Denver Sister Cities International has been honored for the work of its Axum Committee, which collaborates with Metro State to support a variety of educational projects in the northern Ethiopian city.
Denver Sister Cities won a Sister Cities International 2011 Innovation: Youth & Education Award, which recognizes “the accomplishments of outstanding community and individual sister city programs that promote peace through mutual respect, understanding and cooperation.”
Metro State has several ties to Axum (also spelled Aksum), which is Denver’s ninth sister city.
In 2010, Metro State in partnership with Denver Sister Cities’ Axum Committee collected several tons of books for Aksum University and supplies for a school. Metro State in 2011 helped raise money to build the four-room Gessesso School, and Stuart Monroe, a Metro State computer information systems professor, taught at Aksum University and supervised construction of the elementary school.
Metro State’s partnership with Aksum University received a Building Sustainable Study Abroad Capacity grant for $272,425 from the U.S. Department of State. A delegation from the Metro State visited Ethiopia last summer, and Metro State President Stephen Jordan led a second delegation there as part of the Metro State Aksum University partnership.
Fifteen Metro State students, three faculty members and a staff member will spend this summer in Ethiopia, including at the university.
The award to Denver Sister Cities “speaks highly of Metro’s engagement in the community, both locally and internationally,” says Ali Thobhani, executive director of the Metro State Office of International Studies. “It’s been a mutually beneficial relationship.”
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