It wasn’t big or particularly clever, it just seemed to work. The Links approach of enabling people on the ground to take responsibility for local challenges after training from visiting teams of qualified volunteers has an impact which is sustainable and low cost. Whether in community healthcare, agriculture, education, or micro-enterprise development, small steps were making big differences.
After a number of years working with the Links team in the Philippines and Malawi, I was delighted to be asked to head up a new project in partnership with New Community Southampton, and International Christian Assemblies based on the huge Kibera Slum, Nairobi in Kenya. Out of a half-built, tent roofed community centre, the ICA team were committed to bring love and change to a small part of the slum.
With their experience, advice and generous access to written materials, Links has quietly enabled a number of adapted healthcare trainer courses to take place and a planned Micro-Enterprise development training is in the pipeline. Alongside these courses and in a similar vein, a thriving football coaching academy has been set up with a significant impact on youth crime and gun related deaths. Several hundred youngsters are on a regular feeding programme, a small primary school is up and running, and a tiny training bakery and a fledgling sound recording studio are finding their feet.
Thank you Andy Read and Links… It was too good to keep to yourselves