Our Story

Link is Scotland’s leading international education charity, working to improve education across sub-Saharan Africa and beyond.

Today, Link is a family of organisations working to transform education for children and communities across impoverished rural areas in:

Working directly with schools, communities and government, we provide support and training for more effective teaching, improved school management, increased community engagement leading to better learner outcomes.

From humble beginnings as a student society over three decades ago, Link has improved the life chances of hundreds of thousands of children across sub-Saharan Africa.

Here is our story.

How it started

Link started life in 1989 as Link Africa,  a student-led movement at the University of Cambridge. With roots in the anti-apartheid movement, Link operated in rural areas of South Africa that were most in need of support.

Pioneering work

Over time, Link evolved from school level projects to a “whole district” approach. This meant liaising with schools to help them identify and communicate their requirements, as well as encouraging district engagement with schools to support change.

This pioneering work proved hugely influential in improving district communication and ownership. It set the stage for Link’s increasing focus on working with districts to improve their capacity to support schools through better information provision and more effective planning.

Expanding horizons

Link’s novel whole district approach in South Africa caught the attention of those working to improve education in other countries.

1999 – LCD Ghana was registered and began work in Bolgatanga, closely followed by work starting in Uganda on the Masindi District Education Development Project.

2003 – Link was awarded its first HIV/Aids project in South Africa, marking the start of an increased focus on health as part of our core school improvement work.

2006 – Link’s growing reputation and success saw the organisation expand into Malawi with funding from the Scottish Government.

2007 – Link started work in Ethiopia in 2007, made possible by an Irish Aid grant secured by the recently established Irish branch of Link.

2017 – Rwanda became the most recent addition to the Link family.

Looking to the future

As Link builds experience across its countries of operation we are also collecting a considerable bank of comparative data. Looking to the future, we are exploring ways to use this data to understand the impact of our work comparatively across regions.

We plan to share this learning more widely with ministries of education and local governments to influence policy internationally and improve education around the world.