The Star Throwers

In the “The Star Thrower” story, the narrator describes his early morning walk along a beach.  He sees a man picking up a starfish off the sand and throwing it into the sea. 

… with a quick yet gentle movement he picked up the star and spun it over my head and far out into the sea. It sunk in a burst of spume, and the waters roared once more. “The stars,” he said, “throw well. One can help them.”

(The Star Thrower: part of an essay by Loren Eiseley published in 1969.)

No doubt you recognise the story.  It’s about the opportunity we have to take one step towards changing the world. 

At Beaumaris Rotary, we have our own star throwers.  Only our starfish are colourful kaleidoscopic jumpers!  And rather than cast them into the ocean, we send them to Syria.

Knitting with purpose

We call it our “Knitting for Internally Displaced People in Syria Project”.  Admittedly, it’s not the snappiest of names!

Why Syria?

According to the UN Refugee Agency, there are over 6.2 million people, including 2.5 million children displaced in Syria.  That’s the highest figure of internal displacements in the world.

Syria’s civil war, now in its tenth year, has resulted in the displacement of the equivalent of the entire population of Victoria!  People have been forced to flee their homes to avoid violence and military conflict.   But still they remain within Syria. 

Beat the cold

Syria’s winters are severe.  Desert nights are extremely cold!  Temperatures drop to freezing and below in some areas.  The winds can be brutal. 

As we concern ourselves with lockdown restrictions, there will be many refugees worried about the threat of the next freezing winter.  Many children and families live under canvas or in makeshift shelters made of wood, metal and plastic.

That’s why we’re sending jumpers to Syria.

Want to help?

Can you knit jumpers, cardigans, beanies or mittens? Or have some wool sitting unused in a drawer? Please contact Liz Tanzimat at

Saadnayel refugee camp

Image: Sorin Furcoi/Al Jazeera