The mission of the International Trends and Services facet is to expand the global platform for programs designed and developed to service the educational, health and cultural needs of people of African descent throughout the world. All programmatic components of the facet are delivered through measurable and sustainable service delivery methods that reach women and their families.
The foremost goal of the International Trends and Services facet is to provide opportunities for tangible service in other countries. Our “boots on the ground” approach provides for more personalized methods for assisting and improving the lives of women, children and men worldwide through long-term programs committed to empowerment and public policy leadership in advocating for social justice.
THE LINKS DELEGATION TO LIBERIA, GHANA, AND JAMAICA
The Links, Incorporated is committed to expanding its global presence and have embarked on a journeys to Liberia, Ghana, and Jamaica. We look to broaden our International Trends and Services platform for programs designed to service the educational, health and cultural needs of people of African descent.
During our visits to Liberia, Ghana and Jamaica, The Links, Incorporated demonstrated our commitment to enriching and sustaining the cultural and economic survival of people of African ancestry, through friendship and service.
- Visited Liberian schools adopted by The Links, Incorporated: School for the Blind, Ann Sandell School, and AME University.
- Witnessed the dedication ceremony of The Links Maternal Waiting Home.
- Explored the history and culture of African villages in Liberia and Ghana.
- Walked through Kakum National Park in Accra, Ghana.
- Toured historic landmarks.
- Partnered with Colgate Bright Smiles, Bright Futures and performed several thousand dental exams over three years at three primary schools in Jamaica.
- Helped train 4th-6th grade students in CPR .
- Planted a Links Friendship Garden for healthy living.
- Donated nearly 1K books over several years to Links Friendship Library and for students to take home.
- Donated nearly 200 Amazon Kindles.
- Donated a Links Computer Lab.
- Donated an Ultra Sound Machine to Falmouth Public Hospital from the Milwaukee (WI) Chapter of The Links, Incorporated.
SIGNATURE PROGRAM: Education Across the Miles
Since 1996, The Links, Incorporated has built, refurbished and furnished educational materials to over 60 schools in South Africa, successfully making a direct and significant impact on the lives of thousands of African students and families. Contact with these schools continues today as The Links, Incorporated positions itself to adopt four schools in Liberia, West Africa – the Todee School, AME University, the School for the Blind, and the Ann Sandell School. And 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 will aid in the reestablishment of the Liberian and Jamaican educational system.
NON-GOVERNMENTAL ORGANIZATION (NGO) PROGRAM INITIATIVES
The Links, Incorporated and its NGO representative to the United Nations, have worked diligently to produce a strong and cohesive plan to strengthen its work with the United Nations. The 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, apartheid, child labor and human development.
Links International Foreign Affairs and Business Empowerment for Youth (LIFE) Program
The LIFE program is designed to expose minority high school students, grades 9-10, to career possibilities in foreign affairs and international business in an effort to close the race and gender divide in corporate and state department jobs, and Foreign Service appointments. Chapters of The Links, Incorporated partner with local high school, college and university faculty and administrators to implement a two-week program curriculum which 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. LIFE program alumnae are able to apply to the Howard University Summer Enrichment program if they choose to continue their studies in international affairs. Each year, nearly 400 students participate in the program.
Linking with Haiti – Women’s Survival Kits
The Links Incorporated provides outreach to women and girls in Haiti who were affected by the devastating 2010 earthquake through the distribution of Women’s Survival Kits. This initiative provides a direct and deliverable service to the Haitian community. With the supplies needed for personal hygiene and daily living 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.
SAFE MOTHERHOOD INITIATIVE: Maternal Waiting Home
For years, The Links, Incorporated has been a leader in providing service to people of African descent in the United States, the Bahamas, Haiti and Africa. The International Trends and Services facet looks to continue this tradition and expand the presence of The Links, Incorporated abroad with emphasis on safe motherhood programs. These programs address the issues of clean and safe deliveries, essential obstetric care, and preventable death and disability among mothers, expectant mothers and newborns.
