Ricochet News

International visit celebrates 20-year sister city relationship

Aug 1, 2017
International visit celebrates 20-year sister city relationship

A delegation from George’s sister city, Tacoma in the United States, arrives in town on Friday (4 August) to celebrate the cities’ 20-year relationship, culminating in a women’s conference on Saturday with three acclaimed international speakers to which all local women are invited.

George Municipal Manager Trevor Botha said the inter-city relationship had through the years contributed to the well-being of many local citizens. “We are looking forward to hosting the people of Tacoma once again, and believe our women and children in particular will benefit from the knowledge and experience they offer,” said Mr Botha.

A sister city organisation is a volunteer group of ordinary citizens who, with the support of their local elected officials, form long-term relationships with people and organisations in a city abroad. Each sister city organisation is independent and pursues the activities and thematic areas that are important to them and their community including municipal, business, trade, educational and cultural exchanges with their sister city.

The George-Tacoma sister city relationship was established in 1997 when both cities were looking to international partners in each other’s countries and, through the years, were followed by visitsby Tacoma citizens to George and vice versa.

George Tourism Manager Joan Shaw said the 20th anniversary visit was planned to coincide with Women’s Month to emphasise the ‘sister’ part of the relationship and to meet with and empower women, particularly in George.

“The five-day visit includes various planned activities including a visit to the Phambili shelter for battered women, which was one of the first George-Tacoma sister city projects. They will also visit schools, where they will hand over school uniforms to needy students, churches and other organisations. Smaller groups will break away to pursue special interests in education, real estate, health and fitness and other projects.

The Women on the Grow conference on Saturday (5 August 2107), held at the George Civic Centre  from 8.30am to 4.30pm, hosts three international speakers from three American states and two local speakers surrounding the theme of Body, Mind and Spirit.  Break-away groups will address issues such as coping mechanisms for women who required balancing careers, motherhood, marriage and more. Tickets are R150, include a goodies bag, tea and lunch, and are available at George Tourism.