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Hello and Introductions!

Hello everyone!!! It is with great excitement and a wee bit of nervous anxiety that I write this first post to introduce myself and a little bit more about the i-ACT 14 expedition. I recently joined the Little Ripples team as the Project Coordinator and am taking my first trip out to the camps next week with Gabriel!

In the past few years, I have worked as a reproductive health educator in high school classrooms and a research associate at a UCLA mental health research center. The most enjoyable part of these positions, and I guess the initial reason I pursued a degree in public health, is that fulfilling feeling of being able to help others, whether it be on an individual, group, or community level. Since studying abroad and volunteering with a student organization at the University of Cape Town, South Africa as an undergrad (2005), I’ve had an interest in international development programs. Being able to work and contribute to such an inspired and trailblazing project such as Little Ripples really is a dream come true! These last few weeks I’ve had the pleasure of meeting more of the i-Act and Little Ripples team, and let me tell you, it is so great to work with such warm, dedicated, resourceful, and knowledgeable group.

Gabriel and I are leaving on Monday for Chad. We will be staying in the capital N’Djamena for some days and also visiting two camps: Goz Amer and Djabal. The main focus of the i-i-ACT 14 expedition is to further define the framework for Little Ripples. We want to finalize the location for the first pilot preschool in Goz Amer so that construction can begin as soon as possible. We also will be getting feedback from the refugee communities in both camps on the basic curriculum the team has built to make sure that we are providing the type of preschool program that best serves the whole community. The Little Ripples team is constantly mindful of creating a program that respects and builds upon the Darfuri culture, so this trip is a vital check-in step.

This is going to be Gabriel’s 14th trip to the camps but my very first! No matter how much I try to prepare myself through pictures, videos, and stories I’m sure there will be a huge awe/shock/amazement/eye-opener factor for me on this trip. I’m excited to share my experiences with you all so please stay tuned!

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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



  • ktj

    Dear Jennifer, its been amazing working with you on Team Little Ripples! I can’t wait to see you in two weeks and hear first hand how things go. How exciting!!!!! Irma

  • rveerman

    I’m so excited for you, Jennifer. I can’t wait to read your blogs from the camps. What you are doing is amazing and will change the lives of so many children and their families. You are going to put so many happy faces on so many little ones. You are part of the ripple effect of hope and change. I wish you safe and peace travels. See you soon!

  • Teresa Stauring

    Jennifer, we will follow your journey very closely. I’m sure your contributions to this amazing project will have more of an impact than you can imagine on the lives of the children and the community of Darfuri refugees who will benefit from your humanitarianism and your knowledge. Wishing you much success in your first journey!

  • consuelo stauring

    Jenny..thank you so much. The world is a better place because of dedicated women like you!
    Bon Voyage!

  • Paula Tavrow

    Hi Jennifer. So glad to see one of our SPH graduates doing such interesting and important work! I will be following your progress. Best wishes, Paula Tavrow

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