Jane Testa Case Study

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“Every answer here has a story”. This was the first response from Jane Testa when we interviewed her. That story began in 1995 when she was introduced to Bob Agres by her colleague David Fuertes from Kohala and then she attended training facilitated by Bob. That was the beginning of her Community Connections, a nine-month capacity building training for community-based organizations or community members with ideas on how to support their community but unclear on how to act on them. That was also Jane’s introduction to community based economic development (CBED), which she doesn’t have a clear one-sentence definition of it. Her introduction was an “aha’ moment given her background in the YMCA and the Office of Aging. Jane’s work in the Office of Aging used to do area-wide plans for the aging that requires interviewing people in the communities to get what the people saying they needed. She then kept following HACBED and was able to pick up and translate some of the stuff she learned into action and also would put it into a filter that government would accept.
But when she moved on to her new role at the Research and
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Back in the 1800s, the Big Island was known to be one of the biggest sugarcane producers in the world. Every major plantation was almost self-sufficient and was like a village on its own with its own schools, gym, theater, banking system, churches, social halls, and others because the plantation was there to subsidize it. Those communities were living with the concept of people understanding to live together and work together. For example, the Japanese concept of ‘Tanomoshi’ was prevalent. This refers to where people come together into a ‘Hui’ and put money into a pot every month and when somebody needed it for a particular reason, they took out that money – basically, an early, community-based version of lending and

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