"necessity is the mother of invention!" is what i would hear my haitian-mother proudly announce at least twice a day while staying in haiti. haiti, the first free republic of the western world, is no stranger to necessity, and so, the phrase was often exclaimed when witnessing the innovative approaches people used for everyday needs. take my friend, ishmael, who designed and engineered his own toy car from a motor oil bottle, bottle caps, straws, and some party string. i was impressed to see ishmael running between lush banana trees and tall coffee bean trees pulling his toy car along. with limited access to electricity and little means, a bright little boy like ishmael's necessity was entertainment, and his upcycled toy car provided that.
i witnessed a lot of genius hacks in haiti including old tires made into rope, a moldy tomato turned into a face mask, car batteries used to light homes, donkey saddles made from woven plastic bags, plastic bottles reused for car oil storage, and roofing made of palm trees.
fort negrita has officially committed to provide ongoing programming for haiti. this will include accessibility to reusable pads and upkeep of medical supplies for the Fayette community, and contributions to environmental education at l’Ecole de la Redemption. you can make a tax-deductible donation here: