Buffalo is fortunate to have a number of Sister Cities located throughout the world. A number of the strong connections have resulted in far-reaching, feel good initiatives that have made substantial impacts locally and abroad. Some Sister Cities engage in exchange programs, while others (such as Kanazawa, Japan) have made indelible marks upon our landscape (think Japanese Garden).
Buffalo’s Sister Cities (international friend and partners) include Derry, N. Ireland, Horlivka, Ukraine – Drohobych, Ukraine – Juba, Southern Sudan – Kiryat Gat, Israel – Cape Coast, Ghana – Marilia, Brazil – Torremaggiore, Italy – Lille, France – Rzeszów, Poland – Siena, Italy – Tver, Russia – Parish of Saint Ann’s Bay, Jamaica – Dortmund, Germany and Kanazawa, Japan.
Sister Cities strive to spark solid relations with each other. Sometimes the relationships ebb and flow, depending on specific festivals and events (locally and nationally), politics, and timing. Regardless of the whether there are tangible cross promotions occurring at any given time, the relationships between the Sister Cities are always secure, awaiting the perfect instance to work together on building stronger bonds between oft-unfamiliar cultures.
One Sister City that is currently working towards building stronger bonds with Buffalo is Dortmund Germany. Greg Engle and his wife Lynn (Program Director – Buffalo Dortmund Sister City Student Exchange Program) have been helping to entertain foreign exchange students who are currently visiting Buffalo.
“The Sister City relationship between Buffalo and Dortmund Germany – the groundwork for this started back in 1972 when Herbert Morgenroth arrived in Buffalo as an exchange teacher at the University at Buffalo under the auspices of the Carl Duisberg Society, a German exchange program,” Greg explains. “Morgenroth was [so] struck by the similarities between our City of Buffalo and his home town of Dortmund, that by 1976 the two cities had made official visits and created the partnership.
“Today the Sister City relationship is still strong, with German students visiting Buffalo during the summer months for a 2.5 weeks homestay program, and students who stay for 4 months and attend schools in and around Buffalo.
“Currently we have 15 students from Dortmund in and around Buffalo until December 10th, the day they head back home. Lynn and I are alum of the exchange program. Lynn will be taking a group of students from WNY to Dortmund next summer for a 2.5 week homestay exchange program. Most of the kids going to Dortmund hosted students this past summer and will be staying with the student they hosted.”
If you want to see some of the things that the German exchange students have been doing since arriving in Buffalo, you can follow their pursuits by visiting the Buffalo Dortmund Exchange Program’s Facebook page.