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The Orenda Tribe Turns Refugee Children’s Art into T-Shirts

Writing

Pablo Picasso once said, “Every child is an artist”. Through introducing children in underprivileged communities and refugee camps to art and then printing that art onto T-shirts and sharing them with the rest of the world, The Orenda Tribe helps children discover art and the artist within. Orenda is “a mystical force present in all people that empowers them to affect the world, or to effect change in their own lives.” When asked.”Why Art?” The Orenda Tribe says:

Why art? Art is a neglected subject in most distressed communities although it is very important in building skills in children that will allow them to build a better future for themselves. Skills such as creativity, problem-solving, communication and confidence. Add to this, that art spreads smiles and happiness into children’s lives.

In addition to the art lessons given at Jerash refugee camp in Jordan, The Orenda Tribe has also held an art workshop for SOS Village mothers, art therapy sessions in cooperation with Art Therapy International Centre, and winter clothes drives for the children of the camp.

 

orenda tribe t-shirts

Photo credit: theorendatribe.com

 

Want to help The Orenda Tribe fund their art activities? Here‘s where you can a T-shirt.

To hear more about The Orenda Tribe from Zaid Souqi, watch this video from A Minute Marvel.

For more information visit The Orenda Tribe’s website and Facebook page.

 

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Hotel Zaatari: A Short Film That Brings the Human Back to the Refugee

Uncategorized, Writing

Hotel Zaatari is a short film written and directed by two Jordanian filmmakers, Mais Salman and Zaid Baqaeen. The film shows four Syrians from the Syrian city of Daraa near the Jordan-Syria borders who settled in the world’s largest Syrian refugee Camp, Zaatari. With beautiful cinematography and poignant, poetic narration, we are introduced to 13-year-old Ali, 64-year-old Abo Abdo, 52-year-old Hayat, and nine-year-old Sarah. In 17 minutes, the word refugee is stripped of all the politics, the numbers, economics, and pity and the human is re-seen.

According to the film’s website, “the film aims to raise awareness and change perceptions towards the displaced Syrians, and shed light on their plights, fears, hopes and dreams. Challenging the notion of ‘the other’, the film hopes to express and reveal the core of what it is to be human, and what it is to be humane.”

Hotel Zaatari is not only a film but an initiative. Forty limited edition prints from Zaatari are sold to fund programs in the camp in association with Save the Children International.

Watch the film and visit the website.

The Fed Up Challenge: No Sugar For 10 Days

Writing

After watching the documentary Fed Up directed by Katie Couric, I was surprised to learn just how much influence big companies in the food industry influence the food policies the government adopts that have a direct effect on the health of children and families and how it’s really just about the money- not the health of the people. They are willing to do anything, from convincing Congress that pizza is a vegetable to targeting  children through advertisements, to bring in the big bucks. With sugar-laden junk food popping up at every corner from school cafeterias to pharmacies, it can be very difficult to avoid sugar. And having more than 50 different names for ingredients that are essentially sugar and have the same dangerous effect in the body doesn’t make it any easier.

It’s time to take things into our own hands. Enter the 10-Day Fed Up Challenge aka No (Added) Sugar for 10 days. Below is an introduction and details form the Fed Up movie website:

The Fed Up Challenge is a national campaign to break loose from the sugar industry’s powerful grip – with a particular focus on kids and schools! We’re asking individuals, kids, schools, parents and communities to join us in going sugar free for 10 days. Giving up sugar will be tough because sugar is everywhere and we all crave it, but setting that kind of healthy example for your kids is all the inspiration you’ll need to get through.

Start by cutting sodas and other sweetened beverages and foods that have ADDED sugars. EAT real, fresh, whole foods and lay off all products that contain added sugar including honey, molasses, agave, etc., and all liquid sugars, such as sodas, bottled teas, fruit juices, and sports drinks. This includes all artificial sugars and sugar substitutes.

No exceptions, so don’t ask! Artificial sweeteners slow your metabolism and make you crave and eat more food. Also, be aware of foods that may have hidden sugars, like yogurts, canned foods, spaghetti sauce, and ketchup. Watch for hidden names of sugar. Also try cutting out all flour products that turn to sugar in your body.

Sounds challenging, but our health is worth it. Show your body some love and it shall reciprocate. Let’s give it a shot!

Visit the Fed Up movie website to learn more about the movie and challenge.

 

Photo credit: fedupmovie.com

 

Three Activities That Will Boost Your Happiness Today

Uncategorized, Writing

We often wait for things or events to happen to make us feel happier, but we have the power to bring feelings of happiness, gratitude and satisfaction into our own lives. Here are three activities you can do today to increase your happiness:

1-Do five random acts of kindness- Studies have shown that doing five random acts of kindness in a single day and writing about how you felt after performing the acts lead to feelings of happiness. The acts can be anything from picking up trash to donating money, sharing food or smiling to a stranger.

2- Take an awe walk– Take time out to go for a walk and marvel at the beauty around you. Try going somewhere new and vast with beautiful nature or views.

3-Don’t forget to play- As we grow older, we no longer spend as much time playing. With technology and more time spent in school or structures activities, even children aren’t spending as much time playing. Play increases our creativity and problem solving skills and decreases our stress. Take some time today to do something you enjoy just for the fun of it. Lose track of time. Draw, color, play pretend, get out those board games, read, build legos, and explore!

 

Der Drachenprinz cover by Louiza Fröbe

“Der Drachenprinz” Welcomes Refugee Children to Germany

Uncategorized, Writing

In the last year, Germany has welcomed a great number of refugees. In addition to safe shelter and food many, especially children, need the emotional support to make sense of their new environment. This is where picture books like “Der Drachenprinz” (The Prince and the Dragon) by author Louiza Fröbe come in.

Every child arriving in Germany since September 15 of this year received a copy of the picture book. Through bright illustrations and the two young characters of the book, Lisa and Yasin, young refugee children and their families are introduced to everyday life in Germany from going to the supermarket to the transportation system and the German language. The book also offers German readers young and old insight into some cultural differences and how to welcome refugees in their communities, as modeled by Lisa and her mother.

This project is in partnership with the Bundesagentur für Arbeit, who distributed the books to the children, and Deutsche Welle, which produced the audiobook in nine different languages: Arabic, Dari, Farsi, French, Kurmanci, Pashto, Sorani and Turkish.

For more information visit the Drachenprinz website, where you can also hear the audiobook in the different languages!

Emil und die detektive cover

Emil and the Detectives Book Summary

Translations, Uncategorized

“Zum erstenmal darf Emil allein nach Berlin fahren. Seine Großmutter und die Kusine Pony Hütchen erwarten ihn am Blumenstand im Bahnhof Friedrichstraße. Aber Emil kommt nicht, auch nicht mit dem nächsten Zug. Während die Großmutter und Pony Hütchen noch überlegen, was sie tun sollen, hat Emil sich schon in eine aufregende Verfolgungsjagd gestürzt. Quer durch die große fremde Stadt, immer hinter dem Dieb her, der ihm im Zug sein ganzes Geld gestohlen hat. Zum Glück bekommt Emil bald Unterstützung: von Gustav mit der Hupe und seinen Jungs.”

***

“For the first time, Emil is allowed to travel to Berlin on his own. His grandmother and cousin, Pony Hütchen , expect him at the flower stand in the Friedrich Street train station. But Emil doesn’t come, and not on the next train either. While the grandmother and Pony Hütchen were still wondering what to do, Emil was already caught up in a thrilling chase. Across the big, strange city, he follows the thief who stole all his money on the train. Luckily, Emil soon gets help: from Gustav with the horn and his boys.”