Senior organizes fundraiser to support Haitian refugees

    Michelle Lozano ’08 is spearheading a fundraiser for the Batey’s Children Fund, an organization that provides educational opportunities for Haitian refugees in El Batey, an impoverished area in the Dominican Republic. 
    Batey’s Children Fund raises money for educational scholarships, providing transportation, tuition, books, and other materials for children who could not otherwise afford to attend school. Lozano spent a month over the summer in the Dominican Republic as part of the Visions program, which directs community service programs around the world, and was dismayed by the “problems of the Dominican Republic: the government and immigration,” she said. 
    “For example, when a Haitian has a child in the Dominican Republic, and one parent is not Dominican, then their child is not a citizen in the Dominican Republic or in Haiti, and has no nationality, no rights to education, voting, or medical treatment.” 
    In El Batey, which is located next to a landfill, the community’s citizens “make their houses out of any possible material they can find. They survive by collecting plastic bottles, glass, metal and anything else they can sell to recycling centers,” Lozano said. “They’re really struggling to make ends meet, let alone provide their kids with an education.” One of Lozano’s goals is to collect enough money to donate a water cistern to the community in order to provide them with clean water. “The people from El Batey suffer a lot of discrimination, and they aren’t treated as well as immigrants here are,” said Lozano. “I really want to do all I can to give them a better chance at life.”