This is what Sister Cities International has to say!
Sister Cities Essex Haiti (SCEH) has won the Sister Cities International 2021 Annual Award for Innovation in Youth and Education for a city with a population of less than 25,000!
The awards competition, which is open to sister city programs worldwide, recognizes the accomplishment of outstanding individuals and community sister city programs that are promoting peace through mutual respect, understanding, and cooperation.
Essex, Connecticut is sister cities with Deschapelles, Haiti. Since the establishment of this partnership on June 25, 2010, their primary focus has been on humanitarian projects, economic relationships, and cultural exchange.
Sister Cities Essex Haiti has provided comprehensive education support based on community and student feedback. Areas of education included music, robotics, and tennis. Members of this program have been focused on equity in education, ensuring students from all socio-economic backgrounds and students of all genders are able to participate in these programs.
The Music Program brings professionals from Port au Prince to hold Band Camps, giving students a multicultural learning experience and demonstrating possible career paths in the music industry.
The Robotics Coach has encouraged three schools in the area to create teams and serve as a regional hub for robotics. The focus on robotics is a fantastic way of increasing interest in STEM among young people in this part of the world.
The Tennis Program has been instrumental in fostering teamwork among students in Haiti, and further helping students to develop leadership skills. Students on the tennis team travel to tournaments and act as ambassadors for both their town and country.
“Sister Cities Essex Haiti has highlighted the importance of forging bonds through education and sports. Not only have they promoted this in the traditional sense, but they have shown a new generation the possibilities available through international partnerships and cooperation,” commented Leroy Allala, President & CEO of Sister Cities International.
Sister Cities International Annual Awards recognize excellence in overall programming and highlight key innovations in arts and culture; humanitarian assistance; business, trade, and professional exchange; and youth and education.