Dominica Diaspora – Not the Panacea

Go Lean Commentary

If only it was that simple!

You love your homeland, but you live abroad. You simply create a not-for-profit organization, execute a development plan to relieve, restore, recover, rebuild and boom: Instant success … back in the homeland.

If only?! It doesn’t work that way.

CU Blog - Dominica Diaspora - Not the Panacea - Photo 2Yet still, this is what is transpiring on behalf of the Caribbean island of Dominica; see the profile of one such organization here (and more on the island nation in the Appendix below):

Rebuild Dominica, Inc. is a registered 501(c)(3) non-profit relief organisation based in the Washington, D.C. metro area. We were founded by humanitarians determined to help rebuild Dominica in the wake of the devastation wrought by Tropical Storm Erika. This effort continues in support of disaster relief post-Hurricane Maria — the most horrendous assault Dominica has ever experienced.

Make no mistake; Dominica needs all the help it can get, especially right now after the near total devastation from Category 5 Hurricane Maria; they must relieve, restore, recover and rebuild. See this reality manifested in this VIDEO here:

VIDEO – Small island of Dominica hit hardest by Hurricane Maria –

Al Jazeera English

Published on Sep 25, 2017 – Hurricane Maria has killed at least 33 people so far, with the bulk of those deaths happening on the tiny island of Dominica. At least 80 percent of the buildings there have been damaged and most communication lines cut. Al Jazeera’s Gabriel Elizondo reports from Dominica.

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Thank you Diaspora, for this fine start; yet still, the problems that Dominica have – with this storm recovery here and even larger issues above and beyond – can not be fixed by this island’s Diaspora alone. No, there is the need for a more comprehensive solution.

Above and Beyond – Yes, looking at the horizon and longing for a solution from above and beyond is the concern of this commentary. In fact, this is the theme of a series of commentaries from the movement behind the book Go Lean … Caribbean. It has been consistent in urging the stakeholders (governments and citizen groups) of the Caribbean member-states to NOT put their hope and faith in their Diaspora to look back to their homelands and be the panacea – cure-all solution – that their societies need. There is preponderance for governments to pursue this strategy. Just recently we published commentaries on this Caribbean pre-occupation, with these entries relating these homelands:

The premise for the criticism of this Diaspora strategy is that the ones that have fled the region have done so for a reason; they have been “pushed” or “pulled” away from their homeland. They may still love their country, but can only do so much from abroad. While one person can change their community, it is near impossible for that one person if they are not in the community; there may be trust, accountability and transparency issues. Thusly, the Diaspora is less inclined to invest back in their country; and the historicity is that they have not! Thusly, all efforts to outreach the Diaspora are usually futile. All of these prior commentaries relate this basic truth about catering to the Diaspora:

The subtle [Diaspora outreach] message to the Caribbean population is that they need to leave their homeland, go get success and then please remember to invest in us afterwards.

… It is so unfortunate that the people in the Caribbean are beating down the doors to get out of their Caribbean homeland, to seek refuge in these places like the US, Canada and Western Europe. … As a result, we have such a sad state of affairs for our Caribbean eco-system as we are suffering from a bad record of societal abandonment.

Yes, the problem of this Diaspora-outreach strategy is that it double-downs on the failure of why the Diaspora left in the first place. When we look at Dominica and see the many failures of that country, we realize that the Dominicans on the island and the Dominicans in the Diaspora cannot, single-handedly or collectively, solve the problems on that homeland. No, something bigger and better is needed.

They are trying now, for that something better …

They are engaging help and support of different not-for-profits, foundations and non-government organization (NGO). See a related news article here:

Title: Rebuild Dominica Partners with Project C.U.R.E. & Other Global Allies Post-Hurricane Maria
Sub-title: Washington, D.C. Based Nonprofit Collaborates To Deliver Hurricane Relief Supplies to the Island Of Dominica
By: The Caribbean Current

CU Blog - Dominica Diaspora - Not the Panacea - Photo 3Bowie, MD (October 8, 2017) – Since its inception in August of 2015, in direct response to Tropical Erika devastating The Commonwealth of Dominica, Rebuild Dominica holds steadfast to its mission of forming and sustaining long-term partnerships to address the unmet needs of communities in Dominica.

