Thursday, December 31, 2015

Fifteen Things Accomplished by Studio Syria in 2015

1) Studio Syria donated art and education supplies to the Malki Children's Center in Amman Jordan and Jean taught an art workshop. The center assists children suffering from emotional trauma due to their experiences in the Syrian war and was established by Seattle based Salaam Cultural Museum.

2) Studio Syria played with children in Zaatari Syrian Refugee Camp, Jordan. Laurie Balbo crocheted bracelets and distributed education and art kits to the children.

3) Partnering with IRD, Jean Bradbury taught drawing workshops to adults and youth in Zaatari Syrian Refugee Camp.

4) Workshops were held to teach artists in Zaatari Camp to draw comics expressing their experiences and memories of Syria.

5) More than 200 education and art activity kits were distributed with the assistance of a grant from Portland based Dreaming Zebra.

6) Art workshops were held in Zaatari Camp to teach botanical illustration and to remind camp residents of some of the plants and flowers left behind in Syria.

7) More activity kits were donated and distributed. Each kit contains paper and pencils, a notebook, coloured pencils, coloured markers, a sharpener and Studio Syria's activity booklet, shown above. 50 kits were donated to needy Jordanian families as Studio Syria knows it is important to support citizens of host countries as well as refugees. 100 kits were donated to Syrian families working as itinerant farm labourers in the Southern Jordan Valley in a partnership with Save the Children Jordan in the Ghor al Safi area.

8) Jean taught a plein air oil painting class - outside in the fresh air of Zaatari Camp. And classes in portrait painting in oils.

9) Studio Syria taught a workshop for the community activity leaders working with IRD in Zaatari Camp. Supplies were donated to each district in the camp so that art and craft activities can be held throughout the year. These two fun guys are activity counsellors showing the hats they plan to teach their students to make in 2016. All supplies donated by Studio Syria.

10) Partnering with both IRD (International Relief and Development) and IRC (International Rescue Committee) Studio Syria donated art supplies to orphans and unaccompanied minors in Zaatari Syrian Refugee Camp.

11) Students and Rye Middle School in New York State, USA, sent art supplies, homemade sketchbooks and notecards written in Arabic to students in Zaatari Syrian Refugee Camp. Studio Syria coordinated and distributed the supplies and will deliver thank you notes to the American kids.

12) As part of Studio Syria's mandate to support underserved host communities in Jordan as well as Syrian refugees, we donated education supplies to a school for developmentally challenged children in the Ghor al Safi, Jordan. Items donated included paper and notebooks, coloured markers, toys and children's books.

13)  Studio Syria donated more children's books to the libraries run by IRD in Zaatari Syrian Refugee Camp. We found some of the books we donated three years ago that had obviously been well loved. 

14) Art supplies including paint and paper and craft supplies were donated to the IRD art trailer . 

15) We all had a lot of fun and made some dear friends. Hearts were touched. Art was made. Hope was kindled and love was shared. Studio Syria wishes a happy new year to all and a brighter future in 2016 for all whose hearts are in Syria.

Connecting American Kids with Syrian Kids

Studio Syria partnered with Rye Middle School in New York State this December to bring art supplies to Syrian children in Zaatari Refugee Camp. With inspiration and supervision by teacher extraordinaire Kim Tamalonis, American children made note cards with drawings and notes of encouragement, written in Arabic. They also made sketchbooks by hand. Many makers and colored pencils were collected and donated too along with paper and pencils. The kids at the school also raised $100 to pay for shipping of their donation - an important part of this exciting project.

The donation was a big success. The Syrian children were thrilled with the touching notes of encouragement and each note was carried home with care like a treasure. The notebooks, colored pencils and markers were greatly appreciated.

In return the Syrian children made their own notes of thanks. This young girl copied the pair of houses sent to her by an American child.

Students of all abilities were pleased to participate in our distribution. This young guy struggles with verbal communication but makes beautiful art. We were pleased to be able to give him plenty of art supplies including a hand made notebook.

On the right is a note card from America. On the left the reply message from this young Syrian girl.

The messsages of encouragement written in Arabic and sent from American school kids were read with great care and interest.

This notebook is so beautiful! Is it really mine to keep? Yes! We love this young girls expression of surprise.