Little Ripples Ponds is an early childhood education program that trains and employs refugee women to provide culturally inspired home-based preschool education to improve the early development of refugee children exposed to conflict.
i-ACT has developed and implemented a comprehensive early childhood education program called Little Ripples, in Darfuri refugee camps in eastern Chad. Little Ripples (LR) seeks to improve the humanitarian efforts of empowering refugee women while focusing on the critical need and gap of early childhood education for refugee children. The program uses a participatory train-the-trainer approach to build the capacity of refugee women to serve as teachers and leaders in providing quality preschool education. The skeleton LR curriculum created by experts in early childhood development, trauma recovery, and crisis intervention is adapted by the refugee teachers and infused with their cultural songs, stories, experiences, and traditions. The curriculum’s modules emphasize social-emotional learning, language and mathematics literacy, play-based learning, and physical development of the child.
Little Ripples is a preschool program that is able to be implemented quickly and efficiently, under the complete leadership of trained female teachers for the improvement of children's social-emotional, cognitive, and physical development. In order to strengthen the program and make it applicable and scalable in eastern Chad and other refugee contexts globally, Little Ripples is moving from a school-based to an in-home model called Little Ripples Ponds (Ponds). Ponds are hosted in existing refugee homes which are adapted to provide a safe space for children to learn and play, eliminating the need and construction of costly new structures in camps.
Ponds is a forward-thinking program. By reaching children at their most vulnerable and critical developmental stages, LR plants the foundations of interpersonal skills, empathy, and peace among a population exposed to conflict, violence, and instability. Furthermore, when these communities are no longer refugees and must rebuild their lives, women will be able use the program’s curriculum and their acquired skills to assist in developing their community’s education structure for young children.