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Guyana launches Diaspora project in Washington
Published on February 25, 2013 Email To Friend    Print Version

WASHINGTON, USA (GINA) -- Guyana’s Minister of Foreign Affairs, Carolyn Rodrigues-Birkett, on Friday evening launched the Guyana Diaspora Project (GUYD) at the Embassy of Guyana in Washington, DC, a project designed to compile data about the resources, skills and level of interest which is available in the Guyanese Diaspora.

Persons and organisations who wish to assist in Guyana’s development can submit their information online through a dedicated website or by way of social media. The information obtained would allow for skill sets and resources which are available in the Diaspora to be matched and channelled toward development needs in Guyana.

Rodrigues-Birkett informed the gathering, which comprised representatives of Guyanese associations and other nationals, that “We cannot develop 83,000 square miles with 800,000 people.” The minister explained that the government was moving away from viewing emigration primarily as a brain drain and was viewing it as an opportunity to extend the available development resources beyond Guyana’s confines.

Head of the Guyana country office for the International Office for Migration, Rui Reis, explained the role of the IOM in working along with the government of Guyana to design and implement the project, which he said was receiving favourable responses. The IOM made a visual presentation explaining how the data would be collected and utilised.

The minister fielded a wide range of questions about the goals of the project, as well as current issues of interest. She identified health, education and information technology as some of the areas which could benefit from the project. She pointed out that the private sector would also be able to make use of the information collected.

The project was originally launched in New York by President Donald Ramotar last September and subsequently launched by Rodrigues-Birkett in Toronto, Canada, and London, England, prior to last Friday’s launch in the US capital.

Ambassador Barney Karran welcomed the gathering to the event, which had been timed to coincide with the 43rd Republic Anniversary. He thanked them for braving the wintry conditions to attend the event.
 
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