Seattle Medium | WASHINGTON, DC – LueRachelle Brim-Atkins, president of Seattle-Limbe Sister City Association (SLSCA), has won the Sister Cities International (SCI) 2018 Volunteer of the Year Award. The award, open to over 500 sister city programs nationwide, recognizes the accomplishments of an outstanding individual involved in a community sister city program, promoting peace through mutual respect, understanding, and cooperation.
Over the past four years, Brim-Atkins has created a unique community program — the Seattle-Limbe Sewing Circle, a nonprofit citizen outreach network whose mission is to create and strengthen partnerships, promote cultural understanding, and stimulate economic development between Seattle, USA, and Limbe, Cameroon. The organization’s sewing sessions, where people come together to create reusable feminine care kits for schoolgirls in Cameroon, are held regularly at three locations (First AME Church, Congregation Beth Shalom, and Baitul Ehsaan Mosque). These colorful handmade kits help girls stay in school during their menstrual cycles. In poor communities worldwide, due to lack of supplies, girls often miss school during their periods; this puts them at greater risk of dropping out and marrying early. In three years, Seattle delegates have delivered close to 5,000 kits to Cameroon, and have conducted reproductive health workshops there.
Brim-Atkins has led SLSCA in creating a cross-cultural, multi-racial, multi-gender, intergenerational, interfaith organization that has grown steadily over the last four years. Volunteers have developed relationships across demographic, cultural, and religious groups, thus breaking down artificial barriers and stereotypes.
Seven SCI Award winners will be honored in 2018 — five programs for their excellence in programming and innovations, plus a youth leader and the volunteer of the year who have demonstrated exceptional efforts to advance peace through citizen diplomacy.
“We all stand to learn from these superstar Sister City programs as they impact their communities across a broad range of sectors that include business entrepreneurship, youth leadership, and arts and culture,” said Roger-Mark De Souza, SCI’s president and CEO. “These individuals and local organizations inspire us to be better citizens as their work exemplifies President Eisenhower’s vision of engaged international citizen diplomats. They create beneficial connections and lasting relationships which will help their communities today and for years to come.”
The award winners will be honored during SCI’s 2018 Annual Conference from August 2-4thin Aurora, Colorado. The conference will bring together hundreds of the most influential citizen diplomats and global leaders in diplomacy, foreign affairs, policy, business, and innovation to discuss, share examples, and network. This year’s theme, Cities Leading the Way,will focus on smart and resilient cities, leadership development, and entrepreneurship as key building blocks of President Eisenhower’s vision of creating a more peaceful world through citizen engagement and international cooperation between cities.