In April 2016 Karen Del Rio and her husband, who ran the Joseph Project in South Africa, went to Burtingy, Switzerland to participate in our Celebrating Children Workshop.
“It was a life changing course, both personally and professionally,” says Karen. “To be in an environment with other like-minded professionals, and be cheered on by the Loom facilitators was so life giving. Our souls were refreshed and we returned to Johannesburg with a new strength to continue the work we do.
“We also made many changes to our ministry center since returning. Learning about stress and the brain helped us understand our kids much more. Because we understand what’s going on with their little brains, we are more patient, more kind, and more loving.
“Back in December one of our older girls from the center was raped and fell pregnant. All of the staff had their own ideas of how it should be handled. But at the CCW we were inspired to actually listen to what she wanted. After lots of conversations, we realized that we had made decisions for her that she did not want for herself. If we wouldn’t have done the CCW, we would have never taken time to listen. Now, we are able to honor her and give her choices in a situation she has had little choice about.
“Our lives and our ministry have been changed as a result of the Celebrating Children Workshop and we couldn’t be more thankful to have made the investment of time and money to better ourselves and those we serve.”
But their experience has changed many more lives than just the 60 or so children in their day program. After completing the CCW for themselves, Karen and her husband ran a CCW in South Africa to train their entire staff, and opened the training up to others. In 2018 Anna, one of the participants from Karen’s CCW, ran her first CCW – now a “third generation” from Loom, running entirely on its own! The total Children impacted from Anna’s CCW: 1848!
This year Heather Wood, a Loom staff member who specializes in CCW trainings, has been mentoring Anna and equipping her with more tools as a facilitator. “Working with Anna was such as gift!” exclaimed Heather. “It has been our desire to see CCW multiply which it has around the world. However, we realized that there was a missing piece for those wanting to run the workshop – mentoring. By working with Anna, I have been so blessed to be able to encourage her and help her when there were gaps. You just have to read a few of the participants feedback forms to discover that Anna ran a very successful workshop that impacted the participants deeply and led to revelations about themselves, children and God.”
Another participant from the CCW in Burtingy, Rebecca, went back to her ministry in the Ivory Coast and ran her own training in 2017. She had 17 participants who were pastors, teachers and Sunday School teachers. There are no numbers on the number of children impacted but a very conservative estimate would be at least 100. Both Anna and Rebecca will be running another CCW this June in South Africa and Madagascar. Once again the multiplication continues to grow.
So based on one CCW run by Loom, we have 3 leaders, 2 CCWs run with local ownership and at least 2000 children impacted – with much more to come!
This is what we mean by accelerating Social Innovators working with women and children at risk. By equipping them with the tools and training they need to be successful, we see a “ripple effect” as the CCW continues to spread without Loom’s oversight and is creatively adapted to the local context. All over the world, Social Innovators are caring for women and children at risk in creative and resourceful ways. We consider it a privilege to come alongside them and partner together to spread this ripple effect throughout the world.