This blog was originally posted on LittleRipples.org by Gabriel Stauring.
Today we got to see Ponds in action, and wow! It was the coolest thing to see the teachers completely in their element, and the children looking so happy.
The two main highlights of the day were seeing the mindfulness activities and the meal program.
Little Ripples was intentionally designed to help the children and women recover from the trauma they’ve experienced. Part of this psychosocial health support is providing them with mindfulness exercises they can return to throughout the day to bring attention back to the present and bring calmness to the classroom.
It’s hard to even describe the feeling at seeing the kids practicing their breathing — and the whole Pond relaxing into calm, and then the community that gathered also feeling the ripples of calmness — again, too cool.
Additionally, after all it took to be able to provide a daily meal at Little Ripples, it went straight to the heart seeing the women cooks preparing the meals and then the children enjoying the food. The daily meal rotates between meat, lentils, bread, split pea dumplings, and rice with local root vegetables. This is likely the most variety these kids have ever eaten.
In just the short time the program has been implemented, the children already look so much healthier! There is considerably less orange hair (which is a condition caused by severe protein deficiency), and there were very few kids coughing. They are also washing their hands before and after the meals, which must be another big contributor to good health.
Oumda and the whole Little Ripples refugee team are simply amazing. It’s another one of those days when I’m so proud of all the work iACT gets done — and at the same time humbled by how much more is needed.