“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 am a creative guide. I am a musician, writer, editor, yogi, and creative guide. I write music with people from their stories, using a method of songwriting I developed called Story-to-Song (STS).
From January 2017 through January 2020, I volunteered in Brussels, Belgium with poet and writer, Sarah Reader Harris, at the Fedasil Arrival Centre. Every Monday, we stood beneath a covered corridor where there were no walls to close us in and we invited asylum seekers to share their hopes, dreams, and stories. We began with the written and spoken word, and then we worked 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 published a book called “On the Move: Poems and Songs of Migration,” which highlights 27 of these songs. The book is for purchase on Lulu and Amazon marketplace. We have intentionally made the books available through multiple online publishers to keep shipping costs low for people living in different countries. To make the book affordable for everyone, we have created both Color and Black&White versions (B&W lend some gravity to the project and also are less expensive to print so they can be sold for a lower cost). The proceeds will initially support a song recording project to create an album of migration songs. From then on, a portion of the proceeds will be donated each year to an organization that helps refugees and asylum seekers.
*Note: If you are living outside of the United States, you can choose the Amazon or Lulu marketplace closest to you.
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