From the very beginning, Loom’s goal was to equip CCW Alumni to creatively contextualize what they learned within their own unique cultural and professional situation. As leaders recognized the need to break the 4-week CCW into shorter, more regular trainings to fit the needs of busy pastors, teachers, and community leaders, the Celebrating Children Seminar was born.
In order to evaluate the long term impact of the teaching, we asked Facilitators to follow up with their participants 3- 6 months following the training. Penninah, a facilitator from Uganda, contacted trainees and asked if there had been any changes in their communities since running the training. They responded that they had seen the following changes:
- Parents started taking responsibility for teaching their children the word of God, and the importance of providing children with nutritious food.
- They also noted that more parents have been meeting the needs of their children by listening to children.
- There has been a noted shift in the community as people were taking care of the needy.
Another leader was part of a seminar that included children. She noted that the since the training she has seen the following changes in the children:
- Children know their rights and their importance in the family.
- The children have also found it easier to make mistakes and take risks without fear of losing their parents’ love.
- Understanding that their parents and God loves them unconditionally has been transformational for the children.
Happiness ran a seminar in a village for members of a Massai church. She taught about the importance of welcoming children into the body of believers. The whole church was in attendance for the seminar. Following her teaching on welcoming children, a mother stood up and repented that she had not welcomed her daughter to be part of the body of believers. Every Sunday the little girl asked her mother if she could sing for the church but she always ignored the little girl’s request.
Following the mother’s explanation, the little girl was invited to come to the front of the church and share a song with the church. Happiness’ ability to include children in her teaching models how this can be done and emphasizes the power of including children.
Teacher Jane attended a seminar run by a CCS Facilitator in Kericho, Kenya. The seminar focused on God’s intentions for children and the impact of trauma on children. After hearing the seminar, Jane shared this testimony.
“I grew up with my siblings only,my parents were busy working in Tanzania and could only come home for a visit occasionally.My elder brother used to beat me so badly that I became so rude and resentful…I hated my brother.
My sister in law passed away and her little daughter came to live with us.She was five years old by then.I could get so annoyed with that little girl that I could beat her up so badly,and later I would start to regret why I did it… She was later taken to the village to live with my mother in law .
During the CCW seminar in Kericho,learning about God’s intentions and trauma,my eyes were opened and I started to see how badly I had afflicted pain on that young .I couldn’t believe that am the one who had caused so much pain in her body. My plan now is to make things right.I would want to go back home to the village and talk to the girl and ask her to forgive me.”