Institute for Justice and Democracy in Haiti

Wadner Oge Letter December 20, 2011

Dear Friend,

My name is Wadner Oge and I am an Institute for Justice & Democracy in Haiti (IJDH) volunteer working on the Haitian Family Reunification Parole Project (“HFRPP”). I became involved with IJDH because I believe in its advocacy work using the rule of law to fight injustice against poor Haitians.

After the January 12th earthquake, I was looking for an organization to join as a volunteer that promotes social justice in Haiti, especially focusing on the rule of law. I was unable to find one until I came across Brian Concannon’s name while reading a Miami Herald article online about Haiti. In that article, Mr. Concannon was quoted talking about human rights abuses against Haitian prisoners, especially at the Haitian Penitencier.

Since then, I have become a daily reader of the Miami Herald online to get current news on Haiti and have frequently read a quote or two by Mr. Concannon on the dysfunctional Haitian Judicial and Criminal Justice System, and how these systems need to be reformed for Haiti to function as a democratic society. After awhile, I conducted a google search on Mr. Concannon and discovered that he is the IJDH Director. I immediately started reading more about IJDH and its tremendous, advocacy work in Haiti on behalf of the poor. I then called Mr. Concannon and told him that I was interested in joining IJDH as a volunteer.

As a Haitian-American, I am writing with what I believe to be a compelling interest in fundraising to promote justice, peace, and prosperity for poor Haitians. Please consider making a donation to support the Institute for Justice & Democracy in Haiti’s end-of year fundraising goal of $60,000. I am pleading for your donation because I believe in IJDH’s pragmatic approach of advocating for basic human rights on behalf of poor Haitians.

As you may know, there is a lack of respect for the rule of law in Haiti. As a result, many poor Haitians have been forgotten, disenfranchised, and hopeless. Your financial support will help restore the rule of law to enforce the basic rights of poor Haitians.

With your donation, IJDH will continue advocating for the restoration of the rule of law in Haiti through its affiliation with the Bureau des Avocats Internationaux (BAI). IJDH and the BAI have used the rule of law to fight systematic injustice against poor Haitians while working tirelessly days and nights with limited resources.

More importantly, your donation will help IJDH and the BAI implement initiatives that address the root causes of sexual violence against poor Haitian women and help them file criminal complaints against their perpetrators. In addition, with your donation, IJDH and the BAI will recruit and train a new generation of lawyers to represent poor Haitians in a dysfunctional judicial system that favors the rich.

Also, with your donation, IJDH and the BAI will continue to use the rule of law to enforce the basic rights of poor Haitians, so that they can live with dignity while building a stable society. For instance, IJDH and the BAI have used the rule of law to stop illegal evictions against many poor Haitians still living in tents since the earthquake. This is an exceptional example of IJDH and the BAI’s advocacy initiative to protect poor earthquake victims in Haiti.

IJDH’s and the BAI’s initiatives to restore the rule of law in Haiti can be accomplished only with your donation. With your donation, IJDH and the BAI will support grassroots’ advocacy for a better Haiti. Poor Haitians will then be able to demand the enforcement of their basic rights — such as their right to education, clean water, decent shelters, labor protections, and the right to enforce their contracts, etc. Your donation will help do exactly that.

Furthermore, your donation will help support the IJDH and the BAI’s recent legal action against the United Nations after its troops negligently introduced cholera in Haiti. The cholera epidemic has killed at least 7,000 Haitians and has sickened more than a half million Haitians. This epidemic continues to terrorize poor Haitians because they lack access to clean water and because of careless disregard of their basic rights. If you believe in IJDH and the BAI’s work promoting justice, peace, and prosperity for poor Haitians, you must donate now but not tomorrow. Your donation will make a difference in many poor Haitians’ lives.

Lastly, if you are unable to donate, please join IJDH’s Haitian Family Reunification Parole Project (“HFRPP”). I am a steadfast supporter of this project and have spent countless hours of my spare time advocating for the creation of HFRPP.

I work with a dedicated team of attorneys and volunteers on this project. We believe Haitians with approved family-based immigrant petitions should be promptly paroled here in the U.S. to reunite with their families instead of long years waiting in Haiti. I and many other volunteers have lobbied Massachusetts political officials to support the creation of HFRPP.

As a result, Governor Deval L. Patrick, U.S. Senators John Kerry and Scott Brown, U.S. Rep. Michael E. Capuano, U.S. Rep. Edward J. Markey, U.S. Rep. Barney Frank, U.S. Rep. Stephen F. Lynch, U.S. Rep. James P. McGovern, U.S. Rep. William Keating, and Massachusetts State Legislator Linda Dorcena Forry, along with her colleagues wrote the Department of Homeland Security urging the prompt parole of Haitians with approved family-based immigrant petitions. We believe the Department of Homeland Security should allow those Haitians to reunite with their families in the U.S because many of them lost almost everything after the earthquake and are now terrorized by the threat of getting cholera while living in miserable conditions.

I am therefore asking you to donate to IJDH because it needs to raise $60,000 by the year’s end to help enforce basic human rights of poor Haitians. If you are unable to donate, you can join our team working on the HFRPP or you can contact Governor Patrick, U.S. Senators Kerry and Brown, and U.S.Congressmen to urge the Department of Homeland Security to promptly parole Haitians with approved family-based immigrant petitions. Thank you so much for your help.

Sincerely,
Wadner Oge, Esq.
IJDH Volunteer Attorney

Contact IJDH

Institute for Justice & Democracy In Haiti
15 Newbury Street
Boston, MA 02116

Telephone: (617) 652-0876
General Inquiries: info@ijdh.org
Media Inquiries: media@ijdh.org

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