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Our Program

Overview

Little Ripples is a cost-effective and replicable early childhood development program that trains and employs refugee women to provide culturally inspired home- based preschool education to improve the early development of refugee children.

Little Ripples seeks to empower refugee women while focusing on the critical need and gap of early childhood education for refugee children. The program uses a participatory-train-the-trainer approach to build the capacity of refugee women to serve as teachers and leaders in providing quality preschool education. The curriculum, created and tested by experts in early childhood development and trauma recovery, is adapted by the refugee teachers and infused with their cultural songs, stories, experiences, and traditions. The curriculum’s modules emphasize social-emotional learning, peacebuilding, language and mathematics literacy, and physical development of the child.

The first Little Ripples school opened in refugee camp Goz Amer in eastern Chad in the summer of 2013. The first school is serving approximately 400 children. In 2015, Little Ripples will open in-home education centers called Little Ripples Ponds and expand to refugee camp Djabal. Little Ripples’ goal is to serve all of the approximately 8,000 children 3-5 years old in camps Goz Amer and Djabal.


Objectives

  • Improve the social-emotional, cognitive and physical health of refugee children, ages 3 to 5.
  • Build the capacity of refugee women to provide early childhood education in an emergency or protracted refugee context.
  • Create a safe environment for children to learn, grow, and heal from trauma.
  • Create an early childhood education model that is sustainable, replicable and scalable.


The Challenge

Approximately 8,000 children ages 3-5 are without proper care in Darfuri refugee camps Goz Amer and Djabal. This can be a matter of life or death in a refugee camp, where safety and resources are scarce.

The healthy and productive growth of thousands of refugee children has and continues to be undermined by malnutrition and illness, loss of learning opportunities and the psychological impact of displacement and homelessness. These issues affect the long-term physical and cognitive development of a child well into early adulthood. Children grow in development sequences. Serious delays that interrupt these sequences can severely disrupt normal development.

In refugee camps Goz Amer and Djabal, approximately 8,000 children ages 3 to 5 are without proper care. There issues go unaddressed, a matter of life and death in a refugee camp.


The Opportunity

Where needs exists, so does opportunity. Little Ripples forges new territory, implementing a comprehensive early childhood education program tailored to a population displaced and exposed to severe trauma. Partnering with education experts and fostering international relationships, Little Ripples plants seeds of empathy, education, and peace for children and their community.


The Impact

Based on baseline and one year follow-up assessments, Little Ripples has shown to improve the social-emotional, cognitive and health behavior of children. Learn more about the results and impact of the program.

Beyond the children attending Little Ripples, the program’s impact then ripples out to the 8,946 slightly older siblings who no longer have to miss out on their own education to tend to the young ones. Parents are able to focus on securing resources and income to provide for their family.

The ripple further spreads to impact primary students and teachers, as the students enter with a foundation of language and interpersonal skills. Soon, the entire population of Djabal and Goz Amer – 42,319 Sudanese refugees – will experience the positive ripple effect that started with the children in the Little Ripples centers.