Dr. Sam Christian, Rebuild Dominica’s Coordinator of Medical Operations on-island, submitted reports to pronounce the discovery of three residents of Pointe Michel — whom he respectively met dead in a ravine, on the beach, and under debris of a porch. Hours after Hurricane Maria, Dr. Christian, a former U.S. Army Major, and combat surgeon was the only surgeon working with police and a search and rescue team in the south of Dominica. This continued for days, during the difficult hours post-Maria, before outside help came to the area of Point Michel and Soufriere.

These reports were used to secure medical supplies valued at approximately $400,000 USD as donated by Project C.U.R.E.: the largest provider of donated medical supplies and equipment to developing countries around the world. The relief supplies will ship this week to Dominica, while Dr. Sam Christian continues to provide free medical treatment in anticipation of the delivery.

The cost of shipment of the medical supplies was funded under the direction of Rebuild Dominica and the nonprofit’s global supporters. A primary donation of $10,000 USD was received from Ethiopian financier and Advisor to Ethiopian Crown Council, Mel Tewahade. Additional assistance totaling $5,000 USD was pledged by from Saad Wakas and Omar Fisher: Rebuild Dominica allies based in Dubai. The President of Rebuild Dominica, Mr. Gabriel Christian, donated an additional $10,000 underwritten by his law firm in Maryland. The combined mobilization for the Project C.U.R.E. shipment is $20,000 – the sum directed to Project C.U.R.E. on behalf of Rebuild Dominica.

Founding member of Rebuild Dominica, Pastor St. Clair Mitchell of Evangel Assembly, along with Pastor Bell convened with the nonprofit on the evening of September 19, 2017, to mobilize the D.C. community. Carib Nation TV Director, Larry Sindass, and host Derrice Deane brought the Rebuild Dominica relief appeal to a global audience.

John Green, Delvin Walters, John Riviere, Colonel Koreen Parry, Captain Delvin Walters, Loema Sealey, Loughton Sargeant and Monique Joseph — all leaders of the Caribbean Disaster Relief and Recovery Alliance (CDRRA) — rushed to aid Rebuild Dominica; an early member of the CDRRA Diaspora disaster response collaborative. Caribbean Cargo DC again proved itself a solid community ally by reducing its shipping rates and donating storage space for relief supplies.

While facilitating the arrival and news coverage in Dominica by Al Jazeera TV and the Israeli Search and Rescue Team, Rebuild Dominica communicated with Dominica’s Prime Minister, Roosevelt Skerrit. A national medical services assessment, with guidance from Dr. Dale Dangleben and Dr. Sam Christian, is currently in progress for additional donations in the medical sphere.

Another shipment totaling three tons of food and medicine await shipment from Caribbean CargoDC and ATAS Roofing USA has committed to assist with supplies for roofing needs in Dominica. Greek-Ethiopian, Captain Demetrius Apokremiotis, has secured a short-term donation of a Convair 340 cargo plane on behalf of Rebuild Dominica to airlift 7,000 pounds of aid supplies from Miami to Dominica.

As of as of September 25, Rebuild Dominica is an official PayPal nonprofit partner. This status puts the nonprofit on par with all major US nonprofits dedicated to disaster relief.

A fundraiser is currently underway to secure monies needed to fuel and deliver the aid that awaits the displaced and starving citizens of Dominica. To that end, Rebuild Dominica has partnered with CDRRA for the upcoming ‘One Caribbean Hurricane Relief Concert’ slated for Sunday, October 8, 2017, in Bowie, Maryland. Proceeds will benefit the Caribbean islands devastated by Hurricane Irma and Hurricane Maria.

To volunteer, share resources, or make a financial contribution to this nonprofit, please visit

Source: Posted October 11, 2017 from:

To relieve, restore, recover and rebuild Dominica after Hurricane Maria, we need these NGO’s, and the Diaspora, and the island’s government; and … something more …

… enter the Caribbean Union Trade Federation (CU). This is presented as the organizational solution for Dominica; this is the panacea that Dominica and the rest of the Caribbean needs. But first, we need people to stay in their Caribbean homelands, not flee. We need them to prosper where planted here at home. Democratic governments – of the people; by the people; for the people – cannot expect to promote the best of their people, if the best people keep leaving – and joining the Diaspora.

