member of Diaspora has at one time or another wondered whether it is all worth it. The challenges of immigrating to a foreign country and having to figure out the inner workings of a new society can break down even the most resilient of people. To compound an already Augean endeavor, members of Diaspora often have to support family members back home who depend on them for their livelihood. And even when members of Diaspora send money home, most, rarely see the long term sustainable results of their contributions.
Oft-times the urge to pack it in and go back to the familiarity of their homelands bubbles to the surface tempting members of Diaspora to pack it in (and some do give in and go back to their countries of origin). Most immigrants however, quell this urge, trudging on, working, assimilating into their new environs (some not so successfully) all the while supporting families back home while trying to mesh out a comfortable life in unfamiliar communities.
Members of Diaspora account for billions of dollars moving instantly across the globe, changing lives and sustaining entire societies. Without members of Diaspora, there are some communities that would not be in existence today. Members of Diaspora overcome great obstacles to fit into whatever society they immigrate to. It is therefore some measure of comfort to know that even though a member of Diaspora might not witness tangible evidence of their contributions; it is quite obvious that without members of Diaspora, some communities would not be what they are today.
Empirical proof collected by the World Bank over a span of 10 years showed Diaspora contribution to economies around the world. For example, the United States Diaspora alone and which has the largest number of immigrants was responsible for sending out a staggering $48 billion in 2010 alone.
India, the world’s largest and fastest growing developing country was the receiver of the lion’s share of remittance monies receiving $55 billion last year alone. The migration of Diaspora around the world, and the circumstances leading to the emigration often result in the kinds of contributions Diaspora can make in the world.
For example, the countries with the largest numbers of Diaspora leaving their countries and possessing tertiary education often translates to the largest amount of remittances sent back to their countries of origin. Looking at India again we see this is true. In 2000, India had 20.3 thousand Physicians migrate to countries around the world which therefore means that the high Physician incomes resulted in the larger number of remittances sent back to India.
On the contrary, Diaspora emigrating as refugees will send the least amounts of remittances back to their countries of origin. Not only do these Diaspora have to contend with bridging the education gap of having been in refugee camps, but often have to first work through the trauma of conditions leading them to seek refuge in other countries. These members of Diaspora have the most difficult experiences of transitioning into their new society and naturally have the least amount of remittances sent to their countries of origin.
Members of Diaspora therefore have much to offer the world. They are global citizens who give up everything they know to pursue a better life. And even though they face challenges transitioning into their environment, often will find ways to contribute to their countries of origin.
- A Diaspora’s choice: Engage or Retreat (songofdiaspora.wordpress.com)
- Kenya Diaspora expo debuts in Dallas, USA. (momentblogger.wordpress.com)
- Indian diaspora a community that enriches the Canadian perspective (theglobeandmail.com)