Almost 27 percent of the world’s population is under the age of fifteen. There are people in communities everywhere investing in them, believing in them and giving them skills for a better future. However, they often lack the training or resources to do so to the best of their abilities. The Celebrating Children Workshop was Loom’s first initiative to equip these local caregivers with a holistic framework to care for vulnerable children, and has now trained thousands of caregivers in dozens of communities across the globe. The training blends biblical, scientific, social and cultural perspectives in order to provide a holistic approach to caring for the well being of a child.
In 2009, after many months of curriculum writing, Loom tested our first version of the Celebrating Children Workshop in Rwanda. We came away from the month there with a taste of what the curriculum could be–but also with lots of improvements to make. We could see clearly that we needed simpler slides and participants needed a corresponding notebook. We also learned that four weeks was a long time to stay engaged, so we decided to divide the training into two weeks sections.
The CCW curriculum we use today is still using the same format and and basics of what we learned from that trip. We worked very hard over the next year to create a curriculum that was more user friendly to both the participant and the facilitators, and taught it in South Africa, Bangladesh and Romania. In 2014-15 we conducted another major rewrite to include new science on the brain, rest, resilience and trauma. Since then we have run the Celebrating Children Workshop with a variety of facilitators in Portland, Switzerland, Tanzania and Juarez.
This past month in the office we spent 2 weeks with some of the facilitators of the CCW. We reviewed the feedback from participants, observers of the teaching, and participants. We were encouraged to see that most of the curriculum stood the test of time and a variety of cultures. More participants are taking the material and teaching it their own context, which requires Loom to listen closely to how the Facilitator Notes are working for them.
After much discussion, we will make some simple format changes and some major shifts in the order and the way a topic is taught. We have learned to keep things as concrete as possible and weed out information that is more confusing than helpful. By reducing information and adding in more hands on learning opportunities, we are making the information that they do receive applicable and manageable. We also worked at providing more detailed information on child growth and development.
We are really looking forward to the new version which will take us several months to complete. We would like to especially thank Lenneke Van Veen and Donna Nelson for the time, money, energy used in traveling, teaching and developing Celebrating Children curriculum. Because of the hard work of many skilled practitioners, the CCW will continue equipping caregivers to best support the children in their care.