T O G E T H E R A
D E C A D E
R E V I E W
L O O M I N T E R N AT I O N A L
“What was really ringing in my heart was just one thing: education for our children. I felt, though I don’t have a position as a woman in the village, but myself, in me, I feel like I’m a leader in this village. On the day the school was dedicated, my heart was vibrating with joy!” — Mama Anna (translated from Maasai to English)
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TOGETHER CHANGE IS POSSIBLE Ancient wisdom results in joy for us all.
SAWUBONA! The Zulu greeting on our tongues and in our hearts.
DIS/RUPTORS Aid isnâ€™t working. So what is?
REIMAGINE See the poor as catalysts.
POWER + WONDER As Loom has evolved in our understanding, so has the language we have used.
WHAT HAS ALWAYS REMAINED TRUE Our flagship training still embodies how we want to work.
CELEBRATING CHILDREN WORKSHOP AROUND THE WORLD Get a glimpse of lives and communities transformed in this slideshow.
SNAKES AND LADDERS Can you reach the finish line?
WOVEN Loom was born to create a place where no one would need to stand far off.
HERE A poem by Jeanette Rawlins
AGAINST ALL ODDS Walking a mile in the shoes of the next generation of Maasai leaders.
TOGETHER WE ARE NOT DUMB Changing the world is not a one man job.
VUKA! WAKE UP! The deep hunger we see for new solutions.
WE DIDNâ€™T DO THIS ALONE YOU have made Loom what it is today.
WE SEE A WORLD... As we celebrate what has been accomplished, we also look to the future.
WHO WOULD HAVE THOUGHT That ten years later...
TOGETHER CHANGE IS POSSIBLEâ€¦ Ancient wisdom results in joy for us all.
TOGETHE R CH AN G E IS P OS S IB L E
Before Loom International emerged in Portland 10 years ago, there was nearly a decade-long creation process. I am grateful for the many committed people early on who listened to what was in my heart and mind and who were also committed to listening and standing beside practitioners in order to bring God’s intentions to children. There were a few different versions of Loom during that time. We started out as the Children at Risk Network, then Women’s and Children’s Advocacy Centre and for the past 10 years, Loom International. Over the years so many have contributed time, money, talent and skills to develop what we now celebrate as Loom International. The early days of Loom started with pondering the contrast of the evil that children experience each day and what God intended. Isaiah 1:16,17 became key. It was clear to us all how strikingly clear these instructions were. Wash and make yourselves clean. Take your evil deeds out of my sight; stop doing wrong. Learn to do right; seek justice. Defend the oppressed. Take up the cause of the fatherless; plead the case of the widow. This eternal wisdom was foundational and continues to guide our work. First, to change our thinking and any work we are doing that doesn’t align with God’s intentions. Then to learn, listen, research and think. Our motivation has been taking up the cause of the fatherless and pleading the case of the widow. The grid for our actions: seeking justice and defending the oppressed. In this magazine-format annual report we wanted to celebrate this past decade as Loom International. It is significant in that we continue to learn and grow and the work continues to bring joy. After putting the first draft together, we noted that although each photo was chosen to illustrate the story, what is illustrated is people full of laughter and joy. Hopefully it will be contagious and you too will feel the joy. Together change is possible. Join us in celebrating this significant milestone.
This Zulu greeting has been on our tongues and in our hearts for much of the past ten years. It literally means “I see you.” More than words of politeness, sawubona carries the importance of recognizing the worth and dignity of each person. It says, “I see the whole of you—your experiences, your passions, your pain, your strengths and weaknesses, and your future. You are valuable to me.”
FOUR MAASAI WOMEN GATHER NEAR THE CLINIC AND COMMUNITY CENTER IN ENGIKARET, TANZANIA.
Sawubona is also infused with the belief that when others “see” me, then I exist. The common response is “Shiboka”, which means “I exist for you”. These are more than greetings. They’re ways to vitalize the other person by giving full attention and presence, communicating how much value they carry within them. There are men and women around the world whose lives embody the meaning of sawubona. The past ten years, they have been our teachers. These innovators stand in the midst of chaos, holding up the mirror of worth and dignity for all, convinced they can make a profound, lasting impact in people’s lives. And they do. It is important for our well-being - yours and mine - to see them. Not only to observe their work, but to celebrate and engage with them in the life they have chosen. Each of us is here at Loom because not only have we seen, but we have been seen. Our lives have been blown open by the truth that our well-being is tied up with that of the most vulnerable around the world. We have learned that this is what a full life looks like, a life well spent—not protecting ourselves from pain and sacrifice, but joining others to be with them in theirs. Sawubona. We see you.
After decades of aid all over the globe, the overwhelming reality is: it hasn’t worked.
