Link Community Development
|Purpose||Improving education in Africa|
|Mr Steve Blunden|
Link Community Development (Link) is a partnership of international NGOs and separately registered charities in Ireland, Ethiopia, Ghana, Uganda, Malawi and South Africa, England & Wales, Scotland and the United States. Link works on a grassroots level and its main focus is school improvement in sub-Saharan countries in partnership with Ministries of Education. It works with all schools in target districts providing a variety of capacity building training, resources and support to schools, teachers, headteachers and district education staff. This includes specific literacy, numeracy and HIV/AIDS projects. Their stated aim is to improve the quality of education in rural schools across sub-Saharan Africa so that children and their communities have better life opportunities, and to provide educational opportunities for UK schools to get involved with schools in Africa. Link currently works with over 400 schools in the UK.
Link was founded in 1989 as Link Africa by students of Cambridge University who actively supported Black Education in South Africa. Separate partnerships have been established in South Africa, Ghana, Uganda, Malawi, Ethiopia, Scotland and Ireland between 1995 and 2007. Link continues to expand and is now probably the leading specialist NGO in district school interventions. The Most Revd Desmond Tutu is the Patron of Link.
Link’s vision is a future where all children have access to free, quality education enabling them to flourish and fulfill their potential. Link believes that education is a basic human right and fundamental to breaking the cycle of poverty.
LCD aims to improve the potential of disadvantaged people to gain meaningful employment by sharing and developing appropriate skills through education and training.
Global Teachers Programme(ongoing): A professional development programme for experienced teachers and headteachers lasting 15 months. It includes:
- A five week summer placement on a school improvement project in Africa.
- Follow up work in the UK, using the learning from the placement.
- Comprehensive training and support before, during and after the placement.
Link Schools Programme (Ongoing): A programme that allows UK schools to set up and sustain meaningful partnerships with schools in Ghana, Malawi, South Africa and Uganda. LCD currently supports more than 800 partnerships. The activities and benefits range but generally include:
- Opportunity for teachers and pupils to share experiences and learn about real lives in Africa
- Ability to obtain first-hand substantial information about African countries
- Chance to develop global citizenship values, and decrease harmful stereotypes
- Opportunity to apply for an International Schools Award
Events and activities
The Morocco/Croatia Hitch is Link’s biggest fundraiser and the world's largest organised hitchhiking event. It occurs every Easter holiday with students from universities across the UK taking part. It began in 1992, with Prague being added in 2003. This second destination was changed to Croatia for the 2012 event. More than 8,500 people have taken part in the Hitch since it started, raising at least £4.5million. The event is sponsored by Rough Guides, which donates guidebooks for the destinations.