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A Family Of Friends . 2017-2019

Let me tell you about a family of friends, a partnership and a global alliance with a local lens. The CT-Aachen partnership is like no other; it transcends borders, cultures, and includes all worldly sisters and brothers. 

I was introduced to the partnership when working with the City of Cape Town – in charge of organising a trip for our northern partners to come around. At first I could not quite understand how this partnership was sustained, and then I met the special people and my new appreciation was gained. 

This partnership is organic and is driven by individual hearts, coming together as a collective through giving, learning and arts. For anyone who is lucky enough to be brought into this fold will experience such acceptance, hope and friendship tenfold. 

I thought I was just a coordinator planning logistics for our German consorts. I had planned to show them around Cape Town and fetch them from the airport. But from the moment I started planning this trip I could feel that there was more, especially due to the numerous enthusiastic international phone calls received before. I started communicating with Gabriela, my German counterpart, but she felt like more than a colleague and was sassy and smart. We had the loveliest phone calls and she became a pen-pal, she was the first of many Aacheners, all with such kindness and morale. 

My involvement in the partnership grew and many exchanges were held, they invited me into their homes and they also slept at my pad. I met my exchange friend Tuba, and helped with University workshops, I gained so much from this partnership as the learning never stops. I may not be as involved any more but I know that I have a place in this partnership, with these dear people and in a collective vision for a more sustainable embrace.

Tiffany Chalmers

I started engaging with the Cape Town – Aachen Partnership when I was an intern at the City of Cape Town in 2017. As part of the work being undertaken in the Environmental Management Department, I was tasked with coordinating various exchanges between the two cities at different levels – government exchanges with city officials, a university exchange with Aachen and Stuttgart, and a mayoral exchange visit. I was also lucky enough to visit our lovely counterparts in Aachen and see how we could learn from them in economic innovation, urban agriculture, electric power and urban upgrading. I currently work at an international NGO in Cape Town managing climate research and development programmes.