SAN CRISTÓBAL DE LAS CASAS, MEXICO
In May 2013, Greg Clemons, chair of our San Cristóbal de las Casas (SCDC) committee, traveled to that city with several students from Mars Hill College. They gathered donations of medical supplies beforehand and delivered them to midwives in SDCD.
In conjunction with the Sister Cities organization in Wilmington, Delaware, we helped fund and manage the construction of 29 wells in Osogbo, Nigeria. Valeria Watson-Doost, chair of our Osogbo committee, served as the Asheville Sister Cities liaison. She assisted with grantwriting and visited Osogbo three times over the course of two years. The wells were completed in late 2012. Click here for an article by Asheville’s Urban News.
Currently, Asheville Sister Cities — in conjunction with Raleigh and Xiang Yang, China — is working on the upgrade of a clinic in Osogbo. This is part of a two-year Sino-African Initiative, which seeks to create projects that address community needs, safeguard human rights and safety, and promote transparent business practices and government accountability.
The clinic, which focuses on maternal health, will be expanded and refurbished and running water will be added to the facility. This will make the clinic the first in sub-Sahara Africa to be brought up to World Health Organization standards, making it a model for basic maternal and infant care in Africa.
The Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation awarded Sister Cities $1.5 million to help implement the people-to-people Sino-African Initiative, which builds on Sister Cities International’s African Urban Poverty Alleviation Program to address urban poverty in African cities through water, sanitation and health projects.