Since 1996, The Links, Incorporated has built, refurbished and furnished educational materials to more than 60 schools in South Africa, successfully making a direct and significant impact on the lives of thousands of African students and families.In 2013, we expanded our programmatic impact in Africa and adopted four schools in West Africa—the Todee School, AME University, the School for the Blind, and the Ann Sandell School. While engagement with these African schools continues today, we are also working with three primary schools in Jamaica—St. Mary’s Preparatory, Mt. Zion Primary, and Watford Hill Primary.
Through in-kind donations, monetary support, and the lending of professional expertise in curriculum and lesson plan development, we are aiding in the reestablishment of the South African, West African and Jamaican educational systems. An integral component of our outreach is the implementation of The Links, Incorporated Teacher Training program in partnership with governmental organizations and non-governmental organizations. Through this program we empower teachers who complete the training to return to their schools and train other teachers.
The Links, Incorporated believes that all people have the right to live with dignity and have access to basic life necessities.To ensure sustainable livelihoods of people of African ancestry abroad The LinksHelp for Humanity programmatic outreach efforts focus on providing access to clean water, personal hygiene supplies, food, and medical attention and supplies.
Women’s Survival Kits – The Links, Incorporated supports women and girls in Haiti affected by the devastating 2010 earthquake through the distribution of Women’s Survival Kits. Our outreach provides a direct and deliverable service to Haitian communities. With the supplies needed for personal hygiene and daily living are still difficult to secure, this initiative aims to provide basic survival kits to women and girls in Haiti so they can preserve their dignity. Each kit assembled by members of The Links, Incorporated contains fundamental items, such as toothbrushes, toothpaste, soaps, and washcloths, that are too often taken for granted.
Toilets for Haiti – Sixty-six percent of Haitians living in urban settings don’t have access to improved sanitation and toilets, which has resulted in one of the most virulent cholera epidemics in the world and high rates of childhood diarrheal incidence.To address this crisis, we are working to deliver 1,000 dry toilets to Haitian residents so they may have access to toilets in their homes. In home toilets will provide families a sense of pride as well as increased safety and security, which will help to combat gender-based violence.Also, the waste will be collected and treated so that it can be used as fertilizer.
Links International Foreign Affairs and Business Empowerment for Youth (LIFE) program exposes minority high school students to career possibilities in foreign affairs and international business in an effort to close the race and gender divide in corporate and governmental jobs, and foreign service appointments. Chapters of The Links, Incorporated partner with local high school, college and university faculty and administrators to implement a program curriculum that includes site visits, guest speakers, webcasts and case studies on business and foreign service. The LIFE program curriculum is patterned after the successful Howard University Summer Enrichment program at the Ralph J. Bunche International Affairs Center. Each year, nearly 400 students participate in this program.
The role of The Links, Incorporated’s NGO Representative
The Links NGO representative provides knowledge and expertise to The Links, the United Nations and other international organizations. Our NGO representative assists in monitoring and implementing national and international memorandum of understanding and other agreements between The Links and similar organizations. She also relays useful information about current world issues and aids in developing strategic programs that target these issues. Our NGO representative works to further our understanding of world issues and international affairs and seeks to find the most effective ways to improve the lives of women and men worldwide.
Annual Global Student Videoconference
The Annual Global Student Videoconference is an interactive forum for students ages 15 to 18 to commemorate the victims of slavery and the Transatlantic Slave Trade. This videoconference is held at the United Nations in New York City, New York. The purpose of the conference is to help raise awareness of prejudice and racism, providing the students an opportunity to discuss the issues and brainstorm on how to bring about global awareness of topics discussed. Links chapters sponsor students to attend the videoconference.
United Nations Conference on the Status of Women
Women today confront enormous challenges. Statistics show that two-thirds of the world’s one billion illiterate adults are women and roughly 66 percent of the 130 million children not in school are females. In addition, one in every four households today is headed by a woman. Statistics such as these seem to paint an ominous future for women and families.As an organization consisting of women who are leaders in their communities, established for the main purpose of strengthening and improving the lives of women and men of African ancestry worldwide, The Links, Incorporated is strategically positioned to tackle the issues confronting women. Furthermore, our past success in dealing with like challenges proves our effectiveness as a Non-Governmental Organization, essentially a not-for-profit, voluntary citizens group at the local, national and/or international level. Through the Conference on the Status of Women,The Links, Incorporated arms members with information that will significantly aid in bolstering and developing effective programs under the International Trends and Services facet.Also, this conference provides the opportunity to engage with UN officials, governmental officials of UN member countries, and NGOs worldwide about matters affecting women and children and those living in poverty.
International Children’s Day – The Links, Incorporated hosts annual programs aimed at increasing awareness of issues affecting young people.
International Women’s Day – The Links, Incorporated takes this opportunity to assess the progress of women worldwide in their struggle for equality, peace and development. Again, workshops such as “Women’s Economic Empowerment in Africa” will provide us with current information and incite discussion on how the organization can work to assist women in achieving their goals.
United Nations Millennium Goals – The Links, Incorporated seeks to implement programs and initiatives that target the eight Millennium Goals. These goals aim to promote gender equality and the empowerment of women, confront the treatment of women and children in developing countries, human trafficking, violence against women, the HIV/AIDS crisis and other health issues.
The Links, Incorporated and our NGO representative to the United Nations, have worked diligently to produce a strong and cohesive plan to strengthen our work with the United Nations. Our Model UN program engages grade school and college students at historically black colleges and universities, as well as other institutions of higher learning, to become informed and active citizens of this changing world.
Students are invited to special events sponsored by The Links, Incorporated and are encouraged to become involved in international affairs by working with the United Nations. This program’s goal is to provide as many international experiences for our students as possible. Through the Model UN program, students are given the opportunity to research and discuss complex global issues such as the role of women in developing countries, child labor and human development.