A note from Laura
At the time of writing this week’s newsletter, it has been close to two months since Russia invaded Ukraine. We are now faced with yet another refugee crisis, this one with a rate of evacuation of people that is unprecedented in recent history. Currently, one and a half million of those displaced people are children. In light of this evolving disaster, I want to turn your attention to the Refugee Project.
The Stone Soup Refugee Project now displays approximately three-hundred pieces of artwork and creative writing on the Refugee Project portal; a number of these have also appeared in the Stone Soup print magazine. If you have not done so recently, I encourage you to view these powerful works. Among the works spotlighted, Parwana Amiri’s poem, “Fly With Me,” so hauntingly captures the desperation and hope of escape.
In addition to providing a creative platform to amplify the unheard voices of displaced children around the world through publication, the Refugee Project seeks to also foster the creative development of young refugee writers and artists through innovative workshops and exchange opportunities offered remotely to youth in refugee camps and those involved with our partnering resettlement organizations.
Refugee Project Updates
Our first series of Stone Soup Refugee Project workshops was recently delivered via Skype to a group of approximately twenty-five young people enrolled at the Angelina Jolie Primary School in Kakuma Refugee Camp, Kenya. These workshops were developed in collaboration with Hands On Art Workshops, a key Refugee Project contributor, and focused on "Deep Observation" as a means to develop writing skills and encourage an approach to creative writing and visual art. Writing and artwork derived from these sessions will soon be published on the Refugee Project website.
Planning is currently underway for a second workshop series for young people at Kakuma Refugee Camp, Kenya, as well as similar programs for young Syrian refugees involved with Karam House, a key Refugee Project contributing organization located in Turkey, and young Afghani writers involved with Echo Refugee Library, a contributing organization in Greece.
Logistics and planning for various opportunities for transnational youth engagement are also currently underway. Among them, be on the lookout for the opportunity to participate in a Postcard Exchange program with young refugees at Kakuma Refugee Camp, in collaboration with key Refugee Project contributing organization, the My Start Project.
A more detailed update about the Refugee Project will be provided to Refugee Project donors on May 26th-invitation and zoom details to follow.
This week, I invite you to take a closer look at the material found on the Stone Soup Refugee Project web portal. Find a piece of writing or artwork that speaks to you… and speak back! In other words, take some time to engage with the selected piece and then try to capture what it conveys to you or how it moves you through your own piece of writing or artwork.
As always, if you would like to share your work with an audience of peers, please submit it to us via Submittable!
With best wishes,
By Parwana Amiri, 16 (Greece)
If the sky is blue, then fly with me!
If the sun is bright, then fly with me!
If the sea is rough, then fly with!
If you have wings, then fly with me!
If the wind blows through your wings, then fly with me!
Come here and fly with me!
The sky is dark, please help me!
The sun is sad, please help me!
The sea is stormy, please help me!
My wings are small, please help me!
The butterflies are afraid, please help me!
My world is ignored, please help me!
I am a refugee, please help me!
Please help me! Help me!
~Sylvie & Parwana
Never be scared!
We are together, with no fear!
We are together, full of courage!
We are together, with strong fists!
We are together, with powerful steps!
We are together, to fly and spy in the air!
We are together, to make a storm of happiness!
We are together, to stand up against all odds!
We are together, no one can stop us!
We are together, we are together!
Stone Soup is published by Children’s Art Foundation-Stone Soup Inc., a 501(c)(3) educational nonprofit organization registered
in the United States of America, EIN: 23-7317498.
Stone Soup's advisors: Abby Austin, Mike Axelrod, Annabelle Baird, Jem Burch, Evelyn Chen, Juliet Fraser, Zoe Hall, Montanna Harling, Alicia & Joe Havilland, Lara Katz, Rebecca Kilroy, Christine Leishman, Julie Minnis, Jessica Opolko, Tara Prakash, Denise Prata, Logan Roberts, Emily Tarco, Rebecca Ramos Velasquez, Susan Wilky.