A note from Laura Moran
As William mentioned last week, with the end of the year upon us, we at Stone Soup, are turning our attention to the annual fundraising drive. This year is a very special one as we mark the Fiftieth Anniversary of Stone Soup! This is cause for both celebration and determination. We celebrate the monumental achievement of showcasing and inspiring the vast literary and artistic talents of young people across the globe for fifty years and counting. In marking this moment though, we, at Stone Soup, must also focus on our determination to ensure another fifty years of this important work. Hence, this moment is a call to action as we turn to you, our Stone Soup supporters and donors, to help us reach our fundraising goal of $125,000. This money is pivotal to upholding the crucial platform Stone Soup provides for developing young writers and artists.
A prominent element of Stone Soup, and one that is close to my heart, is The Stone Soup Refugee Project. The core goal of the Refugee Project is to extend the opportunities provided by Stone Soup-namely, publication, training, and creative engagement-to displaced youth across the globe. In other words, through the Stone Soup Refugee Project, we aim to provide a forum for these young people to tell their own stories, in their own voices. Compared to the broader Stone Soup project, the Refugee Project is still in its early, developmental phase-but what we have achieved in a short span of time is also cause for celebration. We’ve forged connections with ten plus organizations working on-the-ground with refugee youth worldwide, and through these connections, we’ve collected over three-hundred pieces of writing and artwork created by refugee youth. We’ve displayed some of these pieces in our print magazine, and all of them in our newly created Refugee Project web portal, which was built from scratch since the inception of this project. We’ve been able to connect, in real time, with refugee youth in one of the world’s largest refugee camps, Kakuma Refugee Camp, Kenya to deliver a series of creative writing workshops via skype. And finally, we’ve begun to explore forms of engagement and creative exchange between refugee youth and the broader Stone Soup family, through endeavors such as the Half-Baked Art Exchange, launched in June of this year with partner organization, the My Start Project.
While we take great pride in celebrating these milestones, in order to ensure the continuation and expansion of the important work that we have embarked upon with the Stone Soup Refugee Project, we need the financial support of you, our Stone Soup supporters. We are beyond grateful for your support thus far, without which none of that described above would have been possible, and we humbly ask for your continued support to enable the expansion and continued development of these important endeavors central to the Stone Soup Refugee Project.
In particular, funds raised in this drive will allow us to implement an expansion of the Refugee Project web portal in order to display the outcomes of a creative exchange between refugee youth and Stone Soup readers through the newly launched Half-Baked Art Exchange, as well as to support the expansion of this program. The newly created webpage will: detail the process of this exchange; display original pieces of artwork by youth in Kakuma Refugee Camp; display collaborative pieces of artwork in which our Stone Soup participants had the chance to learn about life in camp for these young refugees as they built upon their artwork; and finally, artist’s statements written by participants. This workshop was a powerful and unique experience and we hope, with the aid of your contributions, to extend the opportunity for many more to participate and display the results of their artistic collaboration.
Thank you, once again, for believing in us and our mission. Your continued support has made this project possible. And to all who celebrate, wishing you a relaxing Thanksgiving and time spent with loved ones.
With warmest wishes,
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.