Minister of State in the Ministry of Foreign Affairs and Foreign Trade, Alando Terrelonge, has lauded the voluntary work being done by diasporans.
In a Diaspora Day message on Friday (June 16), he pointed out that the voluntary work being undertaken by diasporans supports the efforts that contribute to the development of Jamaica and the diaspora movement.
“There are also those who organise regular festivals and activities, keeping the Jamaican tradition and spirit alive in their communities of residence. We salute you, our unsung champions,” he added.
Diaspora Day is being celebrated under the theme ‘Positive vibrations: Connecting and Empowering Jamaicans at Home and Abroad’. The Day is an annual observation on June 16. It emerged from the first Biennial Jamaica Diaspora Conference held in Kingston in 2004.
Terrelonge, who has responsibility for Diaspora Affairs, said that the Day provides an opportunity “to collectively celebrate diasporans and focus on the contributions that you make to national development and at a global level, particularly in the countries where you reside”.
“Undoubtedly, Jamaicans abroad have served as excellent brand ambassadors, contributing over the decades towards the global positioning of Jamaica as a powerhouse, while supporting the development of Jamaica and the realisation of the goals of our National Development Agenda,” he said.
Acknowledging the importance of diaspora youth engagement and empowerment, Terrelonge said that Government is committed to working with “second, third and fourth generations of Jamaicans abroad”.
“The Government acknowledges the importance of diaspora youth engagement and is committed to working with you, the youth, successive generations of Jamaicans abroad, in order to continue the great legacy of Jamaicans playing their part to advance the welfare of the whole human race,” the State Minister said.
He said the Government will be collaborating closely through ministries, departments and agencies treating with culture, tourism and commerce to attract and stimulate the interest of the younger generation across the diaspora.
The State Minister noted that over the decades, successive generations have made tremendous contributions in areas of politics, advocating for good governance and the rights and development of vulnerable and marginalised groups, including among the diaspora.