In May 2014, three members of i-ACT returned to Darfur refugee camp Goz Amer in eastern Chad to conduct the Little Ripples one year program assessment, monitor the progress of the school and research the opportunity and needs for Little Ripples expansion to in-home centers. Little Ripples has been in session since August 6, 2013, and it’s impact is reaching beyond the walls of the school.
Working with Nathan Jones at the University of Wisconsin Survey Center and a refugee assessment team led by Oumda Tarbosh, our team conducted quantitative and qualitative surveys with the Little Ripples students, teachers, and parents, as well as visiting several homes of LR students. The response about Little Ripples impact on the mothers’ and their children was positive and encouraging.
Little Ripples Ponds
Sara-Christine, i-ACT Director of Programs, and Gabriel, i-ACT’s Executive Director, also explored our expansion model, Little Ripples Ponds. Class sizes of 45 students to 2 teachers would remain the same, as well as the current curriculum and training models. However, Ponds would exist throughout the refugee camp in existing homes that i-ACT would retrofit to meet LR safety and health standards rather than at a central school. Meals would be provided by neighboring women, further increasing the impact of Little Ripples beyond the classroom. Probably most exciting about this model is the opportunity for the women running the program to gain transferable teaching and community organizing skills that they will take with them far into their future and the future for Darfur. Upon presenting and discussion the scale up of Little Ripples through in-home centers, i-ACT received very positive feedback from early childhood education stakeholders, including Jesuit Refugee Services, refugee leaders, teachers and mothers.
What’s Next for Little Ripples
Fall will be an exciting time for our program as we embark on expanding Little Ripples. Here’s a look at what we will be focusing on in the coming months. Let us know if you want to be part of the journey:
Launching 3 LR Ponds in camp Goz Amer during our Fall 2014 trip to eastern Chad: Our team is currently revising our LR Program Manual to include the Ponds model. We will also create a manual that can be easily replicable in other parts of the world where there are children who have experienced extreme trauma and need the opportunity to play, grow, and recover.
Introducing Schools for Ponds: Get your local school involved in Little Ripples by becoming a sister school. Opportunities include ‘Give a Hand,’ ‘Grow a Garden,’ or ‘Exchange a Game.’ Check out Schools for Ponds for more information and ideas.
Little Ripples Open House: Stay tuned for information regarding a Little Ripples Open House in Manhattan Beach, CA. Guests will have the chance to view i-ACT’s exhibit “MY HOME: A Walk Through Children’s Memories of Darfur,” learn about the expansion of the program, and enjoy wine and light appetizers.
Tour de Goz Amer: For two weeks in October, we will ask people to spin their bicycle wheels for peace and education for Darfur refugees. Donations collected in the form of pledges across the globe will help us open more Ponds and empower women. While our i-ACT team is in camp Goz Amer, we will organize a bike race among refugees and supporters will be able to follow the race through social media and on our blog!
2014-2015 Fundraising Goal: Help us raise $100,000 during the coming school year to expand Little Ripples in refugee camp Goz Amer and launch the program in refugee camp Djabal. Organize fundraising events in your community, sponsor a student or teacher, or help us connect with foundations or possible sponsors. Together we can turn ripples into waves.
Contact Katie-Jay Scott at email@example.com to learn more or get involved.
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