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Darfuri refugee women tackling issues in their community

Women employed by iACT’s Little Ripples early childhood education program in refugee camp Goz Amer, eastern Chad have completed iACT’s LEAD with EMPATHY leadership curriculum. As a result, they are tackling the issues they find most problematic in their community.

When asked about problems in their community they are most passionate about solving, Souad and Ryaan, two Little Ripples Teachers, listed without hesitation early marriage, domestic violence, and violence against children. These complex and taboo topics are not typically a part of our conversations and training with Little Ripples education directors and teachers, but we know these issues exist beyond the walls of our Little Ripples preschool Ponds. LEAD with EMPATHY is one tool we hoped would further empower these women as leaders at Little Ripples and also in addressing problems they identified in their community.

Rayaan (photo: iACT)

This past week, I sat with Souad and Rayaan to hear their thoughts on the LEAD with EMPATHY curriculum, whether the curriculum has been impactful, and what problems, if any, they aimed to tackle. Souad is 21 years old and has been an Education Director of Little Ripples for three years. She is the only person in her family with a formal job, receiving a consistent monthly salary which she dutifully uses to support her entire family. Rayaan is 18 years old and is a teacher at Little Ripples Pond in camp Goz Amer. Neither women are married or mothers, yet. Upon listing the three issues they were most passionate about, here’s how Souad and Rayaan described their approach to solving these issues based on what they learned from LEAD with EMPATHY.