Local Expert Highlight: Robert Wafula Sakwa
This is Robert Wafula Sakwa.
He is a teacher at the New Vision Primary School in Arusha, Tanzania. We had the pleasure of meeting him there last year when he attended our two week Celebrating Children Workshop (CCW). It was obvious from day one that Robert loves his students. We got to see him in action in the classroom and the fun and learning that emanated from the place was undeniable.
Throughout the Workshop, though, we saw even more, Robert’s passion for and dedication to children from challenging and broken backgrounds everywhere. His excitement over the curriculum and how it could be applied in reaching out to children beyond his classroom displayed his deep conviction in God’s desire and indeed, framework for bringing healing to children and providing them with futures of hope no matter where they came from. Before the Workshop was even over Robert was dreaming up a mini CCW in his home country of Kenya, because, in his words:
“I believe that every child in East Africa and the whole world at large should be celebrated by their parents, caretakers, caregivers, teachers, pastors…These adults have to know how to celebrate the children as God celebrates them, as He intended…”
Robert’s goal was to take the information and tools he had learned and pass them on to Sunday school teachers, church leaders, children workers, teachers and parents. The initial plan was to host a workshop with 30–40 participants — in the end they had 71 attendees! Along with three other CCW alumni — Geoff, Nikki and Martina — Robert took key learning pieces from the curriculum, specifically Brain Development, Nurturing Resilience in Children, Circles of Protection and Listening to Children and crafted them to the needs of their audience.
When we heard about their workshop, we could have danced on the desks. This is why we started the CCW in the first place. Developing a curriculum to serve caregivers that was easy to use, able to be contextualized and, importantly, to be multiplied over and over has always been the dream here at Loom. Seeing Robert take what he learnt and run with it, bringing his own expertise and cultural understanding is exciting. And, he’s not done. Robert says he is the “business of multiplication” and has plans for three more mini-CCW’s in Kenya and Uganda in the coming year.
We can’t wait to see and hear the impact of this multiplication and the stories of real, life-giving change that come from one person being utterly convinced of “God’s unlimited love for children.”