Rosalinda Rasul, head of the Diaspora and Remigration Unit of the Ministry of Foreign Affairs and International Corporation, Guyana in a recent virtual, meet and greet, with a small group of nationals, spoke of the importance of bridging the divide, in the diaspora, ahead of a Feb. 21-25 visit to New York.
The special unit, created with the intention of bolstering diasporic engagement and helping to streamline re-migration, will give Rasul, an opportunity to meet with nationals in New York on diaspora matters and Guyana’s development.
The priority of the unit will be to foster collaboration with the diaspora in the areas of trade and investment, philanthropy, tourism, youth engagement, attraction of skill and remigration, as well as streamlining the contributions and resources of the diaspora to effectively aid Guyana’s development agenda, said the Ministry of Foreign Affairs.
During the meeting, Rasul said she would like to meet with various groups, business, and alumni in Brooklyn, the Bronx, New Jersey, and Queens.
‘It’s very important for us to know what challenges nationals face, and how we can be of assistance. We are not saying we can have everything happen overnight, but we are committed to working as hard as we can, to do as much as we can,” she said.
The meeting that was initiated by retired diplomat, Ambassador to Washington, Baney Karran, who served with distinction from 2003 to 2016, and had a close relationship with the diaspora and Mohamed A. Karimullah, secretary of Infinity Services GY, gave attendees an opportunity to discuss areas of interests ahead of the planned small in-person gatherings scheduled for the upcoming visit.
Rasul, who is also chairman of the Board of Directors for the Transport and Harbours Department’s Advisory Council, said she is ready to meet with Guyanese in Brooklyn, noting that engagements with the United Kingdom and the Canadian diasporas have been successful due to quarterly meetings.
“We try to have a group meeting with the various diaspora groups to give them updates as to where we are and how we can be of assistance, despite challenges.”
“Last year we had an end-of-year meeting, and we heard from nationals via constant feedback. I would hope that we have the same relationship with Brooklyn leaders, and the community, to say we are here to serve you.”
Concerns surrounding easy access to payments by the National Insurance Scheme (NIS) was raised by nationals across the world, said Rasul, who addressed the issues with principals at NIS, and promised that transaction would be streamlined going forward.
“We can effectively better serve the diaspora, making sure payments get to the accounts of nationals in whichever country they might be,” she assured.
Remigration questions were also raised, which Rasul assured, would be a smooth transition. However, she encouraged, as soon as nationals decide they would like to return home all documents should be in place so there is no hold up
“We want to have free open communication. Often, we associate diasporas with remittances, and barrels, these people are far more than that. When I hear their ideas, how can we possibly not facilitate them.”
Her 2022 vision is to stay connected vis thematic focused conferences and webinars, which will be planned by committees made up of 70 percent of the diaspora, and 30 percent Guyana.
Some of the topics will include policymaking, healthcare, education, technology, research and development, social development for childcare protection, among others.
“We want to make our presence felt on the ground in Brooklyn since Guyanese know we want to give that level of support whenever they need it at any point. No holds barred, we have no particularities no hang-ups about anything. We are more than happy to come into any community if they would have us and let us know how we can serve you,” said Rasul.