Little Ripples

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.




Darfuri refugee students are impacted by Little Ripples


women teachers in refugee camp Goz Amer


teacher retention rate at Little Ripples


daily meals are served at Little Ripples in a year


Head Scarf Design Contest

In 2017, Little Ripples will expand to three additional refugee camps in the region, and by 2019, to two additional refugee sites globally. If your submission is selected for the Little Ripples head scarf, your design will be worn by dozens of refugee women from Darfur, the Central African Republic, and South Sudan, as well as by supporters and donors of Little Ripples in the U.S. and globally.




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.



Who’s Hungry??

Doesn't this food look mouth-watering? This was one of the meals served at a Little Ripples Pond in camp Djabal, eastern Chad. The two women in green are the cooks at this particular Pond, and they are truly skilled at making sure all these kids are well fed at...

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Training Refugee Teachers and Visiting Friends

Today was our second visit to refugee camp Djabal in eastern Chad, and the first day of Little Ripples Teacher Training II for camp Djabal teachers. iACT launched Little Ripples refugee-led early childhood education program in camp Djabal just a few months ago in...

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Our Unintended Impact

The model and approach of our early childhood education program, Little Ripples, is based on partnering with and empowering refugees to be the managers and implementers of the program. In our experience in eastern Chad, this focus on relationship and capacity building...

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