Because We Are

 In General

The following is a guest post from Ted Oswald, who has recently written a novel titled Because We Are about Haiti and is giving part of the proceeds to Haiti Partners:

In 2010, my wife and I lived in Haiti for several months and interned — she as an international development student, and I as a law student. I spent my days working for a human rights organization in Cité Soleil, the slum where my new novel is set. It was an eye-opening experience.

Being just a few months after the quake, Port-au-Prince was caught up in reconstruction yet beset by hurricanes, the outbreak of cholera, and national elections in the space of few months. It seemed almost biblical in scope. Taking this all in, I thought Cité Soleil and this national tumult was a fitting backdrop against which to tell a compelling story, one that would celebrate the voices of Haiti’s poor while critiquing the injustices that have led the country to become one of the most inequitable and economically underdeveloped countries in the world today.

During our time in Haiti, my wife and I witnessed many organizations at work, both large and small. We saw a lot of relief and development done in a disappointing way. Whether paternalistic, wasteful, dependency-inducing or unresponsive to community needs, it made you sit up and pay attention when you saw examples of organizations doing a good job. Haiti Partners is doing vital work in the fields of education and leadership development, and I was thrilled at the thought of my book furthering its mission in some small way.

All proceeds from book sales are donated to a handful of development and advocacy organizations like Haiti Partners, organizations that have deep commitments to partnership and empowering Haitians.

So I hope you might consider taking a trip to a small corner of Haiti through reading Because We Are. It tells the story of two unlikely detective–a brave, brash girl and a brilliant, timid boy–as they try to right a grievous wrong. But more than a murder mystery, it’s an exploration of life in modern-day Haiti viewed from the bottom-up. It’s a story steeped in hardship, but speaks to the power of love, faith and community in the pursuit of justice. You can find out more about the book and purchase it at

Because We Are: A Novel of Haiti from Ted Oswald on Vimeo.

Also, please note: The book deals with many harsh themes and events, and at times, employs harsh language. The book is most appropriate for readers high-school aged and up.

In the next few days, Ted will kindly give away an e-book version of Because We Are to someone who Likes, shares, or comments on the Haiti Partners Facebook post about this book. So come on over and win a copy on our Facebook page here!

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