In November 2012, I took my first trip to Eastern Chad with Gabe to find the site for the first Little Ripples school in Camp Goz Amer. To collaborate on the decision, there were representatives from Jesuit Refugee Services (JRS), UNHCR, and community leaders including one young woman, Darelnaim, who headed the women’s committee at Camp Goz Amer. She had a young baby strapped to her back and accompanied the group through an entire day of driving and walking from site to site throughout the camp until we found an open field that would be the spot for the Little Ripples school.
We met Darelnaim again in June 2013 at Teacher Training I, as a Little Ripples teacher trainee. Like all the other women, she was shy and quiet at first, but after the first few days she began to really open up. Towards the end of the training, she was constantly smiling and would often invite me to be a part of the games they were learning – whether it be patty cakes, legos, or duck duck goose. I could see that throughout the training, her comfort with the Little Ripples team and self-confidence was building, and she was also showing more and more of her playful nature.
In October 2013 Darelnaim and the other Little Ripples teachers completed Teacher Training II. It is inspiring to be a part of Darelnaim’s involvement with Little Ripples from the beginning and witness her growth as a teacher. As Gabe puts it, “The focus of Little Ripples has always been on the young students, but the empowerment of the women teachers is transformational. They will also ripple out as leaders in the community and the camp.”
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