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Rights Based Haiti getting ready to launch!

Posted by rightsbasedhaiti on September 28, 2009

Welcome to Rights Based Haiti!

Rights Based Haiti (RBH) is a nascent project being developed by Amber Lynn Munger, J.D.*, who is currently living in the village of La Sources Chaude, in Haiti’s NW Artibonite.

It is RBH’s mission to empower communities and families in Haiti, and particularly in Communes Anse Rouge and Terre Neuve, through the process of community development, using the Universal Declaration of Human Rights (UDHR) as the guiding principles for its work.  RBH projects will focus specifically on forwarding Economic, Social, and Cultural Rights as defined in the UDHR and other international law instruments, such as the International Covenant on Economic, Social and Cultural Rights, and the Declaration on the Right to Development.

The pillar of RBH’s work is found in Article 29(1) of the UDHR, which states,

“Everyone has duties to the community in which alone the free and full development of his personality is possible.”

In addition to the UDHR, RBH will incorporate and promote an understanding of the United Nation’s “Human Rights Based Approach to Sustainable Human Development” in its practices and in the execution of its projects.

Integrated Development

RBH projects will involve integrated community development, and will focus on empowering communities to define their own priorities and objectives in realizing their human rights and to facilitate the process of rights realization.  It is RBH’s view that communities are in the best position to decide their own developmental path.  At the individual level, it is RBH’s mission to assist individual’s in developing their gifts in order that they may be able to fully participate in the process of community development.

RBH projects will involve the integration of several developmental domains including but not limited to agriculture, environment, infrastructure, women’s empowerment, disability rights, education, health, income generation, disaster prevention, and other domains that affect people’s ability to realize their human rights.  RBH will work closely with local and national government where appropriate and where such collaboration will forward the broader goals of poor communities in Haiti.  Although not an advocacy organization per se, the realization of the most basic human rights cannot take place without advocacy.  To that end, RBH will collaborate will seek to collaborate with advocacy organizations to lend greater support to the communities that RBH intends to serve.

Contribution of Foreigners to Community Development in Haiti

RBH seeks to facilitate the contributions of foreigners to community development work in Haiti.  Although the suffering that exists for poor people in Haiti is different from the suffering of people in the developed world, humans in both places benefit from gaining a greater understanding of each other as people, and by being recognized for the gifts that they have to offer at the individual level.  Foreigners visiting or working in Haiti usually gain a greater appreciation and understanding of their own humanity during their stay in Haiti and take back to their home country a broader perspective that contributes to more caring and responsible communities.  It is therefore important for RBH to be able to facilitate the work of foreign volunteers where appropriate exchanges can take place. Such exchanges may be professional, academic, manual, or developmental in nature.

* A note about the Project Developer

Amber Lynn Munger, J.D., is a graduate of the University of Oregon School of Law.  She has been living full time in Haiti since September of 2008 and has worked in conjunction with environmental and human rights oriented non-profits in Haiti since 1997.  She is currently the Assistant-Coordinator of AMURT-Haiti, a community empowerment organization that began operations in Haiti’s NW Artibonite in 2005.  To read more about Munger and her work with AMURT-Haiti, see the recent article at the University of North Carolina-Asheville’s student paper, the Blue Banner, which can be found here:  http://www.thebluebanner.net/alumna-takes-the-road-less-traveled-in-haiti-1.476191

To find out more about Rights Based Haiti and how you can contribute to its development, please send an email to amber.munger@gmail.com.

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