A Message from the President
Welcome to the website of the Sutherland-Lakewood Sister City Committee Inc.. “(Suthlak)” I’m Fred Barendregt and the current President of the Sutherland-Lakewood Sister City Committee and I'd like to share with you the background of how this program came to be.
Our Mission Statement
“TO PROMOTE PEACE, UNDERSTANDING AND GOODWILL BETWEEN PEOPLE OF DIFFERENT NATIONS AND CULTURES THROUGH DIRECT PEOPLE TO PEOPLE COMMUNICATION”
Sister City background
Shortly after World War II, international affiliations between the United States and other countries became popularly known as Sister Cities. The program gained national prominence through a White House conference in 1956 when President Dwight D. Eisenhower proposed the People-to-People program. His idea was to involve people and community organizations in personal diplomacy.
Today, more than 1,000 U.S. cities in all 50 states are linked with more than 1,600 foreign cities in 117 countries. A key to the success of sister cities is the public-private partnerships between locally-elected officials and volunteers. It is this partnership that allows the entire community to support and participate in the programs. The Sister Cities Program allows the individual and the community to participate on local, national and international levels to make an impact on an ever-changing world. Exchanges range from education to culture, medicine to municipal training, business and trade to sports.
The Sutherland-Lakewood Sister City Committee creates exceptional people-to-people opportunities for local Shire students to experience and understand other cultures through international partnerships with Lakewood in Denver Colorado. The committee, a not-for-profit, volunteer organization formed over 35 years ago, and with the continued assistance & support of Sutherland Shire Council as official Patron, promotes international people-to-people relationships through a unique student exchange and adult visitation program.
The goals of Sutherland-Lakewood Sister City Committee exchange program include:
Developing an ongoing commitment to promoting student and cultural education which forms bridges of international understanding and goodwill.
Creating opportunities for all people to experience and explore other cultures through long-term relationships.
Creating an atmosphere in which economic development and trade can be explored, implemented and strengthened.
Opening a dialogue and addressing issues ranging from the cultural to the technical, from the municipal to the medical, from the environmental to the educational and beyond;
Stimulating environments through which partnerships can creatively learn, work, and solve problems together.
Collaborating with other organizations, both in the United States and in other countries that have similar visions and goals.
Proudly, over the last 35 years the program has evolved into an award winning , life changing experience that offers some very unique once in a life time opportunities.
I encourage you to become part of the program and learn how to build international relationships with people of other cultures and nations.
I look forward to meeting you.