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When hiring takes place, there is always a risk that the people chosen for the job will not end up working out. Back in April of this year, we picked and trained a team of men and women to carry out assessments of current Little Ripples as well as future Ponds students. The training was intensive and expectations were high. After all, this group was going to be collecting data crucial to the continuation and expansion of our preschool program. Did the team members fully absorb what we taught, and were they still going to be committed to their task more than half a year after the culmination of training?

This morning, we experienced yet another happy reunion when our assessment team arrived (early!) for a review session. Yippee! Everyone remembered to bring all his/her materials, and some were even wearing their badges. When we got down to business, it quickly became evident that each person had retained what was learned in April, and my confidence in this team found solid ground. I was also impressed, yet unsurprised, that the women and men showed that they still maintain an understanding of the importance and necessity of their work.

One of my favorite parts of the morning was when we shared any life events that had taken place during our time apart from each other. We found out that a few of them had either gotten married or given birth since the last time we met! When it was my turn to share, and I couldn’t think of any major changes that had occurred in my life, almost the entire team yelled out, “Your haircut!” It touched me that my old friends remembered my long hair.

Speaking of haircuts, we (the assessment + iACT teams) walked by a “barbershop” of sorts when we went to lunch at a nearby marketplace. The three haircut stations were set up, each complete with a drape and mirror, right on the sand and under a large covering offering comfortable shade. I had mixed feelings when I saw this shop and the restaurant that we ate at. On one hand, it was nice to see that the refugees have been able to carve some sort of semblance of normal life out in the camps. On the other hand, these “urban” areas serve all too well as reminders of how long these Darfuri have been away from their true home. The original tents intended for temporary stay have transformed into permanent structures built to house generations not yet born. One refugee said recently, “This isn’t our home, and we have no land and none of our [Darfuri] food that we used to eat, but we have to stay because at least we have security.”

Must people have only one or the other?


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Tuesday, December 1, 2015 is a global day of giving.

Join iACT in starting a ripple of hope. Our Giving Tuesday goal is to build a new Little Ripples Pond, provide education for 45 refugee girls and boys, and train and employ two refugee women teachers. Your gift of $25 towards a $5,000 goal will allow us to do so.


Help iACT continue to do what it does best:

Support refugees in the forgotten corners of the world through soccer and preschool.

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