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Diaspora wants say in reconstruction of BVI

Some members of the BVI diaspora during a meeting at the BVI London Office. Photo provided

The British Virgin Islands (BVI) diaspora in the United Kingdom and United States said they want the territory to use the post-hurricane reconstruction as an opportunity to set a new vision and course for itself.

Members of the diaspora also underscored the importance of their input in plans for reconstruction, adding that they are willing to participate in the process, said Director of the BVI London Office Benito Wheatley.

Hurricane Irma, on September 6, resulted in four reported deaths in the BVI, as well as the destruction of public and private properties.

The territory, at this moment, is at the early stages of a massive reconstruction exercise.

“There is a deep desire by our communities abroad to be directly involved in recovery and reconstruction,” Wheatley said.

“They (members of the diaspora) see reconstruction not simply as a process of rebuilding, but an opportunity to set a new vision and course for the BVI. They desire an official platform by which to feed their ideas into planning, and by which to participate in the reconstruction process so they can help to make the BVI better than before for its people.”

Wheatley said members of the BVI diaspora also discussed their plans to assist ongoing relief efforts through supplies drives and fundraising events.

“The BVI communities in the United Kingdom and United States have been doing everything in their power to assist relief efforts, and are planning more events and fundraisers to support the territory’s recovery. An international BVI diaspora network will certainly be of great value to the territory as we rebuild,” added Wheatley, who recently attended diaspora meetings in Manchester and London in the United Kingdom, as well as New York in the United States.

“I was moved by how committed BVIslanders in the United Kingdom and United States are to the BVI, and impressed at how well they have already organised themselves in cities such as London, Manchester, and Bristol in the UK; and in the United States in New York, Washington, DC, Atlanta, and in North Carolina.”

Meanwhile, during the town hall meeting in London, Premier Dr D Orlando Smith updated members of the diaspora by phone in relation to Government’s recovery efforts. He also commended the diaspora for its support.

Copyright 2017 BVI News, Media Expressions Limited. All Rights Reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or distributed.

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6 Comments

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  1. Where? says:

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    Where are they organized in Washington DC? There is a VI Association here that is tied to the USVI primarily which has done donation drives for the USVI.

    However, I am not aware of any formally organized association that is affiliated with the BVI.

    If you have that information please post. Thanks in advance.

  2. Please! says:

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 3 Thumb down 1

    While I’m sure the residents are thankful for for any assistance given by the diaspora…..they should ultimately be the ones to decide the way forward!!!

  3. Albion says:

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    I think Virgin Islands outside of the Territory can play an important role in shaping our future direction after Irma. Life on the ground is hard, and people in the BVI are very focused on the day to day problems.

    But after Irma we have a once in a lifetime chance to reshape and rebuild the Territory for future generations – fixing all of the infrastructure problems that have plagued us for so long. We must not waste that chance.

    People who have the interests of the Territory close to their hearts, but are able to stand back from the immediate problems, are well placed to try and help plan that vision for the future.

  4. NC says:

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    Please post any information about a BVI association in North Carolina.Thanks !

  5. Bob says:

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    More talk the weathley man has become a disappointment

  6. where? says:

    Well-loved. Like or Dislike: Thumb up 5 Thumb down 0

    Agreed Albion! Sometimes our folks on the inside are too wrapped up in the day to day politics and business to see and think outside of the box.

    In addition there are BVIslanders living outside of the country that have worked for larger governmental entities, the military or private industry who have gained years of experience and have become subject matter experts in addressing issues that the BVI is just now experiencing.

    I am not self advocating as I am nearing retirement. However, what I have seen and experience when back home is an attitude against those of us who left, a stubborn closed mindedness, not from everyone, but at all levels that I believe would frustrate God himself.

    The BVI has really good smart people, but they are shut down and left out the by aforementioned types who end up in powerful positions and are more interested in promoting the crab syndrome and self aggrandizement. And it doesn’t serve the country well within nor out.

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