The Sister Cities concept was developed by President Eisenhower in 1956 to increase international cooperation and understanding by promoting communication at the person-to-person level through city-to-city affiliations.
Lakeland Sister Cities International (LSCI), a chapter of Sister Cities International, was formed in 1990 with a relationship with Richmond Hill, Canada. Subsequently, relationships have been established with Imabari, Balti, Chongming and Portmore. These cities were chosen through direct ties with Lakeland citizens, the interests and commitment by a core group of individuals from both cities and the rich mutual interests of both cities for cultural exchanges.
The mission of LSCI is to develop relationships with people and cities of similar interests to Lakeland. This unique program encourages cultural and educational exchanges, business opportunities and increased tourism by encouraging direct personal and professional relationships at the grass roots level. To accomplish its mission LSCI depends upon a large group of core volunteers who actively participate in a variety of activities, including hosting international visitors. LSCI welcomes organizations and individuals willing to share their skills, talents, training and resources to make a difference in a rapidly changing and interdependent world! DOWNLOAD BROCHURE
OUR SISTER CITIES
Richmond Hill, CANADA SINCE 1990
Lakeland has enjoyed 20+ years of friendship, past Rotary Club activities & trade agreements with this Ontario city. Lawn bowling, hosting international ice hockey, exchanging students and an occasional round of golf are activities that have been associated with our Canadian Sister City.
Portmore, JAMAICA SINCE 2009
Located outside of Kingston, Portmore is happy to connect with Lakeland. School partnerships have formed. Their city received a water truck with help from our city and has consulted with Lakeland Parks & Tourism Departments. Lakelanders have enjoyed the delicious foods of Jamaica via local social events. Sports and economic activity are shared interests for the future with our geographically closest city.
Chongming, CHINA SINCE 2007
Three of our sisters are on islands, but this friend is the entire island. Near Shanghai on the Yangtze River, these friendly people welcome opportunities in Lakeland and their area to promote prosperity, via interactions in education, technology, sports, business and culture.
Balti, MOLDOVA SINCE 1997
Pronounced “Beltz,” Balti is a young democracy. Lakeland helped create an audiology center there and continues to support this city’s service to veterans, elderly, hearing impaired and orphans. We donated 400+ wheelchairs to the needy. It is a beautiful country.
Imabari, JAPAN SINCE 1995
High school students travel to each others cities in alternate years learning language and living each others culture while building lifelong friendships. Imabari has gifted our art museum with pieces from their collections, has written a bilingual tabloid, and grows as we do through our rich relationship.
Rbitsnya, MOLDOVA REGIONAL FRIENDSHIP
Jiaxing CHINA REGIONAL FRIENDSHIP