Lawrence Downes
A couple of weeks ago in the New York Times, Lawrence Downes wrote a beautiful report from Haiti called The Kite Makers that painted a vivid picture of the devastated country in a few short paragraphs. He described the resourcefulness at play everywhere for those “with skills, strength and luck”. At the Petionville Club camp – donated tarps forged into houses – someone made an ingenious door hinge from the torn sole of a plastic sandal, fastened by nails hammered through bottle caps, which act as washers to prevent sandal from tearing. “Making do with next to nothing is the way of life in Haiti”.

Haitian children make small kites out of whatever they can find – twigs, dry cleaning bags, thread spooled on a can or bottle . Flying homemade kites is relief from their harsh reality.

“One way to resist is to fly. The kite makers dance through the camps with rubbery exuberance, trailed by younger children, all lost in the moment, the most important in the world. Kites battle kites, their makers yanking their lines to cut each other’s, as the kites whirl and spin. When one kite wins, the jubilation is explosive. It’s one of the few signs of joy you see in Haiti, entirely handmade.”

Lawrence Downes

Haiti still needs a huge amount of help. Here’s one way that was featured recently on the Daily Grommet: buying hand-embroidered nightgowns, napkins,  and other linens, made by a Women’s Sewing Cooperative in Fonds des Blancs, a program of Haiti Projects.

Thanks, Maria!

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One thought on “valiant make-shift (and spirit) in haiti + a cool way to help

  1. Dear Maria,
    I’m the CEO of Haiti Projects Inc. and I just wanted to send a bit THANK YOU for linking folks to our web page to purchase items that empower women in rural Haiti. I’ve been telling the artisans that our products are well regarded and now I have proof. I plan to print your note about us and share it with the artisans to show them that others out there are helping us work to create more jobs for women. We currently employ almost 100 women in the very rural region of Fond des Blancs. Each women has about 3 to 6 children and so this project touches over 400 children who are fed, clothed and sent to school.
    We are currently raising funds to build an off-the-grid state-of-the-art library in Fond des Blancs in order to connect kids to the world. We thank you for joining us in these projects as we hold hands and work together to bring change to Haiti.

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