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Review of Little Ripples in camps Kounoungou and Mile, eastern Chad

In May 2019, our team was in refugee camps Kounoungou and Mile in eastern Chad. We were working next to our Little Ripples team to assess whether the early childhood education program is meeting the unique developmental needs of the young children in their community. Collecting this information is never easy, and you’ll read about some of the challenges we faced below. Overall, we’re proud to report that the women leading the Little Ripples (LR) program in camps Kounoungou and Mile are exceeding our expectations, and parents are reporting improvements in their children’s early learning and development.

Here are some results of our program assessment (read the full assessment here) which demonstrate the progress of LR in refugee camps Kounoungou and Mile over the past year:

  1. 6 Little Ripples Ponds (in-home learning centers) were constructed in the home spaces of refugee families across each camp, with 6 families agreeing to maintain a safe environment for young children.

  2. 270 young Darfuri children ages three to five participated in a quality, play-based and trauma-informed early childhood education program and received a daily nutritious meal.

  3. 28 women were trained and employed as LR camp coordinators, education directors, teachers, and cooks. These women worked together to adapt and lead the program in their community.

  4. 1 program assessment was completed. Little Ripples showed improvements in children’s social, emotional, and cognitive development. The assessment also highlighted the high level of food insecurity among households across each camp.

The 28 employed LR team members continue to empower the children, themselves, and the community by setting a strong example of a dedicated and successful female-led program. The women implement and manage every aspect of the program including registration, weekly monitoring of the children, attendance, outreach to parents, daily teaching, management of the meal program, collecting data, reporting back to iACT, and more. During the first school year, each Pond enrolled 45 children and maintained a 2 to 45 teacher-to-student ratio. The ponds also had a more than an 80% attendance rate. Since the start, the program has maintained a 100% employee retention rate. The same group of women who completed Teacher Training I and were employed in November 2017 are still employed, managing the program, and advocating the LR’s program values of peace, helping, sharing.