Refugee-led early childhood education
Little Ripples is an innovative, early childhood education program that trains and employs refugee women to support the social-emotional, cognitive, and physical development of children ages 3 to 5 through play-based learning.
Guided by international experts in education, early childhood development, leadership, mindfulness, trauma recovery, and mental health, the Little Ripples curriculum provides a state-of-the-art foundation for daily activities and is adapted and culturally-inspired by the refugee women teachers.
Little Ripples maximizes the resources at hand in refugee communities by partnering with families to host in-home centers called Little Ripples Ponds. Ponds have two teachers and serve up to 45 children each. Education Directors–refugee women nominated by their teacher peers–provide support to up to four Ponds, and lead the teachers in weekly meetings. The daily meal, essential to the development and learning of children, is locally sourced, prepared, and served by the host mother and one other neighboring woman.
In refugee camps, women and girls make up more than 50% of the population, yet men hold the majority of formal employment positions. Further, women do not have equal participation in decision-making. Through Little Ripples, women are employed, attend three-to-four iACT Teacher Trainings a year, and receive weekly leadership and human rights training, facilitated by the Little Ripples Education Directors, to increase their confidence and capacity.
students are impacted by Little Ripples
teachers employed at Little Ripples schools
of brain development occurs before the age of 6.
daily meals are served at Little Ripples in a year
PROFILE: HOST MOTHER AMM GOULASH
Amm Goulash is 22 years old, and a Little Ripples Pond host and cook. She lives with her husband and their two-year-old son. Her husband is a farmer, often working in the fields hours away from refugee camp Goz Amer.
This is my first time in Africa, my first time in Chad, and my first time in a refugee camp. As iACT's Office Coordinator, I'm usually holed up in our cozy Hermosa Beach office. If I get sick of looking at my computer I go take a walk along the beach or get myself a...read more
We began our days in camps Mile and Kounoungou with meetings with some teachers and mothers, and after these meetings, we were surprised with welcome song-and-dances by children in each community! Rain, come to us, and grow the trees Rain, come to us, and give us a...read more
It’s all worth it. It’s such a long journey to get here, to be walking in a refugee camp in this remote region close to the Chad-Sudan border. We left Los Angeles on Monday, and it’s only today, Saturday, that we made it to camp Mile. There’s extensive planning,...read more