About Us

May 29, 2016

Sister Cities Association of Belvidere is a chapter of Sister Cities International, which is headquartered in Washington, D.C. Sister Cities is a national non-profit organization of U.S. communities linked globally with similar communities to promote lasting friendship through a variety of programs.

Affiliations between cities throughout the world began after World War II when President Dwight D. Eisenhower proposed the People-to-People concept in 1956. His idea was to involve people and community organizations in personal diplomacy. Out of this grew Sister Cities International, which is now represented in all 50 states in the United States, the District of Columbia, and five U.S. territories. It has helped over 700 U.S. communities partner with 1,800 international locations in 134 countries around the world, providing thousands with the opportunity to experience and explore different cultures.

Our Mission & Purpose

We aim to promote peace through mutual respect, understanding, and cooperation — one individual, one community at a time. Sister Cities International is a non-profit citizen diplomacy network that creates and strengthens partnerships between U.S. and international communities. As an international membership organization, we officially certify, represent, and support partnerships between U.S. cities, counties, states and similar jurisdictions in other countries.

History of Sister Cities Association of Belvidere

In 1988, the Sister Cities Association of Belvidere, Illinois, Inc. was formed as a not-for-profit corporation. In that year, Schwieberdingen, Germany became Belvidere’s first sister city.

Schwieberdingen is a rapidly growing city of 10,700 located ten miles northwest of the larger city of Stuttgart. Many visits, home-stays and exchanges have occurred between our two cities. They have included mayors, city council members, music groups, youth exchanges, and individuals.

In 1999, Vaux-le-Pénil, France became our second sister city. Situated about 45 miles southeast of Paris on the Seine River, Vaux-le-Pénil is in the region of Ile de France, often referred as the bread basket of France. Belvidere has welcomed many visitors from Vaux-le-Pénil. Adult and youth exchanges have taken place in both directions.

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