Every year, I’m amazed by the productivity of our small staff, and the dedication of our interns. 2013 was an amazing year for La Isla Foundation. And none of it was possible without great supporters like you!
Our community team has teamed up with Engineers without Borders. They’re bringing pure water to the La Isla community in the coming months. The community team has also built a garden, which will provide food. This team also continues language and computer classes in La Isla. These classes will give kids work options other than the sugarcane fields.
Our human rights report won best legal abstract at the American Public Health Association (APHA) conference. It also earned our own Y-vonne Hutchinson a position on APHA’s advisory committee. The Pan American Health Organization (PAHO), the U.S. Department of Labor, and other partner organizations are all using this report. We’re helping them understand the social dynamics that influence the Chronic Kidney Disease (CKD) epidemic among sugarcane workers.
We have a child labor report coming soon, as well as other reports. This work is helping shape policy that will protect workers and their families.
The crossing of human rights and public health is key. It is the idea that La Isla Foundation is based on: without one, you can’t have the other. Right now the public health team is continuing our new treatment improvement program, which will help people already sick with CKD from working in the sugarcane fields.
I’ve been particularly lucky this year as well. I’ve traveled a lot while organizing our strategy with allies at PAHO, Harvard’s Carr Center for Human Rights, and several different universities. It’s been great to get our vision out there and collaborate with such wonderful people. I’ve also been able to coauthor a study with Dr. Richard Johnson (the nephrologist, AKA kidney doctor, we work closest with) and other colleagues. It was just published in Kidney International and demonstrates the importance of hydration for cane workers to prevent kidney damage.
Improve access and quality of care for the sick, with our partners at the Nicaraguan health ministry (MINSA) and CISTA.
Publish important research with our colleagues at CISTA showing the disease’s progression in sugarcane workers over one harvest.
Keep organizing for changes in work practices with friendly sugarcane producers.
Continue publishing human rights reports, and working with our allies at Department of Labor, and PAHO for change in the industry, through effective work practice and policy initiatives.
- Develop our job training program in Chichigalpa, Nicaragua.
We could not have achieved all that we have without you. Despite the challenges that come with tackling a deep-seated problem, we continue to have victories. This is thanks to our network of allies like you.
Together, we will bring an end to this epidemic. I believe it will be much sooner than anyone may have imagined.
On behalf of the communities affected by a preventable epidemic, I thank you so much for your support.
Co-Founder and President