Institute for Justice and Democracy in Haiti

How BAI Supports “Kouraj” (Courage)

(Kreyol version below)

Dear Friend,

I’ll start by saluting Attorney Mario Joseph for the work Bureau des Avocats Internationaux is doing in Haiti, and tell you why it’s so important for our society. BAI is a new type of institution in the country. Not because it just started—it has been fighting for Haitian rights for 18 years. I say it is new because the types of work they choose to do and the types of people they accompany are new: Before BAI, we never saw lawyers choosing to accompany poor people, gays, lesbians, people who practice vodou, people who contracted cholera from MINUSTAH…I’m writing today to ask you to consider supporting this vital work.

I, Charlot Jeudy, had the chance to meet this group of lawyers, particularly Attorney Mario, two years ago. I already believed BAI would help my organization, KOURAJ, which defends the rights of men who love men and women who love women. Just like I thought it would happen, my dream became a reality. In my experience with this organization, the staff is always ready to hear us and take our cases into consideration. BAI is an organization that is ready to receive anyone because it values respect for people and human rights of any person from any place, even without money. That’s the most important thing when we know how justice works in our home country: If you don’t have money, you already know that you won’t find justice. Thanks to the work of BAI, many people who wouldn’t hope for justice are allowed to find it. The people who work at BAI have open minds so that people can talk about many issues like this, which permeate Haitian society. I was so impressed by BAI that I am completing my law graduate apprenticeship at the organization, so I can take a deeper knowledge of social justice lawyering back to my own organization.

Even as I write this, I believe that there is no other group of lawyers that supports people the way BAI does. We hope BAI continues this type of work because many, many people benefit from it. For this to continue, though, BAI needs the support of many local and international partners. That’s why I’m encouraging the individuals and institutions that are already supporting BAI and I’m hoping that BAI finds more people and organizations to support it so that it can accompany even more people—people in society who need justice, who are suffering in the national penitentiary and the other prisons we have, who denounce the illegal arrests that are happening. KOURAJ just endured a homophobic criminal act in our office on Thursday, November 21. Today, I’m taking this opportunity to say that it’s BAI that’s accompanying us. BAI helps us continue supporting these people who haven’t previously been supported enough in Haiti.

I’ll finish by saying that my experiences at BAI show me that things can change in our country if we fight for that. I still believe BAI will become a model for other organizations in the country, to improve human rights and democracy. If you agree, please donate today, in support of BAI and its work helping organizations like KOURAJ fight for our rights.

Kenbe fem*,
Charlot Jeudy

P.S. Please donate to strengthen BAI’s ability to keep organizations like KOURAJ safe and working for a better Haiti.
P.P.S. For more on the work of KOURAJ, please watch this 7-minute video.

*translates as “hold firm”

 

Chè Friend,

Mwen ap kòmanse pa salye Mèt Mario Joseph pou twavay enstitisyon Bureau des Avocats Internationaux ap fè nan peyi a, e m’ap diw poukisa li tèlman enpòtan pou sosyete nou. BAI se yon nouvo jan de enstitisyon nan peyi a. Pa paske yo fenk parèt—yap batay pou dwa Ayisyen depi 18 an. Mwen di nouvo paske jan de twavay yo chwazi fè ak jan de moun yo akonpaye yo nouvo : Avan BAI, nou pat janm wè avoka chwazi akonpaye pòv, masisi, madivin, vodouyizan, moun ki atrape maladi kolera minista a… Map ekri jodiya pou mandew sipòte twavay esansyel sa a.

Mwen menm Charlot Jeudy, mwen te gen chans rankontre ak gwoup avoka sa yo gen de zan de sa a, an patikilye Mèt Mario. Mwen te deja kwè BAI ta pral ede asosiyasyon m, KOURAJ, ki ap defann dwa moun ki se gason men ki renmen gason parèy yo, ki se fi ki renmen fi parèy yo. Jan mwen te panse la a se konsa rèv mwen tounnen yon reyalite. Nan esperyans mwen avèk enstitisyon sa a, moun yo toujou prè pou yo tande nou e pwan ka nou an konsiderasyon. BAI se yon enstitisyon ki prè pou resevwa tout moun paske men valè respe moun ak dwa nenpòt moun nan nenpòt kote li soti a, menm san lajan. Se bagay ki pi enpòtan an lè nou konnen koman zafè jitis la ye lakay nou : Siw pa gen lajan, ou deja pap jwenn jistis. Gras a twavay BAI ap fe, li pèmèt yon seri moun ki pap espere ale lajistis pou yo ta jwenn jistis. Moun kap twavay nan BAI yo gen lespri ouvè pou yo pale sou tout yon seri kesyon tankou sa, kap twavese sosyete a. Mwen tèlman enpresyone pa BAI ke mwen se yon finissant nan enstitisyon a, poum ka pote sam aprann de avoka jistis sosyal nan asosiyasyon pam la.

Jis kote map ekri a, mwen rete kwè pa gen de kabinè avoka kap apiye moun kankou BAI ap fèl la a. Nou swete BAI kontinye ak jan de twavay sa yo paske gen anpil anpil moun ki benefisye yo. Men pou sa rete kanpe, BAI bezwen sipò yon bann patnè lokal ak entènasyonal. Pou sa map ankouraje enstitisyon ki deja ap apiye BAI yo epi mwen ta swete li jwenn lòt enstitisyon pou vin apiye li ankò pou BAI ka akonpaye plis moun toujou—moun nan sosyete a ki bezwen jistis, kap soufri nan penitansye nasyonal ak tout lòt prizon nou genyen yo, pou moun ki denonse arestasyon kap fèt dèyè do lwa yo. KOURAJ fenk sot sibi yon zak omofòb ak kriminel nan biwo nou jou ki te jedi 21 novamb lan. Map pwofite poum di jounnen jodiya ke se BAI kap akonpaye nou. BAI ede nou kontinye sipòte moun sa yo ki pat konn janm jwenn ase sipò nan peyi a.

Map fini pou mwen di esperyans mwen nan BAI montre mwen bagay yo ka chanje nan peyi nou si nou batay pou sa. Mwen rete kwè BAI ap tounnen yon model pou lòt enstitisyon nan peyi a pou fè avanse dwa moun ak demokrasi. Siw dakò, tanpri bay jodiya, pou sipòte BAI ak twavay li fè poul ede asosiyasyon tankou KOURAJ kombat pou dwa nou.

Kenbe fèm,
Charlot Jeudy

P.S. Tanpri, bay lajan pou ranfòse kapasite BAI pou pwoteje asosiyasyon tankou KOURAJ e pèmèt yo twavay pou yon pi bon Ayiti.
P.P.S. Pou plis enfòmasyon sou twavay KOURAJ, tanpri gade videyo 7-minit sa a.

 

 

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