. . . Discuss Local Action Plans at World Vision’s “Tools for Transformation” Training Celebration
February 10, 2007 – Los Angeles, CA – Nearly 50 leaders of South Los Angeles and Pomona community-based organizations today joined together at World Vision’s “Tools for Transformation” training event to celebrate and share plans on transforming their communities. World Vision designed Tools for Transformation to assist grassroots organizations in strengthening their capacity to enable children, families and communities move toward the fullness of life with dignity, justice, peace and hope.
Through Tools for Transformation, World Vision provided a 15-week training program for 40 community-based organizations serving Pomona and the South Los Angeles neighborhoods of South Central, Baldwin Hills, Crenshaw, Leimert Park, Hyde Park and Windsor Hills. The training program equips local leaders and faith-based organizations with the skills and strategies necessary to mobilize resources and achieve their vision of transforming their communities. As a result of the training program, these organizations will be better able to foster a vibrant and vital community that cares for and engages youth, families and their neighborhoods.
“Simply put, if you want to have the maximum impact on individuals, you must do more than give them supplies and services,” says Michael Mata, World Vision’s National Director for Tools for Transformation. “Their environment needs to change to one where everyone in a given community can thrive, not just get by.”
World Vision Los Angeles recently received a Compassion Capital Fund Grant as part of President George Bush’s faith-based initiative. In collaboration with the Department of Health & Human Services Compassion Capital Fund project, World Vision Los Angeles awarded $300,000 to 27 of these community-based organizations that presented effective capacity building plans through a competitive application process.
One of those grantees is United Women in Transition, a South Los Angeles transitional home for women overcoming drug addiction. “The training program was quite valuable to our organization,” says Ruthie Gray, executive director of United Women in Transition. “It gave us the real support we needed.”
Kimberly Gunderson, who heads Pomoma New Community, another grantee that provides an after-school program for at-risk youth, also recognized the training program’s important value. “Even though our workers had passion and zeal, we were a fledgling organization because we didn’t have the best structure,” says Gunderson. “But the training program taught us how to be a sustainable organization so we could build an infrastructure that would grow.”
Mata points out that Tools for Transformation was formed based on WorldVision’s insight into the power of community building. “We have come to a holistic understanding that we can’t do it all,” he says. “It would be better to help develop the community’s capacity to create a better or more dynamic environment, and for them to define what that is.”
Founded in 1950, World Vision Inc. is a Christian relief and development organization dedicated to helping children and their communities worldwide reach their full potential by tackling the causes of poverty. Domestically, World Vision currently works in 12 geographies in the United States in collaboration with thousands of local faith and community-based organizations and networks.
Photo Caption: Pictured at the Tools for Transformation event are (from left): Glen Peterson, Tools for Transformation Manager for World Vision Southern California; Michael Mata, World Vision’s national director for Tools for Transformation; Ruthie Gray, executive director of United Women in Transition; Kimberly Gunderson, executive director for Pomoma New Community; and Jo Carcedo Southern California Metro Director for World Vision US.
Your ideas matter here! Please leave a comment.