Details of Derry City and Strabane District Council’s Diaspora Engagement Project, which aims to reach out to Derry and Strabane people across the world to become ambassadors for the region, were revealed by the Mayor, Councillor Elisha McCallion, when she welcomed a delegation from the Global Irish Network today.
The delegation were in Derry as part of the Global Irish Economic Forum event being held in Dublin from 19-21 November. The Global Irish Economic Forum is organised by the Department of Foreign Affairs and Trade.
Welcoming the delegation to the city, the Mayor said the visit was an excellent opportunity for her to connect with our global Diaspora community and encourage them to come home, share their experiences and help us to tell the region’s positive new story.
She explained: “Derry City and Strabane District Council is very keen to connect with our global Diaspora community and engage with them to have a role in shaping our economic and social future. Close to 1,000 highly skilled quality jobs have recently been created in the region presenting us with opportunities for our Diaspora to come home and bring their experience and skills and secure some of these positions. We feel that our Diaspora have an important role to play in our future success story, by assisting us in promoting Derry and Strabane as a good place to invest.”
Last month the Mayor travelled to Boston as part of a NW delegation to promote the region and linking up with the Diaspora was a key element of the trip. The Council has also been working in close partnership with Donegal County Council to learn from their experiences of their hugely successful Diaspora project.
Mayor McCallion said the Council’s membership and close working relationship with Northern Irish Connections is vitally important in allowing the Council to make positive connections and links with partners across the globe. “Thanks to Northern Irish Connections we can link directly with our partners and make real and positive connections with our Diaspora to encourage them to engage with us and help us tell our positive story.
“We have a lot to learn from our colleagues in Donegal who have developed what is now an award winning programme of engaging with Donegal Diaspora across the world. We want to work collectively with all our partners and connections to build on the work we have done so far to spread the word and help deliver a strong investment message.
“We have a very clear message for our Diaspora – we want you to get in touch in with, let us know when you are coming home, share your experience, your skills and your contacts to become an ambassador for the city and district and tell the world about where you come from and what a great place it is to live and work,” she added.
As part of the initiative the Mayor will be hosting a series of welcome events for Diaspora, the first being over the Christmas period when loved ones will be travelling home to spend time with their friends and family. Grandparents and parents across the Council area are being encouraged to spread the word and invite their families who are home for Christmas to come along to the Mayoral Diaspora reception to take place at the Guildhall on 22 December.
“I am really looking forward to the opportunity to invite people from Derry and Strabane who are home for Christmas to come into the Guildhall and be part of our festive celebrations and to share in our new story,” she added.
To find out more about the event and to register firstname.lastname@example.org