Heartbroken and Full of Love
I met women today that are Little Ripples camp coordinators, education directors, teachers, and cooks. They have been living in refugee camps for between 12 and 16 years with not enough food or opportunities for their children and families. At Little Ripples, the children and teachers spend their time together building habits of peace, helping, and sharing, all the while having lots of fun.
The resilience and dignity, beauty and joy that I witnessed in the camp today were life-altering, to say the least. My heart is at once broken and full. The world is small. We need each other. After just one day in refugee camp Kounoungou with iACT and their refugee teammates and friends, I am more inspired than ever to show up and listen, care, and share in whatever way I am able.
Note: Traca is an iACT Mindfulness Technical Advisor. Today was her first-day visiting refugee camps in eastern Chad. On this trip, she’ll be supporting Little Ripples Teacher Training III and providing additional mindfulness training to the Little Ripples camp coordinators, education directors, teachers, and cooks leading the Little Ripples program in camps Kounoungou and Mile–as well as spending quality time with our refugee friends and colleagues.
These programs are entirely community-led. They made every decision from which day to run the program to what hours and to who will be on the teaching team each day. The teams are diverse and yet they have committed to working together.
Trust in the process. Trust in the modeling before the explanation. Trust in the people. Trust in the children, and they will trust you.
If there is anything that can foster community between people and across cultures, it is sharing a meal and a cup of tea. While we do that, we will also be sure to sprinkle in some early childhood development, mindfulness, and games!