When looking back over this past winter, it’s not hard to see how the math adds up.
In 2019, Loom had begun conversations with leaders in Uganda who wanted to co-host a Celebrating Children Workshop (CCW) in 2020. As we talked further about a CCW Uganda, everyone agreed that 70 participants was the maximum number the training could accommodate.
Then, like thousands of other nonprofit organizations, COVID-19 forced us to pivot. Rather than plan a large CCW gathering, funds were re-allocated to equip CCW and Trauma Training alumni across East Africa in hosting smaller, local training events.
“The results have been astounding!” exclaimed Heather Wood, a Loom staff member who oversaw the multiplication effort.
“We could have reached 75 participants…our East African partners have reached over 1000 participants. Our teaching would have impacted 1000 children but their teaching has impacted over 8000 children. Now that is multiplication!
And the most astounding part? All of this multiplication happened within two months, by only 17 alumni. Photos, reports, and stories of participants using what they learned continue to pour in. “Thank you Loom International for seeing me through my vision to champion others,” one alumni wrote after leading trauma seminars for women in her community.
Multiplication and local leadership has always been central to Loom’s vision of the Celebrating Children Workshop. The curriculum itself was built so that anyone could “teach it under a tree” and throughout the years we have been extremely pleased to watch participants go on to train others in their community, whether through formal training or informal conversations. This was the first time we were able to allocate funds directly towards supporting multiplication efforts, and once again these incredible Social Innovators outran any of our hopes or expectations of what it might produce.
“I love that our East African partners are doing way more than we could have ever imagined,” concluded Heather. “The multiplication continues to grow. The people they are teaching are hungry for more – everywhere they go they are being asked to come back – to share more! People that are hearing the teaching are being transformed – they are literally changing how they parent. Our belief has always been that this curriculum would be the most powerful when taught in a local language and culture and we are seeing that this is so true. We could never have had this kind of impact!
“I love that what I thought was a disappointing loss has become the highlight of my year!”