President's Message


Ulrick Gaillard in dialogue with a woman of the bateyes


Dear Friends:

When I traveled to the Dominican Republic, in the summer of 1996, it was to research and understand better the widely-publicized issue of the poverty-stricken Haitian sugar cane cutters "Braceros" - their working and living conditions in the bateyes.


My intent was to write a book about their lives, expectations, and future in the foreign State. I hoped to educate the general public about legal implications. Under international law found in bilateral governmental treaties ratified in the 1950s between Haiti and the Dominican Republic thousands of Haitian men crossed the Dominican border to work in sugar plantations.



After months of interaction with workers, families and leaders, reading articles, reports and interviews with individuals with extensive knowledge on issues, I came to the conclusion that the tragic socio-economic conditions found in the bateyes would not change through the writing of a book.



The workers needed a structured environment that would give them access to basic medical care, bi-lingual education, skills capable of fostering self-sufficiency and guarantees for their children: the human rights to be healthy and educated - to become productive and not societal burdens.





The Batey Relief Alliance



As a non-profit, non-political organization,Batey Relief Alliance (BRA) has been founded on the philosophical principle that the provision of short-term assistance - or embroiling in the politics of finger-pointing will not alleviate the plight of the workers and their families.





While the workers must continue to honor their labor engagement with their Dominican employers, BRA must create bona fide alliances with others in order to help provide the workers with opportunities to acquire the necessary skills needed in their bateyes to overcome their socio-economic ills - and become more responsible for their families.


Our humanitarian and charitable mission is complex, difficult, and money-consuming. However it is achievable.



This is why we open our doors to you to assist by contributing financially - becoming a volunteer - or sponsoring a batey child, through the Batey Relief Alliance Child Sponsorship Investment Program.



We need your support in carrying out our programmes in order to help ensure that every person living in the bateyes enjoy the human right to live in dignity.


I implore you: take the time to explore our web site and learn more about us and our desperately-needed mission in the bateyes. No matter how small it may be, we depend on your support.



Ulrick Gaillard, J.D.

President & Chief Executive Representative


Ulrick Gaillard outlines BRA's endeavors at a recent press conference in the Dominican Republic.


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