Children’s Book Collection, The Haiti Series, To Benefit Haitian Children, Teach Others Around the World

January 14, 2013  |  

Haiti remembered the third anniversary of the devastating earthquake that struck that country in 2010 on Saturday with a memorial service that was attended by former U.S. President and current UN special envoy Bill Clinton and the President and First Lady of Haiti, Michel and Sophia Martelly. (Photo below.) The 7.0 magnitude quake left millions without homes and hundreds of thousands dead. The island nation continues to recover at a snail’s pace, according to Voice of America, “because of a paralyzed government, the nation’s inadequate infrastructure and other factors, such as a drought, Tropical Storm Isaac and Hurricane Sandy last year.  Less than half of the several billion dollars pledged by donors has been raised and distributed.”

Nevertheless, recovery continues. Wayetu Moore, founder of One Moore Book, is doing her part. Starting January 26, her publishing house will sell The Haiti Series, a collection of six children’s stories that draw from the Haitian culture. Among the talent involved in the writing and illustration of these books are world-renowned author Edwidge Dandicat and artist Edouard Duval-Carrie.

To launch this latest series, One Moore Book is hosting an art event in Manhattan that will feature artwork from Duval-Carrie. The $40 ticket for this event will also provide one book for a child in Haiti through the nonprofit LitWorld, and a portion of the proceeds will go to The Haiti Cultural Exchange, which is dedicated to promoting the Haitian culture. You can purchase tickets to the event here.

One Moore Book’s mission is to promote literacy and present the diverse cultures that are often ignored in children’s literature. The company’s first series was focused on Liberia. (Moore is Liberian.) After the success of that series, One Moore Book’s founder decided to host another art event for the latest launch.

“I always wanted to do something about Haiti,” Moore told us in a phone interview, saying that as the first black republic, she’s always had an interest in a project such as this one. After the Liberia series, she got requests from different groups that are working on raising the literacy rate in Haiti. It currently sits at about 48 percent, according to Moore.

Of course, with so many basic needs going unmet in Haiti — adequate housing and sanitation, for instance — there’s the question of why literacy should be a focus.

“Infrastructural health needs will always be important,” Moore told us. “Education equips this generation to think of solutions for those infrastructural problems. They become the problem solvers.”

Other books in the series include A is for Ayiti  by Ibi Zoboi with illustrations by Joseph Zoboi, which is also available in Kreyol, and Fabiola Konn Konte {Fabiola Can Count} by Katia D. Ulysse with illustrations by Kula Moore.

For 27-year-old Moore, the nonprofit world has been a path forged from the start of her career. She told us that she’s never worked for a for-profit corporation, and has always focused on areas of education.

“I’ve always been interested in entrepreneurship and education, so [One Moore Book] was organic for me,” she said. “After being in an office for a long time, I knew that I wanted to work for myself after graduate school. The goal of this business is to fulfill a specific need; a way for kids to see themselves. People recognize there’s a lack in the mainstream literary canon.”

Moore has made adjustments to her work, a lesson for anyone who’s working in the for-profit or nonprofit area: build good partnerships.

“One big takeaway from Liberia is I assumed it would be easier to get books into the hands of children,” she said. “To get books over to the children, we had to create something so an organization over there would receive them.” Having an experienced organization on the ground is key.

Besides purchasing from The Haiti Series, if you’d like to help with  the ongoing relief effort in Haiti, the Red Cross and CARE are two organizations that are accepting donations.


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