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Unity and strength

STREGTHENING TIES: Trinidad and Tobago’s High Commissioner to the UK Gavin Nicholas (centre) with Jamaica’s High Commissioner Aloun Ndombet Assamba

STRENGTHENING TIES with young people in the UK diaspora and the Caribbean is the way to develop the region, community members and UK, officials have said.

This was one of the many suggestions coming out of a Trinidad and Tobago Diaspora meeting, held recently at the Tricycle Theatre in Kilburn, north London.

The meeting linked entrepreneurs, business owners and youth workers, who came together to discuss ways of motivating young Britons with Caribbean heritage to re-invest and help develop the Caribbean.

A youth worker at the meeting said he wanted the two communities to become better connected.
He told the audience “The youngsters here are just as disengaged as the youngsters in the Caribbean. They are sharing the same mindsets. We need to change these mindsets.”

The youth worker suggested allowing young UK-based members of the diaspora to give back to the Caribbean by working in trade.

However, he said they were currently being restrained by a lack of resources such as a skills centre.

Others shared similar concerns during the August 21 event.

HERITAGE

For instance, another audience member suggested that educating youngsters about their heritage would later aid the development and growth in trade and investment in the region.

He said that it was important for parents to start teaching their children about their heritage, which he said would increase both their knowledge and interest in the Caribbean.

Another of the 120 attendees said it was important to include more Caribbean people in media to give youngsters someone with whom they can identify. He pointed out there were no Caribbean channels although there are a few African channels.

VISIBILITY

“The Caribbean [needs to be] visible on British television which would help the Caribbean community here. [That] would then help the young people to have a much greater sense of who they are,” said the audience member.

These suggestions were put to the panel made up of business consultant Denis St. Bernard, university lecturer Dr Nigel Williams, Deputy Head /Investment & Promotions at Invest Hong Kong Gus Franklyn-Bute and High Commissioner for Antigua and Barbuda Dr Carl Roberts, who chaired the event.

Trinidad and Tobago’s High Commissioner to the UK, Garvin Nicholas said new approaches were being used to tackle those issues deterring growth and to strengthen other areas such as law and order.

Nicholas said: “We are working with the UK government directly, the Canada government and the American government in a joint initiative to reform our laws and our criminal justice system.”
He said all the suggestions from the meeting would be used to create a plan that the high commissioners will later discuss “to see how we can make things better.”

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