Mayor to host Christmas Diaspora reception

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The Mayor of Derry and Strabane Elisha McCallion will host a “Mayoral Diaspora reception” in the Guildhall on December 22.

“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 said.

It’s part of the Council’s Diaspora Engagement Project, which aims to reach out to Derry and Strabane people across the world to become ambassadors for the region.

The Mayor welcomed a delegation from the Global Irish Network to the city on Thursday.

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.