Interact Club: What’s It All A-Boat?

Tia Wilhelm, Reporter

For the past couple months, Interact club members have found themselves in a flurry of origami boat folding. These 2,000+ boats represent the devastating number of Syrian refugees who have drowned while attempting to escape the wretched conditions they face at home. The majority of these people are mothers and children fleeing the Civil War that broke out in Syria in 2011 when pro-democratic rebels first acted out against President Bashar al-Assad. The conditions have managed to advance in a downward spiral, forcing an estimated 9 million inhabitants to seek refuge in neighboring countries or other parts of Syria. Additionally, the Islamic State has managed to seize control of large portions of land, contributing to the steady annihilation of the country and its citizens. The refugees are in desperate need of assistance and rebel forces have made this extremely hard by besieging areas and cutting them off from international relief. Two Shia villages have been under siege for so long that many trapped inside have been forced to resort to eating grass as a form of nutrition. Additionally, the education, health, and social welfare systems have collapsed.
Hannah Hilden (interact member) and Carson Barry (Club president) came up with the idea which, when presented to the club, was immediately embraced. In order to accomplish the task of raising awareness, the 2,000+ boats will be on display at both the Public Library and Bloomsbury Books for a couple of months starting January 27.