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The Question We Keep Hearing

I was looking down at my notepad and writing notes during my conversation with Maka when I heard the question again. Maka is one of the Little Ripples Pond cooks. She is cooks for Pond #2, the second in-home early childhood development center iACT built in camp Goz Amer. The Pond is located in the “site distance,” an area of the camp created for refugees who arrived only three or four years ago. Oumda tells me that Maka has a question. I look up from my notepad and she asks, “Can you create more Ponds for more children?” Her hands are in the air as she gestures over the fence and out to the camp.

That is the question we keep hearing. We open a Pond in a home, and the host family is overjoyed and proud. But still, they ask, “Can you create more for all the children in our community?” A cook is eager to share her new found skills from being employed, but still, she asks, “Can you create more Ponds?” A refugee leader gives a speech while celebrating the opening of Pond #4, thanking us 1,000 times over, but still, he says, “I hope you can create more for all of the children in our community.” Teachers tell us that sometimes it is difficult to balance being a teacher and taking care of their household, but still, they ask, “Can we register and have more children come to learn?”

For a leader, a mother, a cook, and a teacher, it’s not enough that some children are being educated. It’s not enough that their own children are being educated. They want all the children in their community to benefit from Little Ripples, and this question has now become a source of inspiration for me as iACT aims to support the creation of more Ponds in refugee camp Goz Amer.

“Can you create more Ponds for all the children in our community?” they ask. Help us answer that question with a yes.

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Sara-Christine Dallain

Sara-Christine Dallain holds a B.A. in Political Science from the University of Hawaii at Manoa and a Masters in Public Health from the University of California, Los Angeles. Through her previous work with Direct Relief; Réseau Africain d’Education pour la Santé (RAES) in Senegal, Africa; and Board Member of Chad Relief Foundation; Dallain brings on-the-ground insight and experience in program design, evaluation, and implementation for health and education projects in sub-Saharan Africa. As i-ACT Director of Programs, she manages the development, implementation, and evaluation of i-ACT programs in refugee camps, serves as the organization’s primary grant writer, contributes greatly to social media and marketing content, collaborates with and oversees program volunteers, and supports i-ACT development and fundraising initiatives. Dallain has been working in both southern and eastern Chad refugee camps since 2011, and is one of the staff members regularly traveling to eastern Chad refugee camps and global conferences.


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