The typical approach to aid has failed to solve this holistically. But what is working? People are. People who disrupt the status quo and reimagine a new future for their communities. People who know their own culture, love their nations, and
that, those that we honor in these pages have come face-toface with what is normal and accepted for the life of a child in their communities, and reimagined that same life in God’s terms.
stick it out even amidst turmoil because this is their home.
In the midst of great need around the world, they cause us to
This is why Loom was birthed from the question: “What if the
hold on to hope. Because we realize that it is the uncelebrated
means to ending poverty was already present in vulnerable
practitioners who are investing their lives for those most at
communities?” What if we thought again about the potential,
risk, who will cause the direction of nations to change. The
the power of a seemingly weak and small life?
oppressed of the world are dependent on the courage of these
The social innovators we work with do this each day. They reimagine what their communities could look like, one person at a time. They are challenging our assumptions about what
disruptors. The children, widows, elderly, and single mothers of this world are waiting for those who will question the oppressive values that exist. We celebrate their disruptions.
the poor contribute to the world. We have seen this through
We are standing with them. Together, we are working to re-
Maren and her family’s innovative agriculture and community
imagine obstacles as goal posts; reimagine the struggle as
strengthening model in Asia; Anu and Vera’s commitment to
the way; reimagine survival as growth; reimagine less as an
the widows and orphans of India; Nirina’s creative leverag-
investment; reimagine hopeless and see the future.
ing of her national radio to teach about caring for vulnerable children in Madagascar; and Karen and Ana’s willingness to rethink what training and equipping caregivers could look like in South Africa. You would expect us to say, these people have helped, hugged, fed, housed, clothed, and educated many children. Yes, they have done those things - they have rescued children from being warehoused or from living in a brothel, or rescued the 9-yearold bride from a life of abuse. But much more than
WILL YOU JOIN US?
Reimagine the poor as catalysts. Reimagine the vulnerable moving mountains. Reimagine the hopeless leading the way.
A YOUNG MAN HAULS A LOAD OF SUGARCANE IN ARUSHA, TANZANIA.
POWER + WONDER
In each community Loom engages, we discover extraordinary
They are Social Innovators: those who look at the seeming-
people. They have emerged from the same circumstances as
ly impossible and engage with wholehearted commitment to
those around them. Some were refugees from wars, others
bring change. They seek integrated solutions to build thriving
were orphans, others knew the nightly pain of going to bed
sustainable communities. They are willing to face head on
hungry. Some walked miles to school and never saw a library
“how things have always been done” and to disrupt fatalistic
until they were a teenager. Yet they are powerful. They see
value systems and thinking to make authentic impact.
the world differently. They see their own ability differently. The struggle of their lives created in them a rare power and hope.
As Loom has evolved in our understanding, so has the language
This is why they are extraordinary.
we have used. However we speak about our partners, what we
For ten years, we have searched for the right words to commu-
der they contain. It flows from them in a keen attunement to
nicate what makes these extraordinary leaders unique. First,
the pain and the potential of their own communities, sustained
Loom used the term Caregiver, coming from our flagship train-
by a tenacious empathy rooted in the pain of their own past.
ing, the Celebrating Children Workshop. But “it didn’t take long for us to realize these ‘caregivers’ were the ones who needed to lead - the people we needed to learn from,” says Janna Moats. “They were the Local Experts. They know best what is happening in the community, the day to day struggles of fami-
are really trying to communicate is the sheer power and won-
All over the world, there are Social Innovators who are pouring their lives out unnoticed, unsung, and unrewarded. All over the world, there are children growing up in the midst of seemingly insurmountable odds who just might be the next Social Inno-
lies and children and they have solutions.”
vator to change their community. We can’t imagine a greater
This realization quickly led Loom to adopt the term “Local Ex-
hopes; seeing them enter into this power and wonder as their
pert.” But as we traveled, listened, sat with, and questioned
irrepressible birthright for the generations to come.
our friends - which is our most common reference to them “we realized they are much more than experts,” concludes Janna. “They are always creative, flexible, steadfast, honest, teachable, smart and sacrificial. What they accomplish in a few years is beyond imagination for us.”
privilege than working together to accelerate their vision and
â€œAs Loom has evolved in our understanding, so has the language we have used. However we speak about our partners, what we are really trying to communicate is the sheer power and wonder they contain.â€?
We honor our partners because they do not accept what is - but pour themselves out to see a future and hope for children. We honor them because they live, work, love, worship and celebrate in a place that most of us move through quickly because of the pain. We honor them because they stand in the midst of chaos and make space for love. We honor them because they can reimagine hopelessness and see the future. We honor them because they believe that change can come in the most unlikely places. And it does.
LEFT: A SEWING STUDENT FROM WALIOKUMBUKWA (GOD REMEMBERED) PRACTICES DURING CLASS. ABOVE: VERA, A GRADUATE FROM WALIOKUMBUKWA, NOW HELPS RUN THE SECOND CHANCE SHOP IN ARUSHA, TANZANIA.
