Every week we feature a fun and/or educational activity you can try at home or in the classroom. Last week, Heifer CEO Pierre Ferrari attended the Clinton Global Initiative and reaffirmed our commitment to strengthen social capital, support community building and develop rural enterprises in Haiti. This week, our activity centers on an activity that not only displays the country's personality, it is a livelihood for many Haitians.

Haitian flags

Haiti is one of the poorest countries in the world, but that doesn't mean it is without personal expression through arts and crafts. The country has been influenced by African, French vodou, Catholic, tribal cultures, and it shows. Not only are the arts and crafts unique and colorful, they provide a livelihood for many Haitians who rely on money made from selling them to live.

Here is a perfect activity to get you started on the road to creating Haitian crafts:

http://www.makingfriends.com/safepin/haiti_flag_pin.htm

Haitian Beaded Flag Pin

  • 6 size 4 safety pins
  • 1 safety pin without coil, 2 1/4"
  • Red, white and blue pony beads
  • Letter beads to spell out Haiti (or any other 5-letter word)

Put six beads on each size 4 pin following the pattern in the picture (4 pins with 3 red and 3 blue beads; 2 pins with 2 red, 2 white and 2 blue beads). Close the pins. Thread the base of the beaded pins onto the pin with no coil, in the same order shown on the pattern. In between each pin you thread, place the lettered pin starting with "H" and ending with "I" to spell Haiti. Close the pin.

Google Haitian bead art under images to see all the intricate and beautiful designs possible. You can also find patterns online if you are interested in creating more adventurous designs.

For more information on this and other craft activities, go to www.makingfriends.com. For a simpler activity for those who like to color, we found this page in our search with some fun coloring pages.

To read about Heifer's work in Haiti, see these recent blog posts by Jason Woods, Regional Program Assistant for Heifer, who traveled to Haiti this past summer to visit several projects. Or, you can learn how to help Heifer in our work with Haiti.

Author

Linda Meyers

Linda Meyers, an Arkansas transplant originally from St. Louis, Mo., started working at Heifer International in 2011. She enjoys dragging her three children on nature hikes and snapping photos of them and everything around her. She has a bachelor’s degree in English has been “in the process” of writing the great American novel for 24 years.