B-A POD classes help women in Sudan and Darfur

Cazen Cowfer, Staff Writer

It is a very wonderful thing that people help make a difference in the world every day, even by doing little things.

Ms. Andrea Brant makes a difference. She is the Bellwood-Antis POD teacher.

Ms. Brant runs a fundraiser for teachers and juniors to help with “The Little Ripples Project.” This is a new project. The project in Darfur in eastern Chad reflects the conditions of the Holocaust, which is what Mrs. Brant’s class is studying. Also, the lesson is one of the extending charity to those less fortunate.

Ms. Brant has encouraged activism in her class for years, promoting a solar cooker project to aid women in Darfur for eight years up until last year.

“I started doing projects about 8 years ago, but it all started with a project called The Solar Cooker Project. It helped women and refugees from countries (in Africa),” Ms. Brant said.

The main inspiration behind the projects came from the Holocaust.

“I had the opportunity to have a holocaust survivor (Judith Misel) come and speak. We picked up through the Jewish Water Program. The kids donated money, and soon the staff donated money too. In 2016, we probably made the most money, ranging at $546.”

There will also be a dress down day for staff to donate on April 12.

The Solar Cooker project was very successful, but the Jewish World Watch, which ran the program, suggested Ms. Brant try a new project this year to spread donations in a different direction.

Little Ripples is a preschool program that provides a safe and nurturing environment for some of the youngest refugees to learn. The Jewish World Watch and the iACT (iactivism) opened the first Little Ripples School, serving 400 children in Goz Amer refugee camp in eastern Chad during the summer of 2013. The project has now shifted to a home based model called Little Ripple Ponds, seeking to impact more children.

With no formal system of education for young children, many are left unsupervised, vulnerable to get hurt, and are at the disadvantage for the future. The task of caring for younger children is often the jobs of older siblings preventing them from having a future in education too. Thanks to the project, parents and older siblings now have a safe and nurturing space where their children can be cared for while they work or go to school. Through the program, young children also receive a nutritious meal.