After decades of aid all over the globe, the overwhelming reality is: it hasn’t worked. Nearly 1,000 children under age 5 still die every day from contaminated water and poor sanitation. Each year, close to 4 million people die prematurely from illness attributable to household air pollution. Hunger still kills more people every year than malaria, tuberculosis and AIDS combined.
The typical approach to aid has failed to solve this holistically.
But what is working? People are. People who disrupt the status quo and reimagine a new future for their communities. People who know their own culture, love their nations, and stick it out even amidst turmoil because this is their home. This is why Loom was birthed from the question: “What if the means to ending poverty was already present in vulnerable communities?” What if we thought again about the potential, the power of a seemingly weak and small life?
The social innovators we work with do this each day. They reimagine what their communities could look like, one person at a time. They are challenging our assumptions about what the poor contribute to the world. We have seen this through Maren and her family’s innovative agriculture and community strengthening model in Asia; Anu and Vera’s commitment to the widows and orphans of India; Nirina’s creative leveraging of her national radio to teach about caring for vulnerable children in Madagascar; and Karen and Ana’s willingness to rethink what training and equipping caregivers could look like in South Africa.
You would expect us to say, these people have helped, hugged, fed, housed, clothed, and educated many children. Yes, they have done those things – they have rescued children from being warehoused or from living in a brothel, or rescued the 9-year-old bride from a life of abuse. But much more than that, those that we honor in these pages have come face-to-face with what is normal and accepted for the life of a child in their communities, and reimagined that same life in God’s terms.
In the midst of great need around the world, they cause us to hold on to hope. Because we realize that it is the uncelebrated practitioners who are investing their lives for those most at risk, who will cause the direction of nations to change. The oppressed of the world are dependent on the courage of these disruptors. The children, widows, elderly, and single mothers of this world are waiting for those who will question the oppressive values that exist. We celebrate their disruptions.
We are standing with them. Together, we are working to reimagine obstacles as goal posts; reimagine the struggle as the way; reimagine survival as growth; reimagine less as an investment; reimagine hopeless and see the future.
Will you join us?