Who is Widlene?
When the #BringWidleneHome campagin started, Widlene was an energetic and impressionable child who loved dancing, soccer and Justin Bieber. Over the past two years, she has evolved into a strong and driven young woman.
She has grown from dreaming of her first time seeing snow and tasting a fresh Tim Horton's doughnut to focusing her ambitions on helping others. Widlene wants to transform policies to protect people from going through what she has. The first step is a safe environment and a sense of belonging. So, who is Widlene?
Widlene is Change!
Statelessness is described in international law as a person who is "not considered as a national by any state under the operation of its law." A stateless person has no access to even the most basic human rights. Things like education, health care and legal employment are taken for granted by most people, but are unavailable to stateless individuals. In 2015, Dominican Republic changed a law which erased birthright citizenship. Dominican authorities were ordered to begin massive deportation sweeps that primarily targeted people of Haitian descent, even those born and raised in Dominican Republic. With the staggering numbers of people being dropped off at the DR-Haiti border, Haiti's only economically feasible response was to deny patriating those left at its "door." Essentially, with one stroke of the pen, roughly 750,000 people were rendered stateless. Widlene is one of those people.
Stateless does not equal Silence
Thank you for visiting the official support site for the #BringWidleneHome campaign. As you look around, you will find opportunities to support our efforts as well as lots of archived media coverage.
What started out as a campaign to get one girl to safety is now a national movement. Widlene has suffered injustice at the hands of the governments of Dominican Republic, Haiti and Canada, and has become a beacon of hope for Stateless people everywhere. After being in the care of her Canadian parents since 2009, she has slipped through the cracks of a failed immigration system and has continually been denied entrance into Canada.
Please join us and help Bring Widlene Home!
Documentary filmmaker, Tyson Theriault, accurately captures this journey of injustice and bureaucracy. In a captivating presentation, he clearly shows how the Canadian government has broken promise after promise to the Earle family. Please share this video with all of your contacts and your local elected official.