Loom International has been working to train caregivers, teachers, and practitioners on God’s intentions for children at risk for the past 10+ years. In each community Loom partners with, poverty is one of the highest risk factors for children and families. It is because of poverty that children end up in institutionalized care, do not receive education, and suffer from malnourishment and hunger. Although they do incredible work with extremely limited resources, it is also poverty that keeps local social innovators from doing all they want and could do on behalf of women and children in their communities.
Interdependence is a core value of Loom. We believe that in each partnership we have something both to give and receive from each other. In the words of Robert Lupton, “No one is so poor that they have nothing to bring to the exchange.” This partnership is a joining together of resources and expertise to build sustainable, thriving communities for every child. That is our shared goal.
Loom’s position on the use of financial assistance, therefore, fits in with this view of interdependent partnerships. What Loom brings is much-needed training, coaching, and, when appropriate, financial investment. However, local social innovators bring far more to the exchange than we ever could. Besides their experience and cultural/community knowledge, they bring their passion to do the hard work to make sure children are celebrated and families protected. No one has put a dollar amount on what has been accomplished and what has been sacrificed personally by their work. But it is much, much more than our very small scholarships or donations of materials or transportation.
The reality is, if we are not able to offer scholarships or stipends for transportation, the local leaders who most need the training are the ones who will not be able to be there. In our position, scholarships do the opposite of creating dependency – they create empowerment by equipping leaders with the skills and training needed to make their work more sustainable and successful long-term. We have tested this way of thinking and working and find that empowerment and not dependence is the outcome – without exception. It is with this view that we are in support of wisely distributed financial assistance for trainings.