W H AT H A S A LWAY S REMAINED TRUE: A Look Back on the Celebrating Children Workshop After Ten Years
Ten years ago, a small team of international trainers walked
sentation on four continents and in many different languages,
up a red clay path and entered a classroom in Kigali, Rwanda.
as well as several major revisions. Of those elements, perhaps
Inside sat fifty pastors, teachers, caregivers, Sunday school
the most critical was the emphasis on focusing on the whole
leaders, and nonprofit workers who would become the first-ev-
person. This included the way a learning environment was set
er participants of the Celebrating Children Workshop.
up, the creative teaching tools used, and the incorporation of
The month-long workshop was the product of two and a half years of labor, converting a highly academic curriculum into a
art and laughter as well as up-to-date science. “The pain of people is something that made an impression
on us. Rwanda confirmed
training that adequately ad-
how important [art] was in
dressed the needs of those
“What are God’s
who care for children at risk.
intentions for children?”
to work with children,” said
“Rwanda was key for us in
Research shows that
knowing where to go next,
modeling of holistic learning.
when we structure
how to truly create [the CCW],”
Moats, founder of Loom and a key contributor to the cur-
families and communities around the best interest
integration, modeling how Janna about their intentional “We didn’t realize [until later] how all of those pieces together caused mutual trust to develop.”
riculum. “Up to then it was
of the child, everybody
“I always am a little shocked
almost like a draft. It was the
that people trust us to the
actual experience of teaching
point they do. They let us
for that month and hearing
speak into their lives, and
from people and what they responded to that strengthened our
they try to follow it. And it can’t just be because you gave them
understanding of where to go from there.”
information. Someone spoke to the whole person.”
From this first training in Rwanda emerged the key elements of
The focus on the value of the individual, particularly the child
the CCW that would carry it through the next ten years of pre-
and its context in community, has also been a core value of the
22 W HAT H AS A LWAYS RE M A IN E D T RU E
CCW since the beginning. This is especially evident through
caregivers, or community leaders in a variety of ways. These
the Circles of Protection, a teaching tool created around the
graduates had absorbed the material, and now they could con-
question, “What are God’s intentions for children?” Research
textualize it to best communicate it to those in their community.
shows that when we structure families and communities around the best interest of the child, everybody benefits. This is what we mean by “the child in the middle.”
“When they taught each other, I saw light bulbs going on,” Heather reflected on the Facilitator Training. “I saw [again] the value of learning from the Local Expert.”
“What has always remained true: we do this for the smallest, the least noticed,” emphasized Heather Wood, who was part of the team creating the
“I wanted to run my own Celebrating Children’s Workshop after I completed it in 2016,” said Karen Del Rio, a social innovator working in South Africa who
curriculum and has taught in nearly every Loom-sponsored CCW since then. “We teach for life change.
“The information changed my life–it changed the
We’re always trying to fig-
way I served kids, saw
ure out: what do caregivers
kids, and interacted with
need? The power of what we teach comes from do-
them. I wanted everyone
ing it ourselves, and seeing
on my team back home
that it works. Once people
to have that same
that use it in their daily life get ahold of it, they can’t
help but pass it on.”
attended a CCW in Switzerland. “The information changed my life- it changed the way I served kids, saw kids, and interacted with them. I wanted everyone on my team back home to have that same knowledge.” Sypora Achieng, Loom’s Early Childhood Education Service Coordinator and a participant at the Facilitator Training, shared how
Throughout the past ten years, it has been our joy to see the
she uses what she learned from the CCW to train teachers.
multiplication of the CCW in many different creative contexts.
“It’s not just about getting teachers the right training and out-
Our trust in these social innovators is part of our conviction
ward forms of teaching,” she said. “It’s about the heart, and
that they will take what they learned and not just pass it on,
the teacher connecting to the heart of the child. Then they will
but make it better.
understand what that child needs to succeed.”
This was particularly evident to us during our most recent trip
So what is next for the Celebrating Children Workshop? In the
to East Africa, where Loom led a Facilitators Training for past
coming months, we will continue pairing facilitators with a
graduates of the CCW. Each of the twenty-five participants had
Loom coach who can help them take the next steps in contex-
been using what they learned to train other parents, teachers,
tualizing it to their community. These core values of holistic
W HAT HAS A LWAYS RE M A IN E D T RU E
integration, valuing the individual, learning from the local culture, and making space for celebration and laughter continue to be the guiding lights that point the way for all of us. More than anything, we want to see these principles in the hands of local people who will create new models and live them out in their own contexts and cultures. “From the very beginning, the vision has always been that it would be multipliable,” reflected Heather. “We’ve never let go of this dream. And now we are seeing it come true.” “And we also benefit from it,” adds Janna. “[These relationships] change our lives equally.” “It’s fascinating how CCW became the catalyst for how Loom works. It embodies in a four-week training who we want to be, and how we work.”
