URGENT APPEAL: The Batey Relief Alliance (BRA) needs help urgently to launch the first ever comprehensive HIV/AIDS prevention and treatment program inside the bateyes of the Dominican Republic.
Dear friends, Do you know of any groups, organizations, churches, foundations, or individuals that would be willing to support BRA's HIV/AIDS prevention and treatment program inside the Dominican Republic? Our target populations are mostly Dominicans and Haitian immigrant sugar cane cutters and their families dying of AIDS without any sort of firm intervention inside their isolated rural communities called bateyes. As you may know already, Haiti and the Dominican Republic combined account for 85% of all HIV/AIDS cases in the Caribbean region - and second highest to sub-Saharan Africa. The bateyes (impoverished sugar cane rural communities) housing mostly Haitian immigrant cane cutters and their families in the Dominican Republic have the highest HIV/AIDS rate at 5% comparing to the Dominican's national at only 1%. Yet batey-based HIV/AIDS intervention is virtually absent. The batey population has limited access to public health services due to discrimination, fear of deportation or extreme poverty. Please see more details on our website: www.bateyrelief.org. BRA has raised more than $115,000 through the Lions Clubs International Foundation and the Dominican's State Sugar Council (CEA) to build a brand new medical center complex (at batey Cinco Casas in the province of Monte Plata) where batey AIDS patients will be attended for the first time. The Clinton Foundation's HIV/AIDS Initiative contributed another $50,000 towards the center's installation, secured the collaboration of the Columbia University's Mailman School of Public Health to do preventive health education and training -- and will help secure the antiretrovirals. The US government's USAID, through Family Health International, donated $100,000 to find and provide ARV treatment to 200 AIDS sufferers and other critical health services to 1500 pregnant women and children severely affected by AIDS. The Dominican's Ministry of Health (SESPAS and DIGECTISS) agrees to train our health personnel who will administer the ARV treatment to the patients -- and to install an AIDS Treatment Unit inside our center where care will be administered. But now we need immediately $35,000 total to hire a team of seven local health personnel (1 generalist, 1 therapist, 1 para therapist, 1 nurse, 1 laboratorist, and 2 health promoters) to administer the AIDS treatment and counseling -- $20,000 to purchase a used 4x4 pick-up truck critically needed to find more AIDS sufferers living in remote batey communities who are scared or unable to come out -- and another $17,000 to purchase an electric generator to power the medical facility. The good news is that BRA has capted 400 persons with AIDS, affected by the virus, and children who are now orphans. There are still hundreds more with the virus living in the bateyes, ignoring the signs, who are transmitting it to others everyday. Women and children are now being infected and affected. Our AIDS program is the only one inside the bateyes that will save lives. WE NEED YOUR HELP to take it off the ground. Let me know what you can do for us. I am in the DR now until January 13, preparing the new medical center for inauguration early next year. I will look out for your emails daily. Thanks in advance. Please take care and have a happy holiday.
PS. DON'T FORGET TO SHARE THIS EMAIL WITH OTHERS WHO MIGHT HELP.
The Batey Relief Alliance (BRA)
Ulrick Gaillard, J.D.
Chief Executive Officer
P.O. Box 300565
Brooklyn, N.Y. 11230-0565
USATel: (917) 627-5026 in New York City
Tel: (809) 776-3972 in Santo Domingo
Maria Virtudes Berroa, Directora Ejecutiva
Avenida Winston Churchill, No 71
Edificio Lama, Suite 212
Piantini, Santo Domingo, Republica Dominicana
Tel: (809) 540-4947, Cel: (809) 696-7848, Fax: (809) 540-0786