A Way to Stay Connected: Santa Monica Sister City Pen Pal Program

The Santa Monica Sister City Association has started a pen pal program, first with Hamm, our Sister City in Germany, and soon with our Sister Cities in Mexico, Japan, and other cities in the near future.

Called, “Keeping in Touch,” the program has already attracted several residents who have been matched with someone in Hamm based on mutual interests and

age range.

Santa Monica resident and Sister City Board Member, Lisa Azuma, and her pen pal in Hamm are the first in the new program. They have begun by exchanging letters discovering their mutual interests in bicycling, gardening, languages and travel. Lisa explained, “We are introducing ourselves, describing our families, and our communities. We have compared notes on several issues including how our communities have coped with the Corona-virus pandemic and reported on our schedule of vaccinations.”

These are the types of communications that make for long-term friendships and result in better understanding and awareness of other people, their cultures, and the communities in which they live. As noted by Ms. Azuma, “I’m very happy that the pen pal program was offered to open-aged citizen diplomats (not just young students). Establishing new connections with our sister city brethren brings us all closer together.”

The program fits right into the International Sister City motto: “Peace in the World, One Person at a Time.”

The program is open to all ages interested in connecting with someone else. Once preferences of age, gender, specific interests, and hobbies are known and a match is made, pen pals can contact each other via Facetime, What’s App, Zoom, letters, emails, or any way they choose.

For more information about the Santa Monica Sister City Program, “Keeping in Touch,” contact Monika White, 310-828-4559 or monikawhite1@gmail.com

By Monika White, PhD

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