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The Bumby Road to Goz Amer

Great meeting with Guy from JRS (the NGO that manages primary education in most of the 12 Darfuri refugee camps and one of our main partners for Little Ripples) this morning, we are definitely on the same page with the construction of Little Ripples! 1.5 hr bumpy bumpy bumpy drive to Koukou and then another bumpy 1 hr (not sure, still managed to nod off in the backseat somehow and am maybe one headknock against the window away from a minor concussion) drive to Goz Amer. I caught glimpse of the colorful Saturday market, then we had a small meeting in the courtyard of one of the primary schools with some representatives from JRS, UNHCR, and some of the camp community leaders. After Gabe gave an overview of the Little Ripples pilot program, the group decided the best way to decide the location of the pilot program, as it is likely to be a controversial issue, is to hold a community meeting to gather feedback and input. The current preschool programs in the camps are so barebones, from the physical structure (thatched roofs and a group of kids sitting in the shade) to the quality of instruction. Little Ripples will be a huge surge of resources and effort that can unfortunately only serve 400 out of the 3,000 preschool age children for the pilot year. We definitely want to make sure we are utilizing a community engaged approach through the decision for the pilot location. I’m excited for my first full day in the camp tomorrow, kicking off with the community meeting!

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Jennifer became passionate about international development and humanitarian work when studying abroad in Cape Town, South Africa, and leading youth performing arts workshops in one of the surrounding townships. After graduating from UCLA with a Masters in Public Health in Community Health Sciences, she taught adolescent reproductive health to high school students in South and East Los Angeles. She has also worked as a Research Associate at the UCLA Center for Health Services and Society, where she was able to foster an understanding of the community engagement and community resilience approaches, and hopes to incorporate these strategies in her work with Little Ripples. jennifer@iactivism.org



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