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Sewickley Academy Student Plans Birth Certificate Drive at International Dinner

The birth certificates will be sold at tonight's International Dinner and cost $40 each, the price Haitians are required to pay for such documentation. The dinner is free and open to the public.

Sewickley Academy senior Amanda Nocera will be selling mock birth certificates today at the academy's annual International Dinner to help individuals in the Dominican Republic who otherwise wouldn't receive one.

The birth certificates cost $40 each, the price Haitians are required to pay for such documentation. The International Dinner is free and open to the public.

Amanda launched Project Batey: Giving Dominicans a Future after visiting the Dominican Republic, a tropical island-nation where tourists flock to pristine beaches unaware that just a few miles away, thousands of dispossessed Haitians toil under armed guards on sugar cane plantations, called Bateyes.

Amanda explains that the major problem of the Bateyes is the Dominican government will not issue any Batey inhabitant a birth certificate because they have a Haitian heritage.

Generations of children will never receive a Dominican birth certificate, and with no nationality documentation, cannot escape from the terrible labor conditions and insufficient wages, she said.

Through several fundraisers, Nocera and her club, Club Batey, hope to raise $4,000 to purchase 100 birth certificates for people living in the Bateyes of Margarita, Cachena and Experimental.

Dinner begins at 4:30 pm in the Middle and Senior School cafeteria. Cultural performances begin at 6 p.m. in Rea Auditorium.

Read more about Amanda's Project Batey tomorrow on Patch.

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