Season's greetings from Link Community Development.
As the end of a busy year approaches, we would like to reflect on and share with you our biggest achievements of 2016, and look forward to what the New Year will bring.
We bring you this extended newsletter with gratitude for your continued support.
We invite you to become a Friend of Link
The need for education is universal. Access to a good school is not.
In the UK, access to education is considered a given. This is not the case in many countries around the world. At Link Community Development, we envision a world where every child has the right to quality education.
Children all over the world need school, yet for the most vulnerable, getting an education is a sometimes insurmountable challenge. In Africa 30 million children are not in school; the average class size is 60; and girls, who are often married at just 13 years old, face five hours of domestic work a day on top of their education.
We are working hard to solve these critical challenges through effective school improvement models that help the most vulnerable, but we cannot do it alone. Your support this Christmas and beyond can help us change this and give children and communities the chance of a more secure life.
Help us continue our legacy across Africa by becoming a Friend of Link. By giving just £10 once a year, you can make a real difference to the lives of thousands of children. Please donate now via PayPal.
Choose to support Link Community Development this Christmas. Thank you.
A new project for Link Community Development Ethiopia
Link Community Development Ethiopia is delighted to have received a $50,000 grant from the Boeing Foundation for the Pre-School Advice and Support Pilot.
The lack of pre-school education in rural Ethiopia is a major barrier to improving learning outcomes as the primary curriculum assumes basic literacy and numeracy. Children who enter first grade without this knowledge are disadvantaged from the start and often drop-out. Through this project, 16,000 five and six year old children will access quality pre-school education, ensuring that they are ready for primary school, positively influencing retention and learning outcomes.
Link Community Development Ghana is awarded USAID grant
Link Community Development Ghana have been awarded a USAID grant to promote transparency and accountability in education.
This will be achieved by working in partnership with the Northern Network for Education Development to deliver improved governance and more efficient management of education resources.
The project will run until December 2017, covering five districts and 40 schools in the Upper East Region.
Successes keep coming for Link Community Development Malawi
Following an exemplary year with the introduction of Malawi's first National Education Standards and the completion of our Family Literacy Project, we are thrilled to share with you a video focusing on the Dedza Reading Clubs implemented by Link.
Link Community Development Malawi - Dedza Reading Clubs
In September, we launched our new Open Society Foundation funded Increasing Participatory Governance in Education in Malawi project. Building on our successful community-based school improvement planning, we will investigate why some community members are excluded from the school improvement cycle with the view to removing the barriers to participation.
We will work with all 236 primary schools in the Dedza district, and will directly involve our government partners during the project to develop confidence in a more inclusive system that can be scaled-up and applied across Malawi.
Continued progress by Link Community Development Uganda in Buliisa
The Link team in Uganda is pleased to provide an update on their activities concerning our Lugungu and School Support Initiative in Buliisa - Phase 2.
Newly recruited volunteer literacy teachers are in the process of setting up reading clubs which will provide plenty of interactive activities for children such as songs, letter games and making fun materials to assist with reading development. Early grade teachers are being trained to teach in the local language, Lugungu.
The project supports the Ugandan government's initiative to teach in the learner's mother-tongue, shown to transform learning outcomes, and to use school data to improve learner performance.
Caroline takes on the West Highland Way
On the 16th December 2016, the newest member of the Link team, Caroline McKay, will attempt to become the first woman in history to run the West Highland Way non-stop during mid-winter - and she is doing it in the name of quality education in sub-Saharan Africa!
The West Highland Way is a 95-mile stretch between Fort William and Milngavie. This is a significant challenge that only six people have ever completed in the darkness and icy-cold temperatures of winter. Caroline is attempting to become the first woman to complete this run, and is aiming to finish in less than 24 hours.
If you are inspired by Caroline's story and would like to take on a challenge yourself, you can get some ideas for 2017 by checking out our Open Challenge Guide.
Spreading the word of Link's work
2016 has provided Link with fantastic platforms to provide expert input to several conferences, give a variety of talks, and the opportunity to celebrate our work with diverse audiences.
Dr Samantha Ross, Link's International Programme Director, was invited to speak at both The Open University conference on 'What do the Sustainable Development Goals mean for Scotland' and the UNESCO launch event for the Global Monitoring Report 'Education for people and planet: Creating sustainable futures for all'. Both events were a great success and provided guests with invaluable information on how Link's work on the ground is helping to meet the United Nation's agenda for 2030.
We were delighted to be hosted by the Lord Provost of the City of Edinburgh on 30th November 2016. Our Civic Reception was an opportunity to celebrate our work in sub-Saharan Africa with a group of select guests. We thank the Lord Provost for kindly hosting us and look forward to continuing to make a difference from Link's home in Edinburgh.
Finally, we would like to thank Woodmill High School in Dunfermline for supporting Link this year by raising £250 and taking part in a workshop about Link's work in Ethiopia.
Looking forward to 2017
Members of the Link Community Development family will be meeting once again in Kigali, Rwanda to reflect on the progress of our organisation to ensure that our work is still as progressive as ever.
Our International Management Team members will also be meeting with policy-makers, other education NGOs and partners in Rwanda to continue discussions concerning the country's education priorities and how Link can assist.
There are plenty of exciting announcements in the pipeline concerning new projects and developments within the Link family. We hope to share news with our supporters as soon as possible.
If you have any questions about the work we undertake, please feel free to get in touch. Please call us on 0131 225 3076 or email firstname.lastname@example.org.
On behalf of all at Link Community Development, we would like to wish you a joyous holiday season and a wonderful new year.
All the best,