The book Go Lean…Caribbean – available to download for free – serves as a roadmap for the introduction and implementation of the technocratic CU, for the elevation of Caribbean societal engines – economic, security and governance for all member-states. The book asserts that the region must work together – in a formal regional integration – to hold on to its populations – especially the highly educated ones – not see them leave for foreign shores. To accomplish this objective, this CU/Go Lean roadmap presents these 3 prime directives:

The Go Lean book – and many previous blog-commentaries – asserts that while conditions may be bad for Caribbean residents (i.e. Dominican) in their homeland, Black-and-Brown immigrants to far-away countries (think: North America and Western Europe) often have to contend with less than welcoming conditions in those countries. It is only with the Second Generation that prosperity is achieved, but by then, the children of the Caribbean Diaspora are not considered “Caribbean” anymore; they assume their residential citizenship. As conveyed in the foregoing VIDEO, it is not these Second Generation types – legacies – that are overcoming the obstacles to venture back to their ancestral homeland in the wake of hurricanes.

So it is the summation that it is better for Dominican people, and people of all the Caribbean for that matter, to work to remediate and mitigate the risks of Failed-State status in their homeland, but such work is heavy-lifting. It requires a reboot of the entire Dominican eco-system. The Go Lean roadmap calls for a technocratic reboot, to reform and transform regional society. Many people may argue – and they would be correct – that the reformation and transformation of Caribbean communities should come from Caribbean people first. But with such a high societal abandonment rate, the population of many Caribbean member-states – as in Dominica – is approaching a distribution where half of the citizens live on the islands and the other half live abroad – in the Diaspora. For some other countries, it is a vast majority of the educated populations that have fled; one report presents that abandonment rate of 70 percent. See the data references here:

According to the preliminary 2011 census results Dominica has a population of 71,293.[1] The population growth rate is very low, due primarily to emigration to more prosperous Caribbean Islands, the United Kingdom, the United States, and Canada. The estimated mid-year population of 2016 is 73,543 (the 2017 revision of the World Population Prospects[2]).- Wikipedia.

CU Blog - Dominica Diaspora - Not the Panacea - Photo 0

When Caribbean people in general, and Dominicans in particular, emigrate and become aliens in a foreign land, life is not necessarily better in those countries. As related in a previous blog-commentary, those who live in the Diaspora know “both sides of the coin”, as most of them have lived in the ancestral lands at one point. But on the other half, those who still live in the homeland may have never lived abroad.

They do not know what they do not know!

Being a visitor to some North American or European city is different than being a resident, as visitors do not have the interactions of applying for jobs, housing, government benefits, paying taxes, co-existing with neighbors, etc.. These ones in the homeland may naturally assume that the “grass is greener on the other side”. Here’s the truth:

    It is not! (The grass in the northern cities may not even be green at all; it may be covered with autumn foliage or snow).

The Go Lean roadmap is not for the Diaspora to come to the rescue, but rather a Caribbean confederacy, constituted by all 30 member-states. This position leverages the Caribbean as a Single Market (42 million people); it asserts that this is better than just catering to the Diaspora of just one country. This is to be the panacea that Caribbean needs to assuage its defects and dysfunctions. Plus, it also includes the Diaspora, but for all the Caribbean nations combined – estimated at 10 to 25 million. This is a plan for interdependence! This was the motivation for the CU/Go Lean roadmap, as pronounced in the opening Declaration of Interdependence (Pages 12 – 13) of the book:

xi. Whereas all men are entitled to the benefits of good governance in a free society, “new guards” must be enacted to dissuade the emergence of incompetence, corruption, nepotism and cronyism at the peril of the people’s best interest. The Federation must guarantee the executions of a social contract between government and the governed.

xix. Whereas our legacy in recent times is one of societal abandonment, it is imperative that incentives and encouragement be put in place to first dissuade the human flight, and then entice and welcome the return of our Diaspora back to our shores. This repatriation should be effected with the appropriate guards so as not to imperil the lives and securities of the repatriated citizens or the communities they inhabit. The right of repatriation is to be extended to any natural born citizens despite any previous naturalization to foreign sovereignties.

