by Dylan Deprey
Make sure the bedroom is clean and the bunk beds are made because Milwaukee has a new sibling. While it is a little farther then picking them up from the hospital, Milwaukee’s new Sister City hails 7,876 miles away, spanning the entire Atlantic Ocean and West Africa.
On Monday Nov. 5, Common Council President Ashanti Hamilton and Tarime District Mayor Moses Matiko Misiwa signed a five-year deal for the city of Milwaukee and District of Tarime, Tanzania to become Sister Cities.
Sister Cities International was created during the Eisenhower Administration in 1956. President Eisenhower wanted to build a network for people from across the world to learn and understand each other’s cultures to bring peace and prosperity through people-to-people diplomacy.
The City of Milwaukee now has six Sister Cities spanning four continents across the globe. The District of Tarime is now in the last room on the left next to Galway, Ireland, Carora, uMhlathuze, South Africa, Medan, Indonesia and Zadar, Croatia.
Misiwa said that Milwaukee was Tarime’s first Sister City since Tanzania gained its independence from British control back in 1961.
“This is a remarkable day for the Tarime District and the City of Milwaukee,” Misiwa said.
Ald. Russell Stamper II sat at the helm of the Sister Cities Committee along with representatives from the public and private sector and the community. He said the new partnership would provide mutual improvements in culture, education and economic development.
“We do look to benefit from their urban agriculture and minerals, and we are going to in turn step up the support and help them with water,” Stamper II said.
The Tarime District is a rural community located in East Africa bordering Kenya to the North and East and Lake Victoria to the West. Although it is near the second largest freshwater lake in the world, fresh drinking water is just one of the many issues that hinder the young nation.
Christine R. Thompson Mosore, Founder and President of Mosorec International Foundation, connected the city of Milwaukee to the Tarime District through her nonprofit work in Tanzania improving lives of women, children and families.
Thompson’s work focuses on building schools and promoting education as well as women empowerment, youth development, providing literacy programs for adults and feeding the elderly. Mosorec International Foundation has donated 800 bras to the women of Tarime.
As part of their global impact program another sisterhood in Milwaukee has been helping the Tarime District. The Epsilon Kappa Omega chapter of the Alpha Kappa Alpha learned about the water crisis through their high school model UNA-USA program.
Vice President Dara Atandare said that after learning about the water crisis in Tarime they also donated funds to build wells near schools as well as the need for protective coverings over the wells.
“We decided to have this partnership under global impact to really sustain a relationship and have global awareness,” Atandare said.
All agreed that the opportunities for an international education exchange program would provide new cultural experiences for students as well as the chance to study material unattainable elsewhere.
“I see there are universities and high schools here,” Misiwa said. “I hope for an exchange program where students in Tarime can study in Milwaukee and acquire tech skills that are not available in Africa.”
Misiwa and Milwaukee city officials met throughout the rest of the week to share ideas to collectively create the vision for the newly acquainted Sister Cities. Misiwa invited city officials, as well as the rest of the city of Milwaukee, to visit the Tarime District.
After standing for both the National Anthem of the United States and the National Anthem of the Republic of Tanzania, and an exchanging of appreciation gifts the sisterhood was concrete.
“It feels good to say we are part of a sisterhood in this relationship because the people are connected and the people have a shared vision,” Hamilton said.