A Day #WithRefugees

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Our day of work alongside our refugee friends ended with a bumpy ride back to the walled UNHCR compound that is our home for this week. During the ride, I was excited about the tasks we had accomplished and felt a sense of deep satisfaction and camaraderie that comes from collaborating with intelligent, creative, and hopeful people.

That excitement and satisfaction turned to frustration, sadness, and anger when we began a conversation with our ride partner, Chloe, a UNHCR staff member working on resettlement cases. She shared about the confusion and heartbreak that currently exists among Darfuris who have been waiting in a long, long line to be resettled to the USA. I could tell that Chloe cares about the refugees and understands the long, arduous process they have been through, only to be stopped right before they could get on a plane to what they hope will be a better life.

These families have endured an unending series of interviews and screenings over the last seven to nine years. With the recent executive Orders banning all refugees, all of this stops—and cannot be re-started immediately—as these executive Orders are fought in the courts. There are multiple agencies involved in the process. Refugees have to be medically screened, and that certificate only lasts for five months before expiring. For most people that were ready to board a plane when the first executive Order began, their medical screenings have expired, and there are no current plans for the agency that conducts the screenings to come back. Some families had already sold or given away their possessions, in advance of their resettlement. For a population living on the edge, it is not easy to recover.

Our day of work began very early in the morning with a bumpy ride to the refugee camp, just as it had ended. It is a joy to collaborate with Oumda, Fatima, Souli, Zaineb, and others in the camp that are leading the way in the expansion of Little Ripples (LR). We sat in a circle with new teachers that will soon be shaping fifty little lives in their community. Some of the veteran LR teachers helped us since they are really the experts. Fatima has already been teaching for four years! Amazing.

In so many ways, we are swimming against the tide. Services and food continue to be drastically cut for refugees. We are committed to swimming faster and harder. We believe that every child that is given a safe, peaceful, and joyful space to thrive during even a portion of his or her childhood offers hope that can ripple out to their community—and to the world.

Peace, Gabriel #WithRefugees #WeAreDarfur

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Little Ripples teacher and leader FatimaPhoto: Gabriel Stauring/iACT

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Help support sports and education programs for refugees living in eastern Chad and other refugee communities!

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refugees from Darfur, Sudan, living in refugee camps located in Chad.

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A mosaic of people that calls for open arms in welcoming and supporting refugees everywhere.

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current capacity at the RUSA academies

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#withrefugees #earlychildhoodeducation