ABOVE: THE CIRCLES OF PROTECTION ILLUSTRATION HAS BEEN A CRITICAL PIECE OF LOOM’S TRAINING FOR OVER TEN YEARS.
“You have started a movement With this we can change South Africa!”
C E L E B R AT I N G C H I L D R E N WORKSHOPS AROUND THE WORLD
Surprising and heartening stories of change have come about after every Celebrating Children Workshop (CCW). One example: after thirty-five participants grabbed hold of God’s intentions for a child’s life during the CCW South Africa in 2012, one leader used her skills and influence to open a school for children with disabilities and a center for children struggling with drug addiction. 20,000+ children have been impacted as a result. Throughout the past ten years, it has been our delight to hear stories like these coming from CCW participants from nearly every continent (we still haven’t made it to Antartica yet!) Anu is transforming their model of care in India from residential care to day centers that serve thousands of widows and orphans each day. Dede is creating creative solutions for trauma-informed care for homeless mothers and their children in Salem, Oregon. From Rwanda to Bangladesh, from Mexico to Romania, from Portland to Tanzania, we have seen this training become a powerful tool in the hands of committed local practitioners. Now, we invite you to take a look at the CCWs from around the world through this slideshow, and get a glimpse of the number of lives and communities transformed across the globe.
PARTICIPANTS FROM LOOMâ€™S CELEBRATING CHILDREN WORKSHOP FACILITATOR TRAINING IN MARCH 2020 WILL GO ON TO MULTIPLY THE TRAINING IN SIX COUNTRIES DURING THE NEXT TWO YEARS.
HANDS-ON LEARNING IS AN IMPORTANT PART OF OUR WORK AND CRITICAL FOR TEACHING CONCEPTS ACROSS CULTURES AND LANGUAGE.
Hospitalized due to malaria
ing with them walk through - sometimes daily. Life dishes up
13 Power goes off for the third time this week
ability. The stronger projects are, the greater their long-term
Got to rest and recover at a ReNew staff retreat
Attended a ReGenerate consultation
Donations aren't covering the bills
Failed to send in legal registration
Staff leave for better paying jobs
Play STEP theINTO game and THE LIFE OF A see LOCAL
Received critical thinking training via ReThink
ders - training, resources, planning, tools to ensure sustain-
to minimise their impact. So, at Loom we work to create lad-
Experts are constantly working to stay away from the snakes,
snakes: war, malaria, lack of money, political upheaval. Local
Hospitalized due to malaria
Equipped with many project skills through completing ReTool
I'm isolated and alone
board game in 2013 to illustrate what the poor and those work-
S US TAI NAB I L I T Y
Trained to help children develop through Celebratin Children Worksho
world this game is called Snakes and Ladders. We used this
AROUND THE BOARD TO LEARN finish A Bline! OUT TH E S N AK ES TH AT THREATEN THEIR PROJECTS, AND THE LADDERS LOOM OFFERS TO PROVIDE THEM WITH SKILLS ON THE PATH TO
You may know it as “Chutes and Ladders,” but in most of the
EXPERT TAKE AitJOURNEY if you canAND make to the
Lack of skills to run a project
Received sustainable funding from multiple sources
Teaching skills furthered through the Equipping Educators program
Staff leave for better paying jobs
Received sustainable funding from multiple sources
Got to rest and recover at a ReNew staff retreat
Failed to send in legal registration
Power goes off for the third time this week
Received critical thinking training via ReThink
Donations aren't covering the bills
I'm isolated and alone
Filled out ReConsider self assessment
Trained to help children develop through Celebrating Children Workshop
Equipped with many project skills through completing ReTool
Attended a ReGenerate consultation
Lack of skills to run a project
War breaks out
Benefitted from personal coaching
P L A N N IN
PHOTO BY TANJA WEISE
All the problems of the world raise the question: where is God in times of trouble? â€œWhy does he stand far off?â€? is how the ancient poet phrased it. Yet often as we travel and sit with refugees, or those afflicted with HIV, they speak of the presence of God and we realise: God is there, but we stand far off. Loom was born to create a place where no one would need to stand far off. We began with the goal to become a place of connection, a place where lives from different parts of the globe and many different backgrounds could connect, create hope, and bring change.
PHOTOS BY CAITLYN MACDONELL, EXCEPT CENTER TOP: PHOTO BY KURT NELSON
We chose the name Loom to suggest this image of weaving to-
“The biggest thing I learned was this: Everybody’s got a sto-
gether. In 2017, we launched Woven, a collective of individuals
ry, and a story of how God bursts into that story. We have to
who wanted to be part of the fabric of change. Since then, Wo-
be humble enough to be willing to listen, and we will see our
ven has become many things - a group of passionate investors,
world expand,” says Kurt Nelson, a two-time Woven Trip par-
interns, and volunteers; as well as an ever-expanding network
of participants from one of our four Woven Trips to East Africa. Participants from Korea, Germany and the United States have
No matter how much time we spend listening to our partners
joined Loomers in sharing meals and stories with social inno-
in East Africa and beyond, there is always more for us to learn.
vators, practicing slow and curious listening, and witnessing
Our desire is for more and more of us to be “woven” into this
the transformation of communities with their own eyes.
amazing group of social innovators -- that we can all learn to walk, think, believe, and work more like our partners around the world.
