When the coronavirus outbreak in China became big news in the U.S., way back in January, Fort Worth Sister Cities International knew cultural competency education and training for students and adults alike was going to change for us. No way could we fathom how much it would change.
Since that time, this evolving pandemic has resulted in restrictions on travel, and quarantines, and the idea of social distancing has been introduced. Public health experts emphasize that we must all do our part to limit the spread of COVID-19 to protect our world. All of it.
For these reasons, it was clear that some spring travel programs, as well as local events should be canceled. From the beginning, we wanted to ensure the safety of our Youth Ambassadors and their leaders, as well as protect our global community.
Fort Worth has formal relationships with sister cities in nine countries, many of which have been hit hard. At this time, building connections and creating international relationships is more important than ever and let’s not lose sight of how people who are falsely associated with the disease’s origin are being cruelly teased. We are better than that. Over the coming days and weeks, we will look for creative ways to stay connected, help where we can and strengthen efforts to eliminate this pandemic.
The organization has served Fort Worth for 35 years creating connections that benefit us all and we have been extremely successful having won numerous national and international awards. Fort Worth has the best program in the country and we will continue to do great things for our citizens here at home and our friends abroad.
Many of you have relationships around the world from participation in our programs and exchanges. Take this time to reach out to them. See how they are doing. Start a video chat. Tell them how you are adapting to working at home, or keeping kids entertained. You may pick up some great ideas from our friends around the world like the always creative Italians who sing from their balconies or conduct fitness classes from rooftops. We’re all in this together, so use your time to connect with others.
The staff of FWSCI is working remotely through the end of March and can be reached through our contact information below. If you have ideas you would like to share on creative programs or questions about any canceled or future programs, please do not hesitate to contact one of us. We hope that you and your families remain safe and healthy and thank you for your continued support.