“The greatest gift you can give the world is to tell your truth.”
~ Cheryl Walters
My name is Marieke Slovin Lewis. I hold a PhD in Sustainability Education, and I work as a creative guide for a company I developed called Guiding Creativity. I am a musician, writer, editor, yogi, and creative guide. Guiding Song is the musical component of my company. I write music with people from their stories, using a method of songwriting I developed called Story-to-Song (STS).
For the past three years, I have been volunteering with poet and writer, Sarah Reader Harris, in Brussels, Belgium at the Fedasil Arrival Centre. Every Monday, no matter the weather, we stand beneath a covered corridor where there are no walls and we invite asylum seekers to share their hopes, dreams, and stories. We begin with the written and spoken word, and then we work together to create a song.
The songs we have written together with asylum seekers these past three years witness to the strength and resilience of the human spirit, with titles like Never Give Up and I am the Change. You can read about the songs and listen to recordings from the day we wrote them by visiting Guiding Songs: Migration Songs. We have written songs in more than 10 languages with people from all over the world who have come to Belgium in search of a safer life for themselves and their families.
We have just completed a printed book with 27 of the songs. The book is called “On the Move: Poems and Songs of Migration,” and it is available to purchase on Lulu and Amazon marketplace. I have the books listed in multiple places to keep shipping costs low for people living in different countries. To make the book affordable for everyone, I have created both Color and Black&White versions (B&W are beautiful and also less expensive to print and can be sold for a lower cost). A portion of the proceeds will be donated each year to an organization that helps refugees and asylum seekers.
We are hoping to record these songs in order to send them out into the world. Music is a universal language, and listening to these songs can help people transcend fear and connect with people they have never met. We all have a story to tell, and in sharing our stories we can transform the world.
Any amount you can donate will help us get closer to our goal of recording these songs. Once we have covered the cost of recording the songs, a portion of all proceeds from our book and album will be donated each year to an organization that works with asylum seekers.
Another way to support the project is to buy a “We are not so different, you and I” sticker! Suggested donation $2-5, and we will happily mail one to you 🙂
With oceans of gratitude and love,
Marieke & Sarah 🙂
To support the project, visit our GoFundMe site: Recording Migration Songs