Syrias Vibes was set up by Dublin born DJ Calvin James (co-founder of The SCOOP Foundation) as a platform to directly support, at grass root level, the innocent victims of the wars in Iraq & Syria.
For the past 15 months we have been funding 8 health clinics, pop up clinics, infirmaries plus a rescue / ambulance service in the Rojava region of Northern Syria - where Calvin spent more than 6 months volunteering as an ambulance driver and medic in 2016.
In 2017 we have continued our work in Syria but have also focused on displaced Syrians (and others) in neighbouring Iraq, in the Bajed Kandala Camp, home to 7,000 internally displaced survivors of the Yazidi genocide by ISIS.
Another one of our projects in Iraq provides psychiatric and psycho-social services to women and children who were abducted and sold into slavery by ISIS in 2014. Many of these survivors were bought back by their families at extortionate rates or managed to escape and face great challenges in reintegration to their community on their return.
Along with our partner organisations on the ground - The Kurdish Red Crescent in Syria and Joint Help for Kurdistan in Iraq, we are committed in supporting as many survivors of this war of wars as possible.
Every day in Syria, our colleagues at Heyva Sor A Kurd rush to the scenes of bombings or shootings in order to administer live saving medical treatment.
They have now treated more than 100,000 men, women and children, across the while of Syria. In the clinic that Calvin lived and worked in for 6 months in 2016, in Qamishli, they treated over 22,000 victims alone.
For more details on what's happening on the ground or for where donations are being spent, please check out our Facebook page (@syriasvibes). For news and latest happenings in Syria and Iraq, please visit our Twitter account (also @syriasvibes). For pics from the field, please click the on the Instagram icon below.
A little more info...
Since February 2016, we have been supporting Heyva Sor A Kurd (Kurdish Red Crescent or KRC) in northern Syria. KRC have proven themselves to be the most effective local NGO on the ground in the region and it was with their rescue centre in Qamishlo that our co-founder Calvin James volunteered for 6 months. This service operates on a 24/7 basis, responding to suicide bombings, violent clashes, civil unrest and general emergencies.
Apart from this essential centre, KRC operate several health clinics in most major cities and towns in the north including Aleppo, Kobane, Amude, Serekani, Tel Tamir, Terebspi, Shadaddi and Derik. They also host clinics in Hol, Roj and Newroz refugee camps providing primary, pediatric, gynecological and general healthcare. They also support civilians and IDP's with referrals, surgeries and births. KRC also provide training for medics, midwives and ambulance staff.
Calvin James is a Dublin born DJ and Socila Care Worker, who has spent 6 months in 2016 living and volunteering as a medical assistant in Syria.
Before heading to Syria, he lived in Dublin city, working in social care, varying from patients with dementia, autism, young offenders and those suffering from drug abuse.
Before that, while in New York in 2000, he started out as a House DJ, and joined the Bodytonic label upon returning to Dublin a couple years later. He performed at the DMCs and the ITFS in 2003 and 2004 and became known for his ability to perform 4 turntable sets, without using headphones - unheard of at the time and still rarely attempted today.
He is also an avid traveller, and left Ireland the day right after his Leaving Cert exams, heading to Brazil first, where he was mugged on his first day, yet continued to travel the globe for the next 2 years, working on an uncountable number of hard, or hilarious jobs along the way, including being a shrimp fisherman in Australia.
He visited Cambodia in this time, and years later would help found The SCOOP Foundation, with his younger brother Andy, who was also passionate about helping the disadvantaged in Cambodia.
Fast forward a year or two, or three- in 2012 and Calvin visited Syria and Iraq (on his summer holidays from being a Special Needs Assistant) and developed and affection for the people there. Once the conflict started, Calvin read everything he could on the situation there, and read that health services in Syria were completely depleted and in some areas non existent.
He then traveled to the Kurdish area in Northern Syria (who were the first afflicted by the conflict) and volunteered with the Kurdish Red Crescent, living at a medical centre and working as an ambulance driver and medical assistant.
With a will to help and make a difference, he established the Syrias Vibes campaign, that aims to blend his passion for dance music, club nights and festivals with helping his colleagues and the people he has met and come to respect and care for.
After a trip to Cambodia in 2008, Andy returned to Ireland and started fundraising for a small school he encountered while there. A small school that would change the direction his life would take until now.
He decided to set up a small NGO to raise funds to build more schools around the world, and one that allowed young Irish people returning from abroad to get involved with the schools or projects.
This led to the creating of The SCOOP (Support Children Out Of Poverty) Foundation which supports schools in Cambodia and India all through positive fundraising. He also has a love for running bigger and more adventurous projects.