Minneapolis-Eldoret, Kenya sister city program wins award for humanitarian efforts

The Minneapolis-Eldoret, Kenya Sister City Program has won Sister Cities International’s 2011 “Innovation: Humanitarian Assistance Award” for cities with populations between 100,001 and 500,000. In the last few years, Minneapolis has donated emergency equipment and training to Eldoret to improve public safety in their community.

The Innovation awards recognize the accomplishments of outstanding community and individual sister city programs that promote peace through mutual respect, understanding, and cooperation. Since 2009, the City of Minneapolis has donated firefighting equipment and a used fire truck to its sister city of Eldoret. The City also worked with Allina Medical Transportation and the International Leadership Institute (ILI) to facilitate the donation of an ambulance and medical supplies. Members of the Minneapolis Fire Department traveled to Eldoret in January 2011 to train Eldoret city workers in firefighting and how to use and maintain the truck.  The Fire Department, in partnership with the ILI, developed a three-phase training program for Eldoret locals on firefighting skills, first aid, emergency response, and maintenance of the donated fire truck.

The donations of firefighting equipment, truck and training stemmed from a request made by an Eldoret delegation that visited Minneapolis in 2008. The delegation expressed their concerns about firefighting, health care and access to schools, and requested a used fire truck. At the time of the Fire Department’s trip to Eldoret in 2011, the city of approximately 220,000 people had only one reliable fire truck that was stationed at the airport.

A delegation from Eldoret is making a trip to Minneapolis May 7 to meet with city leaders and members of the Fire Department. The visit is unrelated to this award.

Published May 2, 2012