Sister Cities International: Promoting Peace and Cooperation

Photos by: Bruce Guthrie

Imagine an American non-profit, non-partisan organization that reaches out to improve lives in cities, towns and villages around the globe. President Dwight Eisenhower first had that dream in 1956. It has now enhanced mutual respect and understanding through worldwide exchanges for more than seven decades.

Roger-Mark De Souza, the new president of Sister Cities International, electrified an audience of public diplomacy professionals and scholars at George Washington University on a rainy Monday in one of the most heartfelt, moving and enthusiastic presentations of the season.

“It’s amazing,” a Sister Cities volunteer in Montgomery County in Maryland told Mr. De Souza after returning a few months ago from a trip to a sub-Sahara African village. “They have so little and do so much. We have so much, and do so little.”

“You see,” exclaimed the Sister Cities executive, “by consulting and sharing ideas with citizens of other countries through interactive learning, we help shape U. S. foreign relations unofficially, “one handshake at a time.” The range of interactions, he added, includes city officials, local business leaders, NGOs, religious institutions.

By Alan Heil. Click here to read full story.