What caught my attention is that there is no one who can love my children except me and this is the will of God.” – Pastor and participant in a CCS Seminar
“As a community leader working with more than 500 children and having a school of 250 children…I have to play my role for the wellbeing of the children. My approach is going to change and my community has to change also.” – CCS Participant
For the past two and a half years, facilitators have run Celebrating Children Seminars in communities across East Africa – rural and urban, translated into many different languages, drawing large crowds and small groups of participants. Time and time again, as they share reports and stories with us after the seminars, we hear the same refrain: “This seminar was exactly what I and my community needed.”
“When the facilitator was teaching, I felt like [it was] hitting me. They have come for me, God has really been talking to me,” shared one participant from a CCS training in Uganda. “I have to change my hatred to unconditional love.”
“These teachings are real,” shared another participant from Kenya. “We didn’t know how to care for our children. [I] am an old man now, I wish my children were still young, but they are not. I would like to take these teachings and apply them to my grandchildren. Nobody taught how to be good fathers and husbands. What we saw our fathers doing is what we have been doing, but now I realize that it wasn’t the right way.
Please come back and teach us again, we want to change.”
These powerful testimonies would not be possible without the hard work of our gifted team of facilitators. They travel long distances, often at their own expense, for the goal of bringing this transformational knowledge to others across their country. They recruit teams and work with churches do all of this on top of their own busy lives, running ministries among the most vulnerable.
Jane Brenda is one example of an incredibly diligent and faithful facilitator. She is excellent at building a team, investing in new facilitators, building relationships with participants and following up to ensure that the teaching is making a lasting impact. Several people that have helped her with training have enjoyed the teaching so much that they want to take the full course and become facilitators themselves. Not only is she investing in participants, but in building new facilitators to ensure that more people are trained.
Irene is a facilitator with a wealth of experience from fostering over 100 children, running a school, and starting income-generating projects among the most vulnerable. Besides running Seminars in her own community, she recently brought the training to a community on an island in Lake Victoria, where she had done development work nearly 40 years earlier.
Carol and Joe are a couple with many stories to tell. Since attending Loom’s Trauma Training in March 2020, they have tirelessly run training on their own and in partnership with others. The seminars that Joe and Carol have been teaching have been especially effective because they actively practice what they preach. Joe is unashamed to do things that would be culturally abnormal. For example, he walks beside his wife as opposed to in front of her, he sits next to her in church, and he carries his children on his own back. He and his wife teach side by side, demonstrating to the attendees that a woman has dignity, value, and authority equal to his own.
After running a CCS in May, Carol followed up a month later with participants. One participant shared, “I was convicted in my heart how much pain I have caused my granddaughter. In the evening I went home and for the first time in her life I asked for [forgiveness]. All along I never knew that she is created with uniqueness and dignity and since she was seven I destroyed her dignity. After this seminar I talked to her and affirmed her, and to my surprise I am more changed than her!”
“If there is something that makes [me] go to bed satisfied and wakes me up with hope,” Carol once told us, “it is the fact that I can add value in someone’s life and champion others.”
It is Loom’s desire to champion these incredible facilitators as they champion the lives of their own communities, working towards the day when every child and family can thrive.