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The Smiles of Little Ripples


In November 2012 on my first i-ACT trip to Camp Goz Amer, we visited the existing preschool program in the sector where the first Little Ripples site would eventually be built.  Hearing descriptions and seeing pictures of the run down kiosks and spartan resources had already somewhat prepared me for what was in store – upwards of 100 children sitting shoulder to shoulder led through a couple hours of singing and recitation exercises by one or two preschool teachers.  Most students were wearing tattered and worn down clothing (only a few were wearing the light blue coverall uniforms – and those were in a threadbare state as well) and there were clearly children a lot younger than 3 years of age mixed in with the group.

On this day, kneeling right in the middle of the class there were two young girls that completely stole the show (for me)…Amidst the sea of crying and confusion, holding hands, they were singing along with the teacher at the top of their lungs, having a grand old time!  I watched as they swayed back and forth, giggling and literally belting out the tunes with so much animation and vigor that I couldn’t help but nod along with a smile.  Even in their bleak surroundings, at that point in time these two little stars seemed to be flourishing. They were completely lost and engulfed in their mischievous little serenade and it brought me back to a time that I can barely remember – but I bet if you try hard enough you’ll be able to recall these moments too.  I’m talking about those times as a young child when we approached each day, each playdate, each activity, with merriment, wonder, and excitement.  Their spirit embodied everything that we want to treasure, nourish, and foster in young children.

Photo: i-ACT

After the singing ended, we brought out canvas squares for the children to draw and color on, and the two girls continued to exchange laughs as they showed each other their drawings.  That day, each child took a picture with their canvas drawing and we brought these back to share with you all.  Those who sponsor a child for a year will receive one of the canvas squares with the picture in a beautiful stand up frame.  $35 covers one month of education for each Little Ripple, going towards the uniforms, daily meals, and portion of the classroom materials.  You can make your donation here.

If you have any questions, please contact me directly at jennifer@iactivism.com.  To stay updated and see more pictures of our beautiful smiling Little Ripples, be sure to like us on Facebook and follow us on Twitter!

Photo: i-ACT

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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


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