Sister Cities International Logo

If reading about Sister Cities International gets you excited, check out their Jobs page and their Youth Ambassador Program Coordinator position.

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We’re all feeling for Japan right now. Earthquakes, tsunamis, and potential nuclear meltdowns are nightmares on their own, but having all three occur together is indescribably terrible. Luckily, Japan is a wealthy and technologically advanced nation that was and is well prepared to deal with such disasters. That doesn’t mean that they don’t need our support. Plenty will come from our federal government, but there will also be support sent from city to city. Why? Because of the relationships formed through Sister Cities International, a Washington, DC based non-profit organization that aims to “promote peace through mutual respect, understanding and cooperation–one individual, one community at a time.” They match up cities across the world to be sister cities (smaller cities may have one sister city while larger cities could have dozens). For instance Riverside, CA is Sendai, Japan’s (the epicenter of the earthquake) sister city, so the people in Riverside are already working to coordinate their part in the relief effort for Sendai. It’s exactly the “people-to-people, citizen diplomacy initiative” that President Eisenhower proposed in 1956.

What’s Your City’s Sister City?

The idea of using municipalities to foster international diplomacy seems a little strange at first, but when you read about Sister Cities International’s history and mission, you’ll start to understand why they’re doing what they’re doing. Another fascinating thing to look at is Sister Cities International’s statistics page. You can learn things like:

I really like what Sister Cities International is doing, and I hope that they’re able to make a significant impact in the relief effort in Japan. If reading about Sister Cities International gets you excited, then you should check out their Jobs page and then Idealist for their Youth Ambassador Program Coordinator position. The job looks suitable for a new or recent grad, and it will allow you to work on a student exchange program that focuses on “poverty and the environment, showing local and national examples of how cities and countries are working to alleviate the negative effects of both issues.” Take a look.

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