Your feet walk. As the sun rises, your toes feel the red dirt still cold with early dew. And your mother watches your silhouette shimmer and glimmer and disappear. Girls like you who’ve had to stay home, Girls like you who’ve dared to believe, Girls like you know it’s your place to weave the future. With an empty backpack on your shoulders You walk over boulders like the soldier you are. You walk into places You weren’t supposed to make it to. Teacher calls your name, You say, “I am here.” The world hangs before you on a dry yellow map But you see fantastic Blue Magenta, Orange And Black. Empty places for you to explore, And why not you to discover their stories? Why not you to reclaim what is rejected, Bring magic where least expected? You take the dreams your mother buried deep inside her and Each day you whisper that you will Uncover every single one. Because for you they were never dreams They are your future.
BY JEANETTE RAWLINS
AGAINST ALL ODDS
We start out at dark, and first light becomes a crimson streak
We don’t quite finish our walk with the children. As we near
across the sky. The sound of our van lurching along the rocky
the school, our partner Edward pulls up in his van and calls us
terrain is mingled with cowbells and braying goats. We are in
over to see something that until this year he had never seen
Engikaret, the “place of thorns,” in a Maasai region outside of
among the Maasai of this region: a woman tending a beautiful
Arusha, Tanzania. We are here to experience what it is like for
garden. Her husband smiles proudly as she shows off the flow-
these Maasai children to walk to school each morning.
ers and vegetables she is cultivating. New Vision School buys
By the time we arrive in the small village, women and children are already hard at work, milking goats to make chai over the fire smoking in their small boma. One husband greets us warmly and welcomes us inside. His wife and daughter are
them from her to cook their meals for the children and staff. Nearby, their boma has the only solar light panel I’ve seen. Clearly these two are innovators. By the time we arrive at the school, students are lining up in
both sitting by the fire, stirring sugar into a pot of goat
the courtyard to sing their
milk. Both have a baby about
By the time we arrive
two months old - the reality
at the school, students
of child marriage before our eyes. We crouch together around
are lining up in the courtyard to sing their
the small fire. Even with the
school song. This year
sun beginning to flare from
there are over 300
behind Mt. Meru, it is as dark as night, and smoky. After the children have fin-
students from preschool to Form Seven. This is
ished their chores and put
the next generation of
on their uniforms, we set off
on the two or three kilometer walk to school. Without
them leading the way, I would have been lost - there is no path or road, and the mix of dirt and bush spreads out as far as I can see. Along the way, the children pick up firewood to bring to school - their required contribution in place of school fees. They glance back at us, trailing slightly behind, giggling over their strange companions.
school song. This year there are over 300 students from preschool through primary. This is the next generation of Masai leaders. Later, I sat down with Edward to discuss the future of New Vision Engikaret. In the past four years, they have begun a social enterprise to bring more holistic community development into their funding model. Through generous donors and a small business loan from Loom, New Vision’s cow project
has been growing steadily since 2017. Dubbed “the Moovement,” they are now up to twenty cows (including calves), who are currently producing about 60 liters of milk a day. Last year, Edward estimates they made about $800 a month selling milk, coming out to about two children’s education sponsorship per cow. But when asked about the project’s impact at the school, Edward points to the whole community.
36 AGA I NST AL L OD D S
“Not only is it providing school fees, but the milk we sell [to
As Janna Moats says, “This is a guiding principle of Loom. The
the school and community] is providing much-needed nutrition,
people we may have considered weak are truly the powerful.
especially during a drought,” he says. “Now we are making
When it comes to people, Jesus’ life, words and values always
enough income that we can employ two people to care for the
push us to bet against the odds set by the society - to question
cows, one who has a disability.”
the experts and the professional’s stronger voices.
