NDC aims to strengthen ties with Diaspora

From left: Sen. Franka Bernadine, Dep. Leader Joseph Andall, Party Leader and Sen. Nazim Burke, Sen. Thomas Tillman, and Sen. Dr. George Vincent.
Floyd Bennett

Members of Grenada’s National Democratic Congress party — the main opposition party of Grenada, Carriacou and Petite Martinique – kicked off the North East United States and Canada tour Oct. 16 with a press conference to reopen communication with the Diaspora.

Starting with New York, Sen. Nazim Burke, Sen. Dr. George Vincent, Sen. Franka Bernadine, Sen. Tillman Thomas, and Deputy Leader Joseph Andall will also visit Washington, D.C., Toronto and Montreal before returning to Grenada.

The theme of their visit is, “Partnering with the Diaspora to Build a New and Vibrant Grenada.” It is their belief that with the support of the Diaspora they can successfully reenergize Grenada in improving the country’s economy and providing support to the youth.

“We see our role as constructing, not destroying and in that sense we find it important to identify those key components of economic and social life that are going to determine the future of the country. In that context, we firmly believe that the Diaspora has a very critical role to play,” Sen. Burke said during his opening presentation.

“It is a wonderful feeling being with Grenadians in the Diaspora because we all have a common interest. We have a country with 65 percent young people under the age of 36 / 37 and so that sizeable youth population translated into jobs and opportunities, which isn’t happening has tremendous impact on Grenada,” Sen. Bernadine said.

Each member provided a brief presentation to those in attendance — both media persons and Grenadians residing in New York – touching on topics such as the state of the economy, youth and women’s services, and critiques of what the current political party has implemented.

Within each presentation, each member noted how vital a resource the Diaspora is to the country’s development. Mentioning that the knowledge acquired is vital capital which could then be transfered to those in Grenada — training those back home to become more competitive in areas such as business and sustainability.

“We must treat the members of the Diaspora as an equal member. The days where the Diaspora was seen as a cow to be milked must be put behind us. We have to ensure that there is a proper dialogue and a protocol established to provide Grenadians and other Caribbean people with the means they desire to invest in our country,” Andall said.

While the economy is a major focus, both senators Bernadine and Burke applied special emphasis on the matters regarding the youth who are facing major unemployment rates.

“We cannot develop without addressing these needs and issues and our party has spent a lot of time in reflecting and reprogramming what we have set up for the young people in Grenada,” Sen. Bernadine said. “We want them to have a seat at the table.”

The National Democratic Congress party will host a town hall meeting on Oct. 25 before continuing their trip to Washington.

National Democratic Congress Town Hall Meeting (2510 Church Ave. between Rogers and Bedford avenues in Flatbush, 347.350.4285, hopki[email protected]gmail.com) Oct. 25, 5 pm. Free.

Reach reporter Alley Olivier at (718) 260–8310 or e-mail her at aoliv[email protected]nglocal.com. Follow Alley on Twitter @All3Y_B.

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