Cynthia DeLarber, director of marketing and patron services at the Arvada Center for the Arts and Humanities, has been awarded the President’s Volunteer Service Award for 2005. This award is issued by the President’s Council on Service and Civic Participation on behalf of the President of the United States to recognize the best in the American spirit and encourage all Americans to contribute through volunteer service.
In October 2005, Ms. DeLarber spent two intense weeks as a volunteer in Moldova, located in Eastern Europe between Romania and Ukraine, where she helped develop a three-year communications plan for regional offices working to combat human trafficking. Her participation in the New Perspectives for Women project took place under the auspices of Winrock International, a non-profit organization that works with people in the U.S. and abroad to increase economic opportunity, sustain natural resources and protect the environment.
Moldova is one of the poorest European nations in terms of per capita income. It is estimated that as many as one million Moldovans are living and/or working abroad. With poor socio-economic conditions, high rates of unemployment and a largely rural population, many Moldovans fall victim to false job promises or other schemes abroad in the hopes of improving their lives.
Women, children and young adults are particularly vulnerable populations, especially for the purpose of sexual exploitation. New Perspectives for Women was created by Winrock in 2004 in collaboration with local non-government organizations (NGOs) and funded by the U.S. Agency for International Development (USAID) to assist victims, raise awareness through educational outreach programs and create alternative employment and business opportunities in Moldova.
Ms. DeLarber, who speaks some Russian, worked with two Regional Support Centers (RSC) in the rural towns of Comrat and Cahul. During her project, she led several training sessions on marketing and publicity, which were simultaneously translated into Russian and Romanian with the aid of interpreters, to reach a wider local audience. She also developed a comprehensive media plan, revised and edited marketing materials, developed new content for and redesigned the project’s website, enabling the RSCs to promote their services to Moldovan women.
“The goal isn’t to impress or overwhelm them with your knowledge or the powerful marketing tools of the West,” she said. “It’s to move them along and give them tools that will work in their culture and country.” Ms. DeLarber took special care to ensure that the advertising outlets and methods she recommended were available, cost-effective and appropriate means of communication in this former Soviet nation, currently under Communist rule.
Ms. DeLarber has served as Director of Marketing and Patron Services at the Arvada Center since 2004. She has 20 years of experience in all aspects of marketing, promotions and public relations working for organizations that enrich the lives of children and adults. She holds a Master of Business Administration from the University of Colorado at Denver and a Master’s degree in Public Policy from Claremont.
For more information about Winrock International’s volunteer programs and opportunities, visit winrock.org or write: Volunteer Technical Assistance, Winrock International, 2101 Riverfront Drive, Little Rock, AR, 72202.