AFFORD’s Diaspora Experience team welcomed a group of interested parties to address the recent humanitarian emergencies in southern African states caused by the double cyclones. We asked for the diaspora to respond by coming together to discuss and explore the role from the UK to these crises specifically looking at ways in which the diaspora can support relief efforts by mobilising resources and connections and volunteering their time and to question how can the UK government, civil society, and the diaspora in the UK work together to build resilience to such extreme weather events amongst local communities in Southern Africa.
Takeaways and comments made by the group was that they “want to be part of the solution” and that these events “brings people together for a charitable cause” and we could use social media to build solution son the ground. We must also remember during and after these emergencies the need to provide post trauma counselling. But a challenge mentioned more than once was that we “don’t know about or talk about what the diaspora is doing. Even when we are effective in what we do we don’t talk about it or have evidence of what we do”.