empowering people by strengthening positive and creative thinking
• helping victims of war, poverty and suppression to manage their life again
• (local) ideas that will benefit the direct environment the people live in
• emancipating people
• the strengthening of teams and communities

The Empowerment Foundation also enacts our philosophy by striving for openness, honesty and equality in relation to all people involved in our projects.

Examples: Ruanda
 
The Empowerment Foundation was established in January 2005. The first project already dates back to November 2004, when, with financial support of the NOVIB organization, a restaurant was set up by fifteen widows. In cooperation with a Rwandese, who lives in the Netherlands, Annociata Mukamugema, two members of the current board of directors of EF, Edith Mol and Eveline van de Putte, traveled to the capital city of Rwanda, Kigali. At site the women received an empowerment training and a location was found to set up the restaurant. On December 15th, the restaurant opened its doors and has been a success ever since. This project made the involved people financially independent, which benefited their families and immediate environment as well. Because of this success the idea rose to establish a formal foundation to engage into similar projects, such as in China.

Examples: China
 
In February 2005 two private educational projects have been visited. The projects were established by local Chinese and aimed at benefiting the bigger part of the population, especially local teachers and children. Many of the local teachers, working at both schools, were discharged off by their former government employers because they didn’t abide by the one child policy. The two schools offer them a new change and a better salary as well. As a consequence the teachers provide high quality education. The children benefit from this as well. Furthermore, the children are taught English and (international) norms and values in order to prepare them for the immediate future in an opening up China.

Finances
Every project is preceded by a written proposal, photo material and a sound budget. The proposal consequently will be send to different institutions and companies. Donations, sponsoring and money raising activities also help to enable EF to finance its projects. Project managers enact an open account in the proposals and acquisitions, which includes an amount of money for a salary. In doing this, they follow the guidelines developed by the board of directors.

In every country where projects are being developed, a branch office is established that, at site, will manage the finances of every project and provide for practical support and supervision. The Empowerment Foundation is independent and has no connections with (local and national) political groups whatsoever as well as no connections with religious groups whatsoever. The foundation operates according to established rules and regulations to guarantee proper spending. Moreover, donors will be informed properly and extensively about the development of projects. Besides small (individual) donations, also loans can be provided for those people who would like to start a project. Every project has an annual duty to write a financial report, including the Empowerment Foundation itself.

Board of Directors
To operate according to our philosophy, diversity within the board of directors is prerequisite, as well as professionalism. Members are selected by commitment with and knowledge of our target groups and the ability to coordinate small and big scale projects. The current Board of Directors consists of the two initiators, Mrs. Edith Mol and Mrs. Eveline van de Putte, both experienced empowerment and diversity trainers/advisors. The third member is Marc David Brand, a consultant/trainer, as well as program director of the operation in China.

From every country where projects are initiated, a person is chosen to act as a local representative. In Rwanda this is Mrs. Annonciata Mukamugema, initiator of the restaurant in Kigali. In China this is Mr. Li Chuan Gong, initiator of the educational project in Dongping, China.

Note: the official Dutch website is to be found on www.bureau-icc. Currently a new Dutch-English site is constructed which will published this year (2005).