December 18, 2014
I have seen so much change in Haiti in my lifetime. If you could see what I see daily, you would be filled with hope for my country too. I see Haitian solutions bringing justice. And justice bringing hope for stability and prosperity.
Every day, our office in Port-au-Prince is filled with grassroots activists organizing, holding press conferences and strategizing with our team of lawyers. From there, the activists go out to change the unjust structures that keep the Haitian people down. Women’s groups pack courtrooms, changing the dynamics that intimidate rape victims and even make their lawyers feel uncomfortable. Demonstrators attract national and international attention to social issues, and that attention brings pressure for change. Labor leaders return to their unions with the legal tools they need to enforce their rights and earn their way out of poverty.
But these signs of hope can be reversed if we don’t provide the support these change-makers need to turn hope into lasting change.
Our team provides these change-makers with the legal support they need to implement solutions. We bring cases to court—for recent victims of rape and torture victims of the Duvalier regime—that will transform Haitian justice and society. We get illegally-arrested activists and political dissidents out of jail and back onto the streets. We hike to rural communities ravaged by cholera to teach the people about their right to clean water and discuss strategies to fight for those rights against Haiti’s government and the UN.
While Haitians must lead the fight for justice in our country, we need the support of informed citizens in countries where many unjust decisions about Haitian rights are made. So we are grateful to the many collaborators, volunteers, activists, and above all, financial supporters that power our work.
I see all of us together—our staff in Haiti and the U.S., and our clients, collaborators and supporters including you—as a community. We’re united by the insight that enforcing basic human rights is vital to establishing security and prosperity in Haiti. We each come to this insight from our own path: My own understanding came from growing up in a house with no water or electricity and not always enough to eat, headed by a single woman, under the Duvalier dictatorship. Others come to the community from reading, studying, visiting Haiti, or directly experiencing or witnessing injustice elsewhere.
The best thing about this community is that it creates hope and change. Together we achieved historic victories for justice in Haiti in 2014. With you on our side, 2015 promises even more success!
P.S. Thank you for your support. Please give your most generous year-end tax-deductible donation so that we can continue to stand up and fight for justice.