Isabelle Herzig (left) and Samantha Cacnio made a presentation at the Nelson council meeting on Monday.

Nelson’s Zambian relationship begins

A Canadian intern is preparing to travel to the District of Kaoma in Zambia for six months to learn how that city operates

Nelson will soon know its Zambian sister city better.

A Canadian intern is preparing to travel to the District of Kaoma in Zambia for six months to learn how that city operates and look for opportunities for the new siblings to develop a mutually beneficial relationship.

Samantha Cacnio, the Richmond, BC-based intern with Victoria International Development Education Association, was in Nelson on Monday learning how our municipality is run.

“I’ll be preparing a presentation for the District Council of Kaoma to tell them how [Nelson] operates. And when I come back after my six months I’ll have another presentation to tell [Nelson city council] how they run their district,” Cacnio explained at a council meeting Monday.

“Hopefully both cities will be inspired by that and get more from the friendship agreement.”

Nelson signed the 10-year municipal partnership agreement with the District of Kaoma, Zambia, last November. The relationship is meant to help Nelson and Kaoma residents better understand and become involved in global issues. There is no financial commitment from either municipality.

Councillor Donna Macdonald said she is looking forward to Cacnio’s report back.

“There are services we offer as a municipality that we could potentially share, in time, with Kaoma. And likewise we may identify places where we can also learn from our colleagues in Zambia,” Macdonald said.

Isabelle Herzig of the Nelson and Area Kaoma Alliance said Cacnio will also help advance projects with the Zambian non-profit Women for Change, which works to alleviate poverty, promote gender equality, income generation and opportunities for youth.

Cacnio plans to write about her experience in a blog, which will be posted on the Nelson and Area Kaoma Alliance website (nelsonkaoma.org).

Her internship is funded through the Canadian International Development Agency.