Today, the little free library was murdered!

Robin Low
5 min readJan 24

Vandalism is when someone who has a victim mentality cries out for attention. When a person feel that the world owe them so much that they have to go destroy someone else’s property.

Sometimes, people may feel vandalism is harmless when it may be just some graffiti on a rusty mailbox. And other times, vandals hurt the community by destroying community projects.

Vandalism does not stem from poverty. This is a misconception that is often labeled on marginalized communities. And it is not an inner city thing either.

I have run many projects in Latin America in large cities near slums. Many people who live in the city expects community refrigerators and shelves to be destroyed within days, but in Mexico City, Santo Domingo, Port-au-Prince, San Juan, Sao Paolo, Santiago and Buenos Aires , I’ve worked with communities and know people who set up communities refrigerators. Most of these refrigerators are there for years until the refrigerator finally breaks down.

In these community refrigerators, people put their excess fresh food inside and take what they need. Even beside a slum, there are people from the slums putting food inside to share with the community.

I’ve worked with food rescue in Singapore, and although Singapore is seen as a rich country, many of the people here live with a victim mentality. I’ve ran food rescue and we bring in food from shops and supermarkets that are close to expiry to stock up these community refrigerators and within minutes or hours, it is usually emptied, and what’s worse is — the people leave trash and rotting remains of vegetables inside.

The beneficiaries hardly helps to restock, but there are groups of passionate volunteers keeping up the good work of cleaning and bringing in fresh food.

Some of the beneficiaries actually will empty out the refrigerator and take everything. Even when it means taking home 100 oranges, they will take it all even when they cannot finish consuming it, thus creating more waste, and when confronted, they will put some back, but other aunties will come and take it all, leaving nothing else back to the community.

Through education and years of running this project, things are getting slightly better, but some with…

Robin Low

Author, Traveler, Innovator. Focuses on Social Impact and Innovation.