Music rang out in the IC Square as students gathered to help IC Greens, an organization at Ithaca College dedicated to grassroots democracy, raise money for UNICEF’s Help Syrian Children fund.
The benefit concert, “Songs for Syria,” was held at 7 p.m. Jan. 24 in IC Square. The concert featured performance groups including Ithacappella, Voicestream, Premium Blend and Amani Gospel Singers, as well as solo artists including freshmen Tal Mintz, Hannah Martin and Harrison Lindsay; senior Anna Isachenko; and Jerry Mirskin, associate professor of writing and planned studies coordinator.
Proceeds from the concert were donated to UNICEF’s Syrian Aid Fund. Tickets were $5 dollars and additional donations were encouraged.
More than 100,000 people have died in Syria since the civil war began in March 2011, according to the Associated Press. Freshman Josh Kelly, chairman of IC Greens, said the group wanted to support the victims of the war.
“We want to support the people who have been affected by the violence and want to show our support for non-violence for continuing peace talks,” Kelly said. “We thought that rallying around the children of Syria would be a really good way to show that the fighting there needs to stop, and we want to do everything we can there to help.”
Freshman Kaleb Cabisca talked about the history and demographics of Syria. Cabisca said Syria had a long peaceful history before the civil war broke out.
“It’s one of the first civilizations really,” he said. “It was part of several nation empires including the Sumerians and the Egyptians.”
According to UNICEF, the Syrian civil war has left civilians in need of nutrition, medicine and education for children. Freshman Sam Maddaloni, treasurer of IC Greens, talked about more recent history and what UNICEF has done for the children in Syria.
“There are almost 2,000 that are homeless because of the civil war,” Maddaloni said. “[UNICEF has] an adolescent program, which just in the last month over 17,000 youths have participated in, and depending on where they are [in] Syria, they teach different things in this adolescent program … some are taught first aid, hygiene, reproductive health and they also get psychological support.”
The concert raised a total of $350 for UNICEF. Additional donations can still be made to UNICEF’s Help Syrian Children Fund on its website.