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To foster friendship, mutual trust and dynamic interaction between the peoples of Yerevan and Cambridge as well as their neighboring regions; to build links between them, to promote public awareness of issues of mutual concern; and to appreciate and accommodate the various manifestations of diversity in these communities.
The Cambridge-Yerevan Sister City Association (CYSCA), was founded in 1987 by the Cambridge City Council and the Cambridge Peace Commission as a non-profit organization to implement exchanges and other projects linking Cambridge, Massachusetts, USA, and Yerevan, the capital of the Republic of Armenia.
In the early years, there were a number of official delegations exchanged, as well as groups of artists, musicians, environmentalists and educators. After a massive earthquake struck Armenia on December 7, 1988, CYSCA launched a major fund raising drive for humanitarian aid.
In 1994, CYSCA began to send groups of high school students between the two cities, and since 1997, hosted professional delegations from Armenia in numerous different fields: business, environment, public health, cultural and historic preservation, education, tourism and employment specialists, through the Community Connections program. Both programs received funding from the US Department of State. In the last three years, Community Connections has been funded by USAID and administered by World Learning, Inc.
Also, since 1994, CYSCA has provided financial assistance from US donors to schools in Armenia, mostly for building repair.
In two recent years, CYSCA has linked high schools by email to study saving energy (2004) and international negotiation on water rights (2006), with grants from Sister Cities International.
CYSCA also organizes and participates in local Boston area events to introduce Armenian culture to a wider public.
CYSCA relies for the most part on the volunteer participation and work of its board and members and the community. In addition, grant-funded projects allow us to hire consultants on a short-term basis.
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