The Full Story
Minister of State in the Ministry of Foreign Affairs and Foreign Trade, Hon. Alando Terrelonge, says youth inclusion is critical to the sustainability of the Jamaican diaspora movement.
“Central to my vision for the [diaspora] councils as chair, is to have a concerted focus on youth and in particular, their inclusion and empowerment. It is my strong belief that the young kings and queens can positively impact development once we equip them with the appropriate resources and opportunities,” Mr. Terrelonge said.
He was addressing the Regional Jamaica Diaspora Conference held in Canada on Saturday (September 23).
Noting that there are over 104,000 second generation and more than 42,000 third generation Jamaicans in Canada, Mr. Terrelonge said it is important to foster affinity as the demographics of the community continue to evolve.
“If we fail to involve the youth of Canada of Jamaican descent and if we continue to lose more stalwarts as they continue to grow older, then it means that we would have failed to continue their legacy.
“Those giants paved the way to ensure that even systemic racism and those barriers continue to be broken down here in Canada [and] it is important that we involve our children and our grandchildren, so they can continue the legacy of our forefathers,” Mr. Terrelonge noted.
Meanwhile, he shared that the young people from the diaspora have demonstrated keen interest in making contributions in education, sport, technology, tourism, investment opportunities, innovation and the creative arts.
“To this end, we have deliberately engaged the ministries of Tourism; Culture, Gender, Entertainment and Sport; and Industry, Investment and Commerce, to leverage their assets to anticipate the work by the Global Jamaica Diaspora Youth Council as mandated by the National Diaspora Policy,” Mr. Terrelonge said.
The Regional Jamaica Diaspora Conference brought together, individuals from the Jamaican diaspora across Canada to celebrate their shared heritage, promote cultural understanding and explore opportunities for collaboration and growth.
Mr. Terrelonge, who has responsibility for diaspora affairs, chairs the Global Jamaica Diaspora Council (GJDC).