xx.  Whereas the results of our decades of migration created a vibrant Diaspora in foreign lands, the Federation must organize interactions with this population into structured markets. Thus allowing foreign consumption of domestic  products, services and media, which is a positive trade impact. These economic activities must not be exploited by others’ profiteering but rather harnessed by Federation resources for efficient repatriations.

xxiv.  Whereas a free market economy can be induced and spurred for continuous progress, the Federation must install the controls to better manage aspects of the economy: jobs, inflation, savings rate, investments and other economic principles. Thereby attracting direct foreign investment because of the stability and vibrancy of our economy.

The goal of the Go Lean roadmap is for Caribbean people to prosper where planted; the book therefore provides 370-pages of turn-by-turn instructions on “how” to adopt new community ethos, plus the strategies, tactics, implementations and advocacies to execute so as to reboot the region’s societal engines, for Dominica and other member-states. One advocacy for a Way Forward is the plan to optimize the roles and responsibilities of non-government organizations (Page 219):

10 Ways to Impact Foundations


Lean-in for the Caribbean Single Market
This treaty allows for the unification of the region into one market, thereby expanding to an economy of 30 countries, 42 million people and GDP of over $800 Billion (circa 2010). With the scale of this Single Market, the CU serves as a proxy to facilitate the economic engines, regional security initiatives and emergency management needs of the Caribbean. While the CU is not an advocacy for human rights or civil rights, there are many social causes that the CU will impact in a tangential manner (women, disabled, poverty, middle class, others). The CU allows for the regional oversight and promotion of Not-For-Profit foundations to execute their campaigns to impact the socio-economic causes of the region.


NGOs to Deliver CU Social AgendaThe CU will facilitate the eco-system for not-for-profit foundations and non-government organizations. The CU’s Department of State will not just facilitate incorporations on the regional level, no need to repeat in every member-state, but also provide much of the NGO administration and oversight to satisfy the local governments and other stakeholders.


Domestic ChartersOne of the missions of the CU is for the Diaspora to repatriate their time, talents and treasuries to make the Caribbean a better place to live, work and play. The CU will encourage the creation of micro-focused foundations and not-for-profit NGOs. This is a natural way for others to give back. Those desiring to contribute (and incentivized) can enable their causes and passions through local foundations, or petition the CU to discern new gaps needing fulfillment.


“One Percent” AlignmentThere is a new spirit of philanthropy imbrued in the population of the world’s billionaires and millionaires (One Percent), many of them have signed a Giving Pledge to donate half of their estate to global charitable causes. Many of this group – see Appendix N on Page 292 – facilitates charitable contributions by means of their personal or otherwise aligned foundations.


Foreign ChartersFoundations incorporated in foreign lands will find a “welcome mat” in the Caribbean. The CU will identify opportunities for these foundations to engage within this region. The CU will maintain a Special Interest Group to liaison with the “One Percent” of the world’s richest people. The CU will therefore solicit them for philanthropic manifestations in the CU.


CU Reporting




Education via e-Learning


Intelligence Gathering and Big-Data AnalysisThe CU Intelligence Gathering and Analysis mechanism will track the progress of their activities, plus mitigate threats and risks for foundations and NGOs. The CU’s satellite and terrestrial surveillance systems, and predictive modeling/Big Data Analysis will help guide the focus of foundations – this way their investments and roles will be greatly enhanced.


Failed-State Status – Monitoring and MitigationsThere are a few social factors (refugee, family reunification, brain drain) that are so pivotal that they are considered indicators for Failed-State status. The CU’s mission to improve these indices can be dovetailed with the foundations.

There have been a number of blog-commentaries by the Go Lean promoters that have detailed the functionalities of NGO’s and foundations as part of the Way-Forward – the best hope for a new eco-system for Dominica, and the whole Caribbean. See a sample list here: Charity Management for the Caribbean – Grow Up Already Plea to Philanthropists: Give us your Time, Talent and Treasuries Zuckerberg’s Philanthropy Project Makes First Major Investment Charity Dysfunction: The Red Cross’ $500 Million In Haiti Relief Gates Foundation: Changing the World

Confederating a regional response is by all means the best-practice for Dominica and other Caribbean hurricane victims. Good results are evident from the limited multilateral efforts that have been exerted thus far. See here:

… the response shows that in a region separated by language and geography, culture remains a strong tie.

