As the country director for Free the Slaves in the Dominican Republic, I work in tandem with local partners against the conditions that perpetuate exploitation and trafficking in vulnerable communities.
Many of the people we work directly with are undocumented Haitian immigrants or their descendants. They are highly vulnerable due to their work in sugarcane fields. They are minimally paid, or are forced into manual labor and prostitution.
COVID-19 is growing worse here and exacerbating inequality. That is why I am requesting your assistance to protect community members during the crisis. Hunger, abuse, discrimination and lack of access to medical treatment are a dangerous combination that not only make community members more vulnerable to trafficking, but also more likely to contract COVID-19.
People desperately need masks and personal hygiene kits to prevent the virus from overtaking their villages.
No government aid has been extended to these vulnerable community members, in part because it is often contingent upon formal identity documents that the government won’t provide to Haitians living in the Dominican Republic. The situation is creating political and economic instability, which plays into the hands of traffickers.
In this climate of fear and uncertainty, it is more important than ever that we deliver life-saving support to trafficking victims and the vulnerable. You can be the difference.
Our goal: $25,000 to protect 1000 families from COVID-19 and food insecurity.
$20 USD provides a complete hygiene kit including hand sanitizer, masks, gloves and feminine hygiene products to a family.
$25 USD will provide a nutritional kit to one family for a week, and we will prioritize supporting families whose work has been curtailed due to COVID-19. These kits contain grains, fats, proteins and legumes, in accordance with World Health Organization guidelines.
I have worked closely and care deeply about protecting the human rights of Haitians who are exploited in the Dominican Republic. (See my blog post about my work here). Now, I’m trying not only to secure their freedom from modern slavery, I am working to protect their lives. I hope you will help.
All contributions to our Go Fund Me campaign will be forwarded to Free the Slaves to buy and deliver the hygiene and nutrition kits.
Any donation will help make an impact! Thanks in advance for your contribution to this cause that means so much to me. I am so grateful!