When I’m in the camps, I never know which day of the week it is. Today was — well, still is — Sunday, but earlier out in the maze-like “streets” of Goz Amer, it felt as if it could have been any day. School was in session, market stalls were open, and the Little Ripples teachers were at a meeting hosted by the iACT team.
This was the first time this trip that we officially gathered the teachers. Over mango sodas and Coca-Colas, we spent a couple hours celebrating their accomplishments. It was inspiring to see the quiet expression of pride on each of their faces as we told these young ladies of how people in America know about them and the hard work they put into the Little Ripples preschool. We told them about the OpenIDEO competition and about how, because of them, Little Ripples was chosen out of almost 400 entrants as one of the top refugee education programs in the world. The best part of the meeting was when we handed out cards, letters, drawings, photos, and books given to us by U.S. supporters to bring to the teachers. It is hard at times to get some of them to crack a smile before they feel completely comfortable to let loose, but laughter was quick to come today when the ladies looked through the handwritten and hand-drawn gifts. What a joy it was to witness the confident happiness of the extremely able Little Ripples educators! What a privilege it was to have the opportunity to pass along such tangible pieces of encouragement and love.
During this celebration, we also gave the teachers more information about the Ponds (in-home preschool centers) we are soon opening. Over the last two days, we checked on the homes we’ve picked out for the first three centers, and today we finalized details with our construction crew, which is made up of refugees from the camp. Tomorrow will be truly exciting: not only are we going to “soft-open” the third Darfur United Soccer Academy with four new coaches; we are also going to hold a ground-breaking ceremony for the first Pond ever! Thanks to “viewers like you,” even more refugee children will be given access to their right to education and to their right to play, and even more refugee women will be equipped to stand up and become leaders in their community.
Today was Sunday, but tomorrow is Monday, which is the beginning of a new week. Here in camp Goz Amer, tomorrow will be the beginning of new futures for many refugee families.
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.