In this week’s blog post, I’d like to highlight the work of Catherine Eduard Charlot, the designer and artist. Although she works from her base in Brooklyn, Catherine is originally from Haiti. A trip back to her homeland left her shocked by the conditions faced by many local children.
Following the 2010 earthquake, many homes, schools and other buildings had been destroyed. Catherine visited a school in Karfou Chada and discovered 75 children being taught in a school that consisted of a single room. There were no windows and no bathroom facilities.
Many of the kids didn’t even possess shoes or clothes. Some were 13 years of age and yet had never previously attended school.
Catherine resolved to do something positive and inventive. On her way back from visiting the school, she encountered a man selling USAID tents. These tents were viewed as being of low value, but Catherine realised that there was the potential for them to be recycled.
She bought two tents and was also given more free of charge. She was soon re-designing them and creating stylish bags. Before heading back to Brooklyn, she gave a demonstration to local people in Haiti, pointing out that recycled tents could be used to generate an income.
Having returned to the US, she is now creating a range of bags from reclaimed tent materials. Her aim is to create up to 100 bags, with each one being sold for $79. Although this may seem like a small price to pay in the US, sums of this nature will go a long way in Haiti.
During her visit to her homeland, she was informed that $25 was enough to feed 75 children for two days.
Catherine believes that she can raise more than $4,000 through the sale of the bags. With the help of other volunteers, she will even be helping to teach at the school.
She’s a great example of someone who has been prepared to take positive action to help those who are less fortunate in life.