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2013: The Year of a Strong Beginning

2013 was a truly momentous year for Little Ripples.  In our pilot year, we completed construction of our first school in Camp Goz Amer, hired and completed two trainings with 14 young Darfuri refugee women as the first wave of Little Ripples teachers, and completed baseline assessments with 181 of the first Little Ripple students.  The pilot Little Ripples school has been in session since August 2013.  Furthermore, in the US we expanded our pool of amazing and dedicated Expert Teacher Advisors, held a number of fun and successful fundraising events, and presented at the National Association for the Education of Young Children (NAEYC) Annual Conference – the largest gathering in the nation of professionals and experts in the field of early childhood education.  Did I mention that this was all in our first year??

Personally, it’s been a year of great learning and growth.  On top of being able to contribute to such a meaningful and impactful program, I feel incredibly lucky to be a part of the strong, dedicated Little Ripples team.  To be honest, there were times that I felt unsure of what we could accomplish – working in our specific environment often times it feels like all odds are against us.  At every step there was pushback and obstacles to overcome.  It’s easy to fall into the nature of ‘can’t’ or ‘won’t’, especially if the work is new and challenging, but the i-ACT team is well-seasoned in pushing past what is ‘possible’.  I know that we definitely would not have gotten to this point without the leadership and tenacity to break past the status quo – not just creating a better preschool program, but the best preschool program possible.

In 2014, I have no doubts that with the collective passion, experience, and ‘YES we can!’ energy of the Little Ripples team we will continue to grow and expand in monumental ways.

 

Getting my playtime on with the Little Ripples teachers. Photo: i-ACT.

Getting my playtime on with the Little Ripples teachers. Photo: i-ACT.

Goz Amer students, families, and community coming together to celebrate the opening of Little Ripples.

Goz Amer students, families, and community coming together to celebrate the opening of Little Ripples. Photo: i-ACT.


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Jennifer

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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