The MIT chapter of United Trauma Relief is coordinating a campaign this week to raise awareness about the latent threat of landmines. As part of the campaign, the group has joined with student groups at other Massachusetts colleges and universities in an effort to raise $30,000. The money will be used to demine a field in Afghanistan.
Like many other countries that have experienced years of warfare, Afghanistan is strewn with mines. The mines can remain dormant for years until accidently set off by civilians, resulting in disfiguring injuries and sometimes death.
In preparation for "Anti-Landmines Week," United Trauma Relief (UTR) has been collecting shoes from members of the MIT community to create a symbolic display of the effects of mines.
"This shoe pile is a symbol of the limbs and lives lost to landmines," said UTR member Shefali Oza.
The shoes will be on display this week in Lobby 10, after which time they will be donated to Eritrean refugees who have been displaced by war and mines. UTR is distributing pamphlets and green ribbons at their Lobby 10 booth, and collecting donations toward their $30,000 goal.
A version of this article appeared in MIT Tech Talk on March 6, 2002.