Why Link?

Linking aims to create a relationship between diverse cultures which is of mutual benefit.
Linking across cultures is an effective way of:

  • Learning about others
  • Challenging assumptions
  • Helping to break down barriers in ways that can help an overseas link
  • Increasing knowledge and understanding of global issues
  • Broadening and deepening knowledge about other countries
  • Developing friendships and feelings of solidarity with others
  • Strengthening the local (York) community and challenging narrow and distorted ideas about other races and cultures.

It can also be great fun!

Linking: what is it?Linking is the process