Founded in 1997, Batey Relief Alliance (BRA) is a United States-approved non-profit organization under the 501(c) (3) tax code of the Internal Revenue Service. Its mission is to address socio-economic and health conditions of women, children and families severely affected by extreme poverty, disease and hunger across the Americas and the Caribbean. Over a twenty-year period, more than 2.5 million people benefited from BRA social initiatives in Haiti, Dominican Republic, Peru and the United States.
Batey Relief Alliance is comprised of two Boards of Directors, an Advisory Board and a President and CEO charged with distinct functions. The Board in the United States oversees the execution of the organization’s mission. The Board in the Dominican Republic partners with the Executive branch of BRA Dominicana, the legally-registered local NGO arm of Batey Relief Alliance, to manage and supervise the day-to-day program, financial, legal and administrative affairs of the organization in Latin America and the Caribbean. The BRA president and CEO is responsible for the continuing development of the organization. The non-voting Advisory Board consults with the Boards of Directors and CEO and offers advice and perspectives on organizational matters of interests.
Foundation of Batey Relief Alliance, Inc. (BRA) in the United States.
Signed Cooperative Agreement with Dominican Republic’s Ministry of Health.
Organized international conference at the United Nations—“the bateyes: a new reality”.
Created BRA Dominicana—a local NGO to help BRA carry out its work in the country.
Installed 30-foot modern mobile health clinic in batey Altagracia, Monte Plata.
Organized international conference at Columbia University entitled, “HIV/AIDS in Haiti and the Dominican Republic: A Bilateral Challenge.”
Built modern Medical Center inside batey Cinco Casas, Monte Plata—the first of its kind since the start of sugar production in the Dominican Republic in 1517 (HOY June 2006).
Executed USAID Food for Peace program in Dominican Republic.
Executed USDA Food for Progress agricultural cooperative program in Dominican Republic.
Expanded work into Haiti (BRA Haiti)
Joined Clinton Global Initiative (CGI)
USDA recognized BRA, “One of the best NGOs in developing countries.”
Expanded work into Peru (BRA Peru).
Honored with a street name in Dominican Republic “Calle Batey Relief Alliance”
Handed over BRA Medical Center to Dominican Ministry of Health.
Launched BRA Women Empowerment Initiative.
Launched the “BRA Alliance”.
When I visited the Dominican Republic in the summer of 1996, it was to research and understand better the widely-publicized issue of Haitian migrant workers or Braceros. I sought to write a book about their lives, expectations, and future in the foreign State. I also hoped to educate about the legal implications, in the bilateral labor treaties between the governments of Haiti and the Dominican Republic, of having thousands of men work in vast sugarcane plantations in rural communities known as “bateyes” under questionable conditions — while denying their Dominican offspring the country’s nationality.
After months of interactions with the migrants, their families and local leaders; reading articles and reports; and interviewing individuals with extensive knowledge on the issue, however, I came to the firm conclusion that the tragic socio-economic conditions of thousands of Dominican as well as Haitian immigrant families in the bateyes would not change simply by writing a book. The populations needed instead a structured environment to give them equal access to basic necessities, including health care, nutrition, clean water and education and economic opportunities — and to guarantee their children the human rights to be healthy and educated, productive and not a societal burden.
It was based on those basic principles that the Batey Relief Alliance (BRA) was founded on October 23, 1997. Through bona fide partnerships with local communities, institutions from across sectors and concerned individuals, we’ve been able to take unprecedented steps that cleared the path for thoughtful dialogues and positive endeavors.
I would like to acknowledge our dedicated Board of Directors, strategic partners, collaborators and volunteers that have enabled BRA to move closer to fulfilling its mission one step at a time. Thanks to them we have grown significantly, not only in numbers but also in knowledge and expertise, leadership ability and creative wisdom.
We invite you to join the BRA Alliance so we can continue searching for better ways to improve the lives of those who are unable to achieve — although willing and able — because of social barriers. It is a human investment that will in the end benefit us all.
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