Dear friends and supporters of Stone Soup,
As director of the Stone Soup Refugee Project, I would like to extend my heartfelt thanks for your support of this innovative, empowering endeavor as well as of Stone Soup’s broad aim to provide a platform for creative young people across the globe.
The Stone Soup Refugee Project was inspired by Sabrina Guo, a Stone Soup contributor, prolific writer and extraordinary activist, and the collaboration she pioneered with Another Kind of Girl Collective, a non-profit which provides an artistic outlet to displaced Syrian girls. Since the launch of the Refugee Project, we have partnered with seven organizations providing on-the-ground support to children living in refugee camps, and those resettled in host countries. Through these partnerships, we have collected over three-hundred pieces of artwork and writing by refugee youth. These creative works are currently on display in our newly created web portal for the project, which you can explore here: https://stonesoup.com/refugee-project/
Our vision for the project:
Over the course of the past year and half, we half successfully overcome the limits of the Covid-19 pandemic as we forged relationships, through the help of Zoom, with organizations serving refugee youth in Kakuma Refugee Camp in Kenya, as well as in Turkey, Lebanon, and Greece, and even along the Syrian refugee trail to Western Europe through the Balkans.
In the next phase of the Refugee Project, as we continue to collect creative works by refugee youth for display on the Refugee Project portal of our website, we are also working to expand and deepen our collaboration with current Refugee Project contributors. Our central goal for these ongoing collaborations is to facilitate a substantive, ongoing engagement between our broad Stone Soup audience and the artists and creative works displayed through the Refugee Project.
We hope to achieve this goal through several endeavors, including: 1) Delivering creative writing teaching content to young people in refugee camps and those resettled in host countries. This content will be developed by members of the Stone Soup team and designed to help young people to share aspects of their daily lives and experiences that they wish to share; and 2) To facilitate collaborative learning experiences, such as the exchange of creative writing and artwork, between our Stone Soup contributors from refugee backgrounds and our broader audience.
As an example of this type of expanded collaboration, planning and logistic development is currently underway between myself and key stakeholders at Kakuma Refugee Camp, Kenya, for me to deliver a portion of my Anthropology of the Everyday summer camp (which I have taught over the past two summers) to young people living in Kakuma Refugee Camp. I will deliver this workshop initially through mobile phone exchange via Whatsap, and once Covid-19 protocols allow, through interactive video conference sessions. The initial delivery of this workshop is set for this coming September, after which we hope to facilitate a creative exchange of the writing and artwork produced by young people who took the workshop in Kakuma Camp, and those who signed up through Stone Soup.
Support the Project:
To make this vision a reality, we need your help. We have set ourselves a target goal of $10,000 to pilot the program.
These funds will go towards the development of workshops delivered to young people in refugee camps, the facilitation of creative exchanges between young people, and the work of collecting and publishing more material on the Refugee Project website. In addition, funds will be used to support our Refugee Project contributing organizations and the young people they serve in the ways in which they deem valuable, such as purchase of supplies and possible scholarship funds.
As we have said many times before, the media so often portrays refugee youth as the subject of a narrative. The Stone Soup Refugee Project provides a platform for these young people to tell their own stories, in their own voices.
Please donate toward our goal and help us to empower these young people. Thank you for believing in us and our mission. Your continued support has made this project possible.
Refugee Project Coordinator
Recent Work by Refugee Children
Mixed media, paper mache using old exercise books, tissue paper, paint, glitter, pen
Hala was in Greece for almost 3 years with her father and sister. Her mother was waiting for them patiently in Germany. She loved to draw more than anything. They were living in a squat when Love Without Borders met them and placed them in a house. They used art as a way to heal as well as to pay for basic necessities during their time in Greece. They were finally transferred to Germany to be reunited with the rest of her family. Now Hala is studying German and sends photos of his paintings from time to time, as well as leaving sweet voice messages in German.
Khalid recalls: all his friends say something nice about him, that he helps people. He offers friends food, or anything they need. He jokes with his friends. Sometimes during the activity he forgets himself and starts to sing. He is a very natural, grounded personality, very instinctual. He does things without thinking. When asked about the painting, he said it is about nothing. He said, it means nothing. He said, black is for scariness, and red is for blood. Ezgi asked, is this a painting of a monster? The boy said, yes. Ezgi said, let’s talk with this monster. What you want to say to him? The boy said, I am not afraid of you. Ezgi said, what did the monster say to you?The boy said, the monster says, no, you are afraid of me. Answer him, Ezgi said.The boy said a loud, laughing voice, I am not afraid of you! Khalid said, when you’re laughing he won’t take you seriously. Say what you mean. So the boy said, using an Arabic expression, I will curse your father if you hurt me!
Maedeh 'little miss cheerful' is from Afghanistan. She was 13 years old and living in an abandoned building (5th School Squat) when she painted these pictures. She lived there with her family for 2 years. Two of her paintings depict her family's sea journey and the sea journey many refugees take.
It needs courage!
It needs courage to build a school!
It needs courage to touch children’s hearts!
It needs courage to welcome homelessness!
It needs courage to stand with us in one line!
It needs courage to open an educational house!
It needs courage to give hope for hopelessness!
It needs courage to give pens to those that have never touched a pen before!
It needs courage to paint the black and white world of the wounded!
It needs courage to advocate from silences!
It needs courage to give shelter to others!
It needs courage to stay a human!
It needs courage!
It need courage
It’s easy to destroy!
It’s easy to break hearts!
It’s easy to shout at the silenced!
It’s easy to close your eyes on truths!
It’s easy to hurt those who have been hurtled many times!
It’s easy to sit aside!
It’s easy to show your power against weaknesses!
It’s easy !
But, we will never give up!
We will build again, stronger than before!
We will help again, more committed than before!
We will bring happiness and stay happy, happier than before!
We will make islands free