When the Rev. Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. announced his dream from atop the steps of the Lincoln Memorial, it seemed impossibly idealistic.
In the midsts of the deeply ingrained racism of the early 1960s, he dreamt that his "four little children would one day live in a nation where they will be judged not by the color of their skin but by the content of their hearts."
Who would have believed that less than five decades later, Dr. King's children would sit at the other end of the National Mall and witness an African-American take the oath for our nation's highest office.
In honoring Dr. King today, let us remember what he showed us -- that even the wildest dreams for a better world, when born in love and nurtured with determination, perseverance, and prayer, will one day be made real.
Helia LaJeunesse and Alina “Tibebe” Cajuste at the foot of the Lincoln Memorial in 2009. They each survived horrific treatment while living in child slavery in Haiti. Today they dream of a day when no Haitian child will be enslaved and they work with Beyond Borders to help build a growing movement of adult survivors of slavery who are committed to bringing a complete end to the practice.
In Haiti, the people, communities and partners we work with are committed to dreams that seem equally daring.
They dream of a day when every child can go to a good school and no child becomes enslaved. They dream of a day when no woman or child lives in fear of domestic or sexual violence. They dream of a day when even the poorest parents can find dignified work and feed their children without handouts.
The unflinching commitment of people like you makes it possible for us to serve as allies to the powerful movements they are building in pursuit of these dreams.
Because of your commitment we and our partners in Haiti have:
- trained thousands of Child Rights Activists;
- organized the largest network of organizations committed to ending child slavery;
- mobilized the first group of adult survivors of slavery engaged in fighting the practice;
- equipped thousands of women and men with skills to prevent violence against women and girls;
- trained impoverished farmers in techniques to improve crop yields, create seed and tool banks and launch small-scale savings and loans in their rural villages.
Dr. King knew how the power of a dream and the commitment we make to it can fortify us in the face of impossible odds.
You fortify us in ways just as profound, and we are grateful for it everyday.
With deep gratitude,