From Lue-Rachelle Brim-Atkins, a report on our accomplishments to date, and our aims for the future...
Greetings! 2018 marks my 4th year as president of SLSCA. It’s been an exciting four years and I am honored to serve as president. We have assembled an outstanding working board and, as a result, we have had many accomplishments thus far. We look forward to even stronger connections to Limbe—our Sister City—and to Cameroon.
Three Delegations to Cameroon
Three SLSCA delegations have traveled to Cameroon—10 delegates traveled in January 2016, 12 in December 2016 and 10 in January 2018. We value the legacy building and the intergenerational quality of our journeys. A young person has traveled on each journey—12, 17, and 18 years old. To date we have delivered 4,653 kits to help girls stay in school during their periods.
People-to-People Relationships in Seattle
Believing that it is important to create community at home before venturing abroad to do so, SLSCA has established a vibrant collaboration locally with First AME Church Sarah Allen Sisterhood (SAS) Women’s Ministry, a ministry that I chair. SLSCA and FAME SAS invited individuals and organizations to collaborate with us to create washable feminine care kits to help girls in Cameroon stay in school during their periods. MLK Baptist Church Women’s Ministry, Congregation Beth Shalom, Baitul Ehsaan Congregation, Kirkland Days for Girls Chapter, Delta Sigma Theta and Sigma Gamma Rho sororities along with other organizations and individuals in the Seattle community help us create these kits once per month at three sites (First AME Church, Beth Shalom & Baitul Ehsaan Congregation).
Through our collaborative efforts, we established Saturday Sewing Sisters (SSS) which we renamed Seattle Limbe Sewing Circle to honor the fact that our friends at Beth Shalom sew during the week rather than on Saturday and men and children have also joined our work. To date, we have taken 4,653 Days for Girls feminine care kits created in our community. We are grateful for the generosity of Delta Airlines and Air France for waiving excess baggage fees for our three trips.
While in Limbe, we discovered that there is no water at the Government High School and we are collaborating with the Limbe/Buea Rotary Club to install a “bore hole” (water well) there. We were subsequently asked by the Limbe Government Delegate to also help provide a bore hole at the Limbe Government Bilingual High School. We are grateful to DaysforGirls International, for teaching us to make the feminine care kits and for continuing to support our work as a Chapter of DaysforGirls.
Membership in 2017 reached 250 members at varying levels (Student, Foundational, Sponsor, Globalist). Most join because they want to share in the work we are doing.
Our next trip to Cameroon will occur in 2020 when we plan to make two trips—one to distribute feminine care products, teach reproductive health and African American history, and the second as a cultural exchange. On the latter trip, SLSCA member Delbert Richardson will take his African American History Traveling Museum along with art by Seattle artists to exhibit during Limbe’s Municipal Festival (FESTAC). The exhibit will be the only attraction on day 1 of the 3-day festival.
Members of SLSCA are having a grand time building cross-cultural community both locally and in Cameroon. We invite the participation of all people in the Seattle area who are interested in strengthening relationships in Africa, particularly in Cameroon.
LueRachelle Brim-Atkins, President
Seattle Limbe Sister City Association