In 2003, The Links, Incorporated partnered with the World Health Organization to reestablish the Uganda Ministry of Health’s Maama Kit program. Chapters raised and donated funds to support the assembly and distribution of clean birth kits in Uganda. Today, The Links, Incorporated transitions its focus to the most pressing needs of women and children in Liberia, which has one of the highest maternal and infant mortality rates in Sub-Saharan Africa.
With the dire need for adequate maternal/child health care in Liberia, the International Trends and Services facet carries on its maternal/child health focus through the construction of a Maternal Waiting Home in rural Bong County.
Maternal Waiting Homes allow pregnant women who live in remote areas, where medical facilities and trained medical professionals are not available, to come to a clean and safe environment in anticipation of their deliveries.
The Maternal Waiting Home program in Liberia helps to alleviate the complications and health issues for mothers and newborns that are the result of deliveries not assisted by trained medical professionals. The Links, Incorporated will also provide postnatal Mama Kits containing essential items for mothers and newborns.
The Links at the United Nations
Why does The Links at the United Nations exist?
One of the five programmatic thrusts of The Links, Incorporated is the International Trends and Services (ITS) facet. Through this facet, the organization implements programs and initiatives aimed at significantly improving the lives and opportunities of people of color worldwide. The organization has had significant success in achieving its ITS goals, however, the continued success of this facet is due in part to the information shared and the partnerships forged through The Links at the United Nations event. This event provides significant opportunities for Links members to communicate with world leaders to learn the critical issues impacting their countries and ways in which these issues may be tackled. Through communication, collaboration, and cooperation, we are then able to tweak existing programs and/or develop new initiatives that effectively target the crises faced.
The role of The Links , Incorporated's NGO Representative
The role of The Links’ NGO representative is to provide knowledge and expertise to The Links, the United Nations and other international organizations. The NGO representative assists in monitoring and implementing national and international memoranda of understanding and other agreements between The Links and similar organizations. The NGO representative also relays useful information about current world issues and aids in developing strategic programs that target these issues. The NGO representative works to further understanding of world issues and international affairs and seeks to find the most effective ways to improve the lives of women and men worldwide.
The role of attendees of The Links at the United Nations
Through this event, The Links, Incorporated hopes to arm members with information that will significantly aid in bolstering and developing effective programs under the International Trends and Services facet. Members should take the information provided and present it to Chapter Presidents, Chapter Program Coordinators and community members with the goal of constructing initiatives that work. Following this event, attendees should, in essence, serve as representatives – relaying information, offering suggestions and influencing changes that eventually improve our programs, our communities and our world.
The Links, Incorporated as a Non-Govermental Organization (NGO)
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 our 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 color worldwide, The Links, Incorporated is strategically positioned to tackle the issues confronting our women. Furthermore, the organization’s past success in dealing with like challenges prove its effectiveness as a Non-Governmental Organization, essentially a not-for-profit, voluntary citizens group at the local, national and/or international level.
Projects under The Links,Incorporated as NGO
The Links Model United Nations Program – This program engages grade school and college students at Historically Black Colleges and Universities as well as other institutions of higher learning. Students are invited to special events sponsored by The Links and encouraged to become involved in international affairs through working with the UN. Students research and discuss complex global issues such as the role of women in developing countries, apartheid, child labor and human development.
Day of the African Child – The Links, Incorporated hosts annual programs aimed at increasing awareness of issues affecting young people and encouraging young people through the UN to consider leadership and international affairs. This year’s Links at the United Nations workshop entitled “Empowering Adolescent Girls: Challenges, Strategies & Opportunities” will stimulate new ideas and initiatives for effective, future programs.
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 issues sometimes seem daunting but through events such as The Links at the United Nations, members learn the most effective ways to target these issues and can return to their Chapters and communities armed with defined plans for effective programs and initiatives.
Mama Kits – The Links, Incorporated supports the Safe Motherhood Initiative which reinvigorated the Mama Kits program. The Mama Kit contains basic supplies to facilitate clean and safe delivery of babies and reduce the risk of deadly infection to the mother and her newborn baby. Over 10,000 women were helped through these efforts, and the program now reaches women in Uganda, Ethiopia and Mozambique.