The “Diaspora to Development: Global Summit of Filipinos in the Diaspora” was held last September 27-29, 2011 at the Philippine International Convention Center brought together 700 participants from at least 40 countries – outstanding professionals and community leaders – who are representatives of the estimated 8.5 million overseas Filipinos. The conference was spearheaded by the Commission on Filipinos Overseas in partnership with the NaFFAA and USP4GG.
The Summit targets the engagement of the overseas Filipino community in priority development projects in the Philippines by tapping into the vast reservoir of expertise and experience they have gained in their countries of residence and employment. The conference theme: Diaspora to Development (D2D)– underscores the important role that our overseas Filipinos continue to play in our socio-cultural and economic life.
Specifically, the summit aims to:
a) Highlight the achievements of Overseas Filipinos in all fields all over the world and to discuss how their resources, skills, knowledge, technology, talents, competencies could be harnessed systematically and synergistically for the country’s social, cultural and economic development, with the support, coordination and assistance of the Philippine government especially through the Commission on Filipinos Overseas (CFO);
b) Create, grow and sustain an “eco-system”/ network of the leaders of the Overseas Filipinos’ community, including Filipino youth overseas, working together and communicating with one another ; and
c) Launch the Commission on Filipinos Overseas’ “Diaspora to Development”or “D2D” institutional program which is holistic and lays down the following permutations/ templates on how Overseas Filipinos can participate or remain engaged in the development of the country:
- Alay Dunong (Teach-Share)Program
- Arts and Culture Exchange (ACE)
- Balik-Turo (Brain-Gain)
- Business Advisory Circle(BAC)
- Diaspora Investment
- Diaspora Philanthropy (Lingkod sa Kapwa Pilipino)
- Global Legal Assistance and Advocacy (GLAAD)
- Medical Missions Cooperation
- Return and Reintegration (RnR)
- Tourism Initiatives
Diaspora refers to the movement, migration or scattering of people away from an established or ancestral homeland. According to Kingsley Aikins, ‘diaspora’ means people living ang working away from their home country but still closely connected to their countries of origin, heritage or interest”. The international Organization for Migration (OIM) defines it as “members of ethnic and national communities, who have left, but maintain links with their homeland”.