Supporting Syria

FishHead Magazine have published a story on newly formed charity Make Foundation. This Christmas Capital E are supporting their work, and staff member Pippa Drakeford talks to them about who they are and what they do. Read on to discover more…

Syria’s civil war has sparked a wild passion for support in Wellington by newly formed charity, Make Foundation. Michel (dad) and Naia (daughter, aged 12) Alkhouri are a part of this small network dedicated to bringing music, technology and art projects to refugee communities displaced by Syria’s civil war.

Formed only a few months ago, the organisation has already completed their first project with St Francis de Sales School in Island Bay, Wellington. The project was a collaborative music and songwriting workshop, which culminated in a fundraising concert for a similar project to be delivered to Syrian refugees in Lebanon.

Michel, Co-founder of Make Foundation, says his motivation to form the charity came from his personal connection to Syria.

“It was created with a desire to do something positive for this community. It was a very personal drive on behalf of myself and my wife. I’m from Syria and a lot of my family left or fled Syria and this has been our response to the crisis.”

For 6 years, Michel has lived in Wellington with his family after studying, performing and teaching music in France and the UK.

“My immediate family including my mum had to flee Syria. I’ve got three sisters, two have lived outside of Syria in Sweden and Holland for many years. One was still living in Syria with her family, but had to leave. Many of my friends have left and other family members like my cousins have left. We’re scattered everywhere.”

As Youth Coordinator for Make Foundation, Michel’s daughter Naia provides support for her peers and parents with encouragement.

“I wanted to be part of the team and support my parents when they formed their charity. They thought it’d be great to have a youth perspective especially since the charity’s main focus is to make creative workshops for youth.”

Naia sleeps, breaths and eats music. Playing over three instruments, singing and making her own artwork, Naia looks forward to busking in the streets of Wellington.

“When you’re being creative you express yourself and by doing that you can learn more about yourself and you can develop more skills and talents and communicate with others.”

After hearing of the project Capital E, located on 4 Queens Wharf is supporting Make Foundation’s work over the period of Christmas. Advent calendars revealing stories of Wellington will be sold for $15 per calendar, where 100% of all profits are given to the charity.

“Make Foundation is very honoured that Capital E has chosen us to be their Christmas charity. We are going to perform our  Just Want Home – Wellington concert programme, which includes songs written by 24 participants from St Francis de Sales School on Saturday 12 December outside Capital E.”
“The aim is to grow. We have a plan to do more projects in collaboration with schools in Wellington. These projects will culminate with fundraising events to support similar projects for Syrian refugee children in Lebanon.”

Information about Make Foundation’s progress and story is on their website
Information about Capital E’s support is on

– Written by Pippa Drakeford, sourced from FishHead Magazine

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