As of May 2020, a biogas digester has been complet-
“The scripture continues to
“The scripture continues
tell us: don’t bet on what
will use the animal waste
to tell us: don’t bet on
your institutions tell you is
to create a free, clean ener-
what your culture, your
ed on the property, which
gy source for cooking in the kitchen. What’s more, other
society, your institutions
your culture, your society, a sure thing - don’t invest in the powerful, the obvious, the most influential, the big-
Maasai leaders have begun
tell you is a sure thing
gest. Watch for and invest in
to keep milk cows. Before
- don’t invest in the
the least powerful, the poor,
this project, they discouraged the idea, saying that it
powerful, the obvious,
was not possible. The impact
the most influential,
reaches beyond education
those with a small voice those who HAVE to beat the odds to bring change.”
to also create jobs, bring
the biggest. Watch for
In Engikaret, change has
nutrition, and soon cleaner
and invest in the least
indeed come slowly, but it
energy. I asked Edward what he has learned from the past four
powerful, the poor, those with a small voice - those
years of launching this so-
who HAVE to beat the
cial enterprise. “It is good to
odds to bring change.”
has been won through the grit and determination of Edward, his family, and his faithful team. Through ten years of challenges and drought, they have refused
start small with a business
to give up on the future of
like this for the first time,”
this community. To say we
he said. “It gives you time to build your muscles as it grows.
admire them is a desperate understatement. They are teaching
If you were just given a huge project right at the beginning,
us what it means to love, to persevere, to give our lives away
it would not be good. You learn as you go, from failure, from
for the sake of others. All it takes is five minutes in a classroom
among these bright, energetic future leaders to feel the possibility of all that is to come.
W HAT HAS ALWAYS R E MA IN E D T RU E 37
You smile. Despite all the challenges you face... you know the truth. You are not alone.
TOGETHER WE ARE NOT DUMB
BY JOSIAH DASHER
It’s no secret. Here at Loom International, we want to change
Africa, Germany, Canada, the USA, and more. We’ve brought
with us unique personalities, backgrounds, stories, educations,
Poverty. Hunger. Lack of education. Problems like that require
big, creative solutions. Every one of us working at Loom Inter-
And every person who has joined the Loom staff has offered
national, now and in years past, has been driven by a vision
another piece in the puzzle of bringing our vision into reality.
of a better world. However, that vision is far bigger than our individual capabilities. That’s why we still firmly
But our staff offers so
Every person who has
much more than just prac-
joined the Loom staff has
tical skills in the pursuit of
embrace the words we have
offered another piece
displayed across our web-
in the puzzle of
site, the walls of our office, and almost every brochure, presentation,
bringing our vision
accomplishing our goals. They also bring encouragement, joy, laughter, hugs, comfort, prayer, wisdom, and creativity. Our camaraderie and collaboration
lum we have published in
carry us through the hard-
the past decade: together,
est of times and allow us
change is possible. These words set forth what we’re working for (change), give us hope (it’s possible), and remind us how we
to overcome the biggest of challenges.
will get there: together.
And there’s one more thing about working together to achieve a
Internally, we sometimes put that another way: together, we’re
working at Loom, I was privileged to come to an office where
not dumb. That may not sound quite as inspiring, but just as
I was surrounded by friends with the same vision, dreams,
true! When Janna Moats founded Loom over a decade ago, it
and goals. I had the opportunity to develop my strengths and
was a big vision: empower, equip, train, and partner with So-
exercise my gifts while being cheered on by teammates from
cial Innovators with their own vision, plan, and dream to trans-
around the world. I got to watch as each member of our team
form their community and nation. The list of skills required to
brought their unique talents and personality to the process
actually achieve her vision was (and is) long.
of dreaming up big solutions to big problems. I had the joy of
Project planning, leadership, management, team building, teaching, accounting, marketing, writing, training, fundraising,
big vision. It is simply a lot more fun. As a member of the team
knowing that through all of the ups and downs of this hard work to change the world, I wasn’t alone.
networking. This isn’t a ‘one-man job.’ As a result, the list of
I’m so grateful for the Loom International staff who have
incredible people who brought those skills to Loom through the
poured countless hours into projects to transform the lives of
years is even longer. We’ve come together from countries all
the most vulnerable. We are all the better for it. Here’s to an-
over the world: Cameroon, Zimbabwe, New Zealand, South
other decade of pursuing big dreams and big visions, together!
S U S TA I N A B L E THRIVING COMMUNITY
VUKA! WAKE UP!
For many years one of the biggest challenges we have heard from our partners is the lack of needed funding to reach sustainability. They work so hard and accomplish so much – but the low funding is always nipping at their heels, keeping them
If we only invest in children we remain dependent on outside aid.
one step away from crisis.
If we only invest in jobs
This is where Loom is positioned: between the harsh realities
we can lose a generation as growing an economy will take time.
of the lives of the vulnerable and the intentions of God for the smallest, weakest, poorest and most needy. What is the “right” strategy for us to apply God’s values and actions - to bring his kingdom? “Loom is convinced that God created every person with power to bring change within the context of relationships,” says Colleen Milstein. “As humans we were born with dignity--and within that dignity is the power to bring change. But this work of fending off evil and building a safe thriving community cannot be done alone. To accomplish it we need layers of people standing together to create thriving sustainable communities.”
If we don’t address water, food and healthcare issues we see children whose brains cannot recover enough to play the productive role God intended for them.
A holistic solution is needed if we are going to see communities thrive for generations to come.
