SAN CRISTÓBAL DE LAS CASAS & VALLADOLID, MEXICO
In 2017, members from both San Cristobal and Valladolid, Mexico committees will be delivering 110 wheelchairs to members of the communities with mobility issues.
The Wheelchair Project began almost two years ago with conversation in San Cristobal de las Casas around the huge need for mobility for many in the community. Partnering, the two Mexican Committees (Valladolid and San Cristobal de las Casas) met with the Asheville Breakfast Rotary club to begin the process of raising the funds to cover the cost of a container of wheelchairs to be sent from the Wheelchair Foundation to be sent to our sister cities in Mexico. We have been fundraising for a year, accepting personal donations as well as hosting a “Mercado Night” at 67 Biltmore Downtown Eatery and Catering which featured collected items from artisans in Mexico as well as live auctions. We are close to our goal of sending 110 chairs and hope to place our order by July 15th of this year. Shipping and delivery will take 3 ½ months. The chairs will be trucked to San Cristobal from the Port of Entry, and unloaded and stored by the Rotary Club in San Cristobal in Mexico and by DIF. 50 chairs will then be sent by truck, cost covered by a private grant from Bepensa, to Valladolid, again to be stored by DIF and IMA, a US based medical group. Each chair costs $150 ( and there are 110 in the shipment) plus the cost of customs and port fees. We are close to meeting our goal, but still have a little ways to go. We are currently selling vouchers for an Asheville Tourist Baseball ($7 to get you to any game besides July 4th and any Thirsty Thursday game). We are also still accepting donations on our website http://www.ashevillesistercities.org/events/ and all donations go directly into this project.
For anyone interested in purchasing Tourist vouchers, contact Lori Davis [email protected] withe the subject line “Tourist Voucher”
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.