Refugees and communities affected by humanitarian crises living in displacement: children ages 3 to 5, parents and caregivers, men and women trained and employed to adapt and lead the Little Ripples program in their community.
Mission and Vision
Little Ripples is designed to build long-term capacity and address the unique needs of children and communities affected by trauma, violence, and displacement. Little Ripples seeks to develop a strong foundation of learning, interpersonal skills, empathy, and peace for refugee children and teachers to recover from severe trauma, grow into happy, healthy, and contributing members of society and reach their full potential amidst the uncertainty of their present and future.
Refugee-led: Little Ripples demonstrates a new model of humanitarian action (not merely aid) that empowers rather than disenfranchises. Refugee men and women, with any level of education and experience, are trained and employed to adapt, implement and scale the Little Ripples program in their community. Prospective Education Directors and teachers complete an in-depth, participatory Little Ripples teacher training and adapt the curriculum and program activities to their culture and context. Little Ripples is adapted and completely led by members of the refugee community.
Pedagogy: The Little Ripples curriculum was co-created with refugee communities and developed in collaboration with experts in early childhood development, trauma recovery, pre-primary education, and mindfulness; ensuring that the program includes best-practices for refugee children and those who have experienced trauma and hardship. While the curriculum focuses on teaching literacy and numeracy and can be used alongside any academic pre-primary curriculum, it is grounded in play-based education, trauma-recovery approaches, restorative practices, and incorporates social-emotional learning, empathy development, positive behavior management, peacebuilding, and mindfulness.
Adaptability: The program can be adapted to take place in schools, child-friendly spaces, community centers, and home compounds, ensuring the program best meets the daily needs and life of the community, families, and children.
Little Ripples fills a huge gap in early childhood care and education solutions for children living in displacement. 1) No other organizations or programs focus solely and comprehensively on the well-being of refugee children ages three to five or 2) build the capacity of refugee communities to adapt, implement, lead and scale early childhood education in their community. iACT serves as the facilitator of the Little Ripples program but increasingly, from scouting to learning, the refugee community takes over the tasks associated with implementation, monitoring and scaling. This model allows for the program to be adapted by each community in which the program is implemented, and creates the space for quality, culturally-inspired early childhood development. By ensuring refugee ownership, voice, and agency from the beginning and by seeing the community as assets, sustainability is built into this model from the outset.
Planned Goals and Milestones
While sustaining Little Ripples in Chad, Tanzania, and Cameroon, in 2019 and 2020, with key partners, iACT seeks to scale Little Ripples to Greece, Uganda, and the Central African Republic. Scaling will entail working directly with refugee communities to adapt and implement the Little Ripples structure and curriculum to meet the unique needs, context, and aspirations of each community, then working with the community to identify opportunities for sustaining the program in their community.