“Caribbean culture understands that when a cousin or godson is hurting down the street, everyone puts in their little bit to make a pot of food,” said Marlon Hill, a Jamaican-born Miami attorney, who with the help of The Miami Foundation, is spearheading the U.S. Caribbean Strong Relief Fund with other South Florida Caribbean leaders. “Today it’s Dominica, but tomorrow it can be Saint Lucia, next week it can be Barbados and next year it can be Grenada.”

… whether the new spirit of cooperation will lead to deeper integration among Caribbean nations remains to be seen.

Anthony Bryan, a Caribbean expert now with the Washington-based Center for Strategic and International Studies said that while the recent hurricanes represent a “common disaster” that has pulled nations together, he isn’t optimistic that it will lead to anything beyond the current functional cooperation among many countries on matters such as a common high school exit exam or health initiatives.

    “I think we tend to come together when there are either disaster responses or security measures and to coordinate foreign policies,” Bryan said. “Regional integration has been the hope for many years, but it takes political will. … Functional cooperation has always existed. But to carry it further to political integration? Not in my lifetime.”

Still, [Ronald] Jackson, the head of the regional disaster response – [Caribbean Disaster Emergency Management] – Agency, remains hopeful.

    “We have shown that it is possible,” he said.

Source: Posted September 26, 2017 by the Miami Herald

In summary, regional integration: Good; societal abandonment: Bad!

Any country growing their Diaspora is bad for that country and bad for the Diaspora members. Dominica – and every other country – needs its sons and daughters right now; actually this island needs “all hands on deck” for the Way-Forward. Any official policy to encourage emigration and living-working-abroad – on a permanent basis – is a flawed policy. Rather, it is better to have our citizens in the homeland. They can better help to relieve, restore, recover and rebuild the country.

So any policy that double-downs on the Diaspora is actually doubling-down on failure. We should never want people to have to leave then hope they remember us in our times of distress. No, we want and need them here at home at all times: good, bad and hurricane. We want and need them to “plant” … and prosper where planted.

We strongly urge every stakeholder of Dominica and all of the Caribbean to lean-in to this roadmap to make our homeland, Dominica and the remaining of the 30 member-states, better places to live, work and play. 🙂

Download the free e-book of Go Lean … Caribbean – now!

Sign the petition to lean-in for this roadmap for the Caribbean Union Trade Federation.


Appendix – Dominica Today

Dominica, officially the Commonwealth of Dominica, is a sovereign island country.[8] The capital, Roseau, is located on the leeward side of the island. It is part of the Windward Islands in the Lesser Antilles archipelago in the Caribbean Sea. The island lies south-southeast of Guadeloupe and northwest of Martinique. Its area is 750 km2 (290 sq mi), and the highest point is Morne Diablotins, at 1,447 m (4,747 ft) in elevation. The population was 71,293 at the 2011 census.[5]

Source: Retrieved October 17, 2017 from:

CU Blog - Dominica Diaspora - Not the Panacea - Photo 1


Dominica is a member-state in the Organization of Eastern Caribbean States (OECS), along with the sovereign territories of: Antigua and Barbuda, St Kitts and Nevis, St Lucia, St Vincent and the Grenadines and Grenada. (These British Overseas Territories are also associate members of OECS: Anguilla, Montserrat, and the British Virgin Islands).

All of these countries are opening their borders to welcome Dominican citizens to their shores during this hurricane recovery crisis.

“Citizens of Dominica have a right of entry into Antigua and other OECS countries and an automatic six-month stay and must present their passport, driver’s license or voter’s identification card to allow entry”. – St Lucia Times


Dominica is also a member-state of CariCom or the Caribbean Community, in concert with the other 12 Anglophone sovereign countries, plus Haiti and Suriname.

Many of these countries – in a pledge of regional brotherhood – are opening their borders to welcome Dominican citizens to their shores during this hurricane recovery crisis.

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