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Refugee Project-Untitled Portrait 1, by member of the “Group Portrait Workshop,” run by Hands On Art Workshops, at the Kakuma Refugee Camp, Kenya

A note from Laura Moran


I sit to write this week’s newsletter after having just submitted a book review I wrote for an academic journal. The book was about people living in immigration detention centers in Australia—people who are seeking refuge in Australia but have not yet been recognized as refugees by the Australian government. Australia has a number of these facilities within its borders, and as the book illuminates, they function rather like prisons. But the book was about much more than the despicable conditions of detention centers and the daily deprivations suffered by those forced to live in them.

The book was written from the perspectives of those who visit these facilities, those who recognize the fundamental equality of the people who live there and who seek to help them from a place of solidarity. Such help can take many forms, but more often than not, the most meaningful acts are the small ones—sharing food, sharing stories, playing a board game to pass the time. Through the lens of such connections, the book offers a counter narrative: one of humanity, hope, resilience and friendship that penetrates the grim circumstances it otherwise describes.

I like to think a fundamental purpose of the Stone Soup Refugee Project, and indeed, the Stone Soup project in general, is foregrounding such humanity. By providing a platform for young people across the globe to connect with one another in creativity, we offer an opportunity to listen to one another’s stories, and in doing so, for a few brief moments, to see the world from another perspective.

The portrait featured here was completed by a young girl living in Kakuma Refugee Camp in northwest Kenya. I know she would be happy that we are viewing it today. This portrait was submitted to us through one of the Refugee Project’s partner organizations, Hands On Art Workshops. As I seek to broaden the scope of the Refugee Project and forge connections with new organizations, please write to me at laura@stonesoup.com if you know of any potential contacts or have ideas you’d like to share.

We, at Stone Soup, are always looking for volunteers to help us fulfill our mission of inspiring and empowering youth creativity around the world. For a full list of volunteer opportunities available at Stone Soup, please visit our new volunteer page.

With warmest wishes,

Class is in session!

Please join us for the continuation of our virtual classes in the Winter 2023 term beginning January 21, 2023! Workshops run every Saturday until March 25th.

Writing Workshop with Conner Bassett: At 11 a.m. Pacific time every week, Conner Bassett will teach his writing workshop focusing on the nuts-and-bolts of writing. Conner teaches English at Albright College and has experience instructing younger writers. He is a novelist, poet, and translator in addition to being a brilliant teacher.

Please note: We regretfully announce that Isidore Bethel's filmmaking class, Introduction to Short-Form Filmmaking, has been canceled due to low enrollment. We may offer the course in the future, possibly in a different format. If you have questions about the cancellation, please write to education@stonesoup.com.

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.


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