Thursday, June 24, 2010

Shaping a Diaspora policy for SVG

By Nelson. A. King

Luzette King,a Brooklyn-basedVincentian community activist has called on Vincentian nationals in the United States to get more involved in the development of a strong Diaspora policy.

“I call on each of you, no matter your political allegiances, to get involved to develop a Diaspora policy, which we desperately need,” said King, a member of the St. Vincent and the Grenadines’ Diaspora Committee of New York.

At a recent consultation on a draft Diaspora policy document at the Friends of Crown Heights Educational Center in Brooklyn, the Washington-based registered nurse said the document seeks to “give concrete meaning” to the Vincy Homecoming Theme, “As one people in many lands, we shape our nation with many hands.”

“That is the way we need to treat this document,” she added.

King noted that “at no time in our history has there been such enthusiasm to build sustainable links between Vincentians in the Diaspora and at home.”

It was evident in the structured way that Vincentians in the Diaspora have come together to hold several conferences and generate ideas that would eventually form the basis from which a final Diaspora policy will come, King said.

In the quest for nation-building, King said the committee is looking to formulate a policy document that identifies three main areas around which most Vincentians can rally in order to achieve social development, economic and business development, and governance and political development.

In order for the Diaspora to be a full and effective partner in the development effort of St. Vincent and the Grenadines, King said “the Diaspora must be fully involved on matters related to the National Development Agenda, as well as associated policy issues,” said the Regional Integration and Diaspora Unit (RIDU), in the office of the prime minister.

“The dreams of many people in the Diaspora to have excellent functional relations with SVG are now coming to full reality,” said Maxwell Haywood, a Diaspora Committee leader. “I am highly pleased with the process so far,” he added.