Rakbwa! – A Multi Media Project

This project has not been carried out in reality, but was handed in as a final project at The New School in December 2010.

What is at stake?

The people of Haiti have a long history of struggles to survive in the face of simultaneous threats and crises: political upheavals, economic insecurity, interventions by outside powers and more.  In the midst of all this, another threat has emerged: erosion due to steady deforestation.

The threat of erosion does not exist in isolation.  It builds on and compounds existing vulnerabilities: exacerbating food insecurity, contaminating water sources through soil run-off and spreading disease, triggering mudslides that destroy homes and infrastructure.

Some of the crises faced by the Haitian people are glacial — perennially present like political instability, climate change and poverty, they underpin other dangers. Others appear as a slow burn — rearing up like the 2008 food crisis or the lasting effects of hurricanes. Finally, some crises strike at Haiti as a hot flash — like the January 2010 earthquake.

Imagine if we could remove erosion from this equation.

We could improve the chances for food security. We could cut down on the spread of water-borne diseases through flooding. We could create the possibility for the reconstruction of homes that need not face the threat of destructive mudslides. The red peaks of crisis would recede.

In the months and years after the earthquake, the Haitian people face a long road of rebuilding lives and communities. Many efforts will need to be mobilized to address many interlocking challenges, and this is just one. But you can be a part of this, and you can help remove one more obstacle the Haitian people face.

RAKBWA Mobile App.

Download our mobile application and start tagging trees in New York today.

We wish to create a connection between New Yorkers and the issue of erosion and deforestation in Haiti and at the same time it is a way for you to support without donating money.

The application works like this:

Thousands of trees throughout New York are tagged with a QR-code.

Whenever you are nearby a Rakbwa tree your phone will alert you and you can tag it.

When you have tagged 3 of them our sponsors pay for a tree to be planted in Haiti

This is what the program will look like on your phone. 
The first time you tag a tree, you get the farmer’s badge.  Tag 20 trees, and you’re a golden gardener. Tag 60, and you’re a super gardener. And eventually, you might be even certified as a “green thumb.”


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