In 2006 I went to the Darfuri refugee camps as a member of the i-ACT team. I will never forget the hundreds of children who ran toward us as we entered the camp. Their eyes were filled with hope and excitement as they greeted us. They would surround us with smiles, hugs and a sense of joy that seemed impossible under the circumstances. I would come to learn that this was a hallmark of the Darfuri people despite so much loss. Most of the children older than three years old were carrying their baby siblings on their back. Their mothers were off tending to the dangerous task of gathering the necessary wood outside the camps while many of their fathers and older siblings had not even made it to the camps. There are specific faces that have never strayed far from my heart since that visit. I got pregnant with my oldest daughter right after I got home. Home—- that word had taken on a whole new meaning for me after meeting so many who had lost theirs in a way I could hardly imagine.
Today, I am a mother of two who continually navigates the decisions that I feel are in my children’s best interest and worries that I might make a mistake in choosing the right meal, doctor or school. When I wrestle with these decisions my heart goes back to the friends I made in the camps. I remember the mothers and children left without any choices. Research has proven that one of the best investments we can make in a child’s life is quality early education. The children in the camps are no different than our children, no less deserving of the best possible chance in life and they will one day share the world we leave to them. That is why I believe in, support and teach my own children about Little Ripples. I have met, come to care about and been inspired by the community that Little Ripples supports and if I leave my own children nothing else, I hope it is a legacy of participation in their world.
I invite you to join me at my home on March 6, 2014 for an Intimate Gathering of Educators for Global Good to explore how your community can be part of Little Ripples. For more information and to RSVP by March 1 visit our event page here.
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