Wednesday, December 31, 2014

Happy New Year

Happy New Year from Studio Syria. We send best wishes for a brighter future to all refugees living far from home. Thank you to all who donated to our programs. Here is a quick recap of what we achieved in 2014.

Jean and Laurie taught graphic novel workshops in Zaatari Camp near the Syrian border in Jordan. Young adults received training and art supplies to take home after the workshops. We partnered with IRD for this program and want to send a big thank you to Julie Whittaker.  Earlier in the year we taught children in Zaatari with the help of Save the Children Jordan.

Studio Syria worked with many generous knitters and crocheters from all over the world to donate hand made hats and clothing to refugee families. We partnered with our neighbours in Seattle, the Salaam Cultural Musuem, who shipped hundreds of hats for us and distributed at their amazing free medical clinics in Jordan. Thank you crafters for sending us such tangible love to pass along to those who need it most. See pictures of all the hats on our Facebook album here

Laurie Balbo man handled thousands of balls of yarn (donated in Seattle) and held workshops in partnership with Collateral Repair in Amman sending proceeds from sales back to refugee families. Thanks to Karen Fardel and Tracy Bonaccorso (with her trusty van) for wrangling the yarn on the Seattle end.

We spent a day teaching art with the Salaam Cultural Museum and their medical team in the Jordanian town of Salt.

When Jean posted on Facebook that she was teaching kids in freezing weather who had cold feet, Studio Syria supporter Christine Tappert in Duvall, Washington, stepped in to raise money for socks which Jean was able to purchase and distribute in Amman - all with a turn around of a couple of weeks. One of the joys of being a small and lean organization!

We distributed hundreds of education kits to Syrian refugee children living in Zaatari Camp and in farm fields and urban lots. Thank you to the artists who contributed to our activity booklet - Anna Witte, Dave Badders, Chris Rollins, and Kutaieba Alsamman who translated it into Arabic. And thank you to the Pollination Project who granted us money to print more of these popular booklets. 

We spent a day with the ebullient folks at  Dar al Yasmin teaching kids how to make their own books.

And Jean spent a wonderful day teaching in a vacant lot in the border town of Zaatari Village, partnering with Samantha Robison and AptArt.

From Studio Syria to our wonderful supporters we send a huge thank you and 'shukran'. And from the many people we had the joy of working with this year, whether in Zaatari Camp, a dusty farm field or in an empty city parking lot - thank you for your resilience, your patience and the creativity you shared with us this year. We send heartfelt wishes for a speedy end to the violence in Syria and a return home in 2015. 

Please help us to continue our work in the New Year by donating at

Thank you from our hearts!