Excitement for What Little Ripples Training Holds in Store
It’s been over six months since we were last in Guereda, eastern Chad. Yet the place felt instantly familiar to me as our small humanitarian plane was bobbing its way down toward the dirt runway of the desolate Guereda airport. The hot air, the sand and dust, and the incredibly friendly and welcoming Jesuit Refugee Services staff waiting for us under the shade of trees had me wondering: has it really already been six months!?
I’m here with Felicia Lee, iACT Programs Manager, to provide support and training for the 28 refugee women from camps Mile and Kounoungou leading and implementing Little Ripples, our early childhood education program holistically addressing the nutritional, social-emotional, and cognitive development of children ages 3 to 5. In March, this group of women completed the first Little Ripples Teacher Training. They only had a couple short months to test out their new knowledge as leaders and teachers last spring, however, before the rainy season in eastern Chad commenced and school was complete for the year. Now, with the end of the rainy season, the women will complete their second Little Ripples Teacher Training to reinforce what they’ve learned as well as explore further how they might create peaceful, inclusive, and nurturing learning environments for their students.
In addition to training, we’ll also be conducting a follow-up survey assessment with children participating in Little Ripples in order to measure specific cognitive, social-emotional, and physical outcomes. This will help us ensure the program is meeting the unique needs of children in both camps.
Integral to the teacher training and the survey assessment on this trip are our iACT refugee teammates from camp Goz Amer: Oumda, Souad, and Ahmad. These three bring years of Little Ripples experience, and they’ll be the ones guiding the training and the assessment. Taking a back seat and watching our refugee team, each from different camps, work together for the betterment of their children’s education and future is one of the best parts of my job.
In the coming days, we’ll share updates and insights from the Little Ripples Teacher Training and give you a chance to get to know our refugee team members. For now, we’re settled in at our UN accommodations and accepting the warm air and unpredictable on-again-off-again electricity.
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