What does a sustainable, thriving community look like? It starts in the best interests of the family, ensuring the wellbeing of the next generation. It has access to healthcare, education and effective economic systems. A sustainable, thriving community can maintain social wellbeing, and has integrated resources to ensure the wellbeing of the most vulnerable child through sustainable solutions.
THE TYPICAL STORY DOES NOT APPLY Our most recent trip to East Africa was a perfect example of the deep hunger for new solutions. Everywhere we went, social innovators were eager to share their business ideas with us. Even the last five minutes before our van whisked us away to the airport were spent hearing someone’s vision to begin a catering or retail business and provide for their community. The typical story about Africa and aid just does not apply.
44 V UK A ! WAK E U P !
Today, a cohort of thirty participants have begun sending in
women have the choice of work with dignity; pregnant women
their business proposals from across East Africa as part of our
and their children have adequate nutrition and medical care;
newest Social Enterprise initiative. They chose to name their
the elderly cared for; and space for all the creativity and culture
group Vuka, which means, “Wake up!” or implies crossing an
that is part of a sustainable, thriving community.
obstacle - highlighting the need to take action in the area of social entrepreneurship and take the first step towards sus-
This is the vision – and this is the work to which these social
innovators have given their lives, every single day. Our mis-
Loom is committed to seeing social enterprise and small busi-
who they are: people of power and wonder, whose tenacious
ness succeed in these communities, because we want to see
fight on behalf of the most vulnerable is weaving together a
the most vulnerable empowered with choice in every area of
community fabric of change. Sustainability is key to this fight,
their lives. We want to see parents be able to provide for their
and social enterprise and small business is one of the many
families; children have the opportunity of education; young
strategic ways we will get there, together.
sion is to accelerate their effectiveness and champion them for
SOCIAL ENTERPRISE, LIKE THIS PIGGERY, SUPPORTS THE WORK OF EXISTING PROJECTS AND PROVIDES NEEDED JOBS IN THE COMMUNITY.
A WOMAN SELLS HER PRODUCE AT AN OPEN-AIR MARKET IN ARUSHA, TANZANIA.
WE DIDNâ€™T DO THIS ALONE. As we look back on the past ten years, what is overwhelmingly obvious is that none of this would have been possible without scores of incredible people standing with us. Today, we would like to honor everyone who made Loom what it is today: who opened doors for us in the city, connected us selflessly with others, shared their wisdom and insight with us, hosted events in their homes, made our banquets possible, kept our server running, and so much more. From staff to board, Woven Members to volunteers, organizations to churches -- we honor and thank you for refusing to stand far off, and for weaving your time, money, skills, and passion into the fabric of sustainable change.
PEOPLE WHO HAVE MADE L O O M W H AT I T I S T O D AY: Adrian H., Alex Z., Alexis D., Ali S., Alisa S., Allison J., Alysha R., Amy S., Angie M., Anna L. & the Kid Directors, Anneli A., Ashley P., Astrid K., Barb N., Basti B., Becca W., Ben F., Beth Z., Bettina W., Bill D., Brad V., Brittany B., Bryan M., Caitlyn M., Candy S., Caro L., Carol B., Carrie M., Cecilia B., Celia R., Cindy P., Claire L., Colleen M., CĂŠline M., Dahne W., Dana A., Daniel N., Dave S., David B., David J., Deanne G., Debbie S., Debbie Sue W., Dennis C., Dharma I., Donna N., Doug D. V., Ed M., Elisa B., Elissa S., Erin H., Erin V., Eugenie A., Eva S., Eve L., Gene G., Glenna S., Greg B., Hanna L., Heather C., Heather H., Heather W., Heike D., Hope W., Ike K., Jack B., Jamie D., Jamie L., Jana L., Janet D., Janna M., Jay B., Jeanette R., Jenna F., Jennifer C., Jessica R., Jill S., Jill V., Jim S., Jim S., John W., Josiah D., Karen K., Karen S., Kari G., Karisse S., Kat F., Katie A., Kay M., Kellen P., Kelly C., Kenny S., Kevin V., Krisnee P., Kurt K., Kurt N., Lance C., Lance R., Laura M., Laurie V., Lazeni K., Lenneke v. V., Lionel T., Luba I., Margaret E., Marie G., Marie T., Mark S., Marty M., Matthew S., Matthew W., Megan H., Michael K., Michael R., Mirjam E., Molly S., Monica Z., Nate G., Nathan S., Nina K., Nissi U., Noah H., Paul K., Paul L., Peter I., Phil B., Phil M., Phil P., Phil R., Philippa L., Portia M., Rachel K., Rachel M., Rick M., Ro P., Rod S., Roger W., Roxanne M., Ruth A., Samantha S., Sarah K., Sarah S., Shaila D., Stephen G., Steve K., Suzy B., Tabea R., Tabi T., Tanja W., Terri B., Terry M., Theresa S., Tim K., Tom B., Tracie M., Tricia S., Troy S., Viola S., Wilhelm B., Yvonne D., Zach S.
We tried to remember everyone! But if we forgot your name, you can write it here ___________________________________________
WE SEE A WORLD...
The moment is still so clearly etched in my mind: it was 1995 and I was attending a leadership course in India and discussing what our organization would look like in 2020. 2020 seemed so far away. I asked the founder, what did he think his organization would look like? His answer shifted my frame of reference. He answered. “I see a world where every child has an opportunity for education. I see a world...” The question was what would the organization look like, but his answer was about the world. That moment 25 years ago has marked my heart and mind. Freedom to think like God thinks is created when you think about the world, not yourself or your organization. This thinking has shaped the direction of Loom - in reminding us that it is not the vehicle that is essential, but the destination is paramount. Loom was created to be part of bringing this world we all dream of into being. So at this 10 year milestone we celebrate the work in nations - the change we have all been part of. In Loom we see a world with strong families, woven together to build strong communities and nations that safeguard the vulnerable. We see a world where every child has an opportunity to go to school and in the words of the plaque in my South African high school, “that in this school each student would discover their God-given gifts and how to serve their communities.” We see an Africa where the environment is stewarded and food is grown. Where the farmer and the seller in the market both get a good price. We see an East Africa where small businesses can grow to medium size enterprises, strengthening local economies. We see a world where basic health care is accessible to all, where mothers and babies don’t die in childbirth and no child will die of a preventable disease. We see a world where people have the opportunity to experience God’s goodness and grace and then live that truth out by loving their neighbor. The last ten years we have been privileged to grow close relationally and work side by side with many social innovators around the world. Now is the time to scale up. In seeing this work accelerated, we are watching the mustard seed become a tree.
As we celebrate what has been accomplished, we look to the future: To launch secondary schools and teacher training colleges. We look to expand clean energy solutions. We are excited about what these 25 first Vuka businesses will mean to their communities. Thank you for your sacrificial giving: it has meant children are educated, jobs are created, food is grown, healthcare has been made accessible â€“ and we are only just beginning! Your investment over this decade has allowed more of this reality to get rooted in communities. Thank you for being part of creating what Loom is. Thank you for listening, thank you for trusting us and standing with us.
THE MOOVEMENT (SEE PG. 36) CURRENTLY SUPPORTS THE EDUCATION OF DOZENS OF DISADVANTAGED CHILDREN AND PROVIDES EMPLOYMENT AND NUTRITION IN THE COMMUNITY.
WHO WOULD HAVE T H O U G H T T H AT T E N Y E A R S L AT E R . . . 31 pre and primary schools would be part of the East African Education Alliance, with planning in place for the next 10 years as we seek to secure funding for 100 new pre/primary schools and 22 secondary/tertiary schools - changing the futures of an entire generation.
3 health clinics and many medical camps mean fewer children die from preventable diseases, pregnant mothers have a safe place to give birth, and children with disabilities are cared for.
27 small business proposals are launching a new movement of income generation for the most vulnerable.
Over 65 trainings on 4 continents would transform hundreds of thousands of lives around the world.
4 agriculture projects that steward the environment and train a new generation in effective models of food production.
4 biogas digesters and 40 Biogas Bootcamp students would begin providing green solutions for Africaâ€™s energy and health crisis.
And 45 participants of our most recent Trauma Competent Care training are going on to impact the lives of over 17,400 community members across East Africa.
In our tenth year, we saw 100 times that amount come in from generous donations around the world.* We enter this next decade grateful for your generosity and expectant of all the
Ten years ago Loom began with $3,000 in our bank account.
new opportunities to come! *Figure does not include staff salaries. For more financial information, visit https://www.loominternational.org/about-us/#ournumbers.
“You have given me my life message. One that we will spend the rest of our life sharing, living out, and will explain why we chose to start a school and why we do what we do the way we do it.” Bosco Tuli, Uganda
“Knowledge is power. If we can gain knowledge, and apply it, so much transformation can happen.” Geoff Mukolwe, Tanzania
“I wanted to run my own Celebrating Children’s Workshop after I completed it in 2016. The information changed my life - it changed the way I served kids, saw kids, and interacted with them. I wanted everyone on my team back home to have that same knowledge. Through training caregivers, I would be able to transform children’s lives in a much greater capacity.” Karen Del Rio, South Africa
“This training filled a void that I had and it is not to me alone but to the children of my school and my teachers, because the children of my school most of them are traumatized by wars, sexual violence, rejection and abandonment..” Marcelin, Congo
Loom International brings people, resources, training and information together for the benefit of women and children at risk. We are committed to bring change through working with others in hope and interdependence.
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ÂŠ Loom International, Photo credit attributed to Celine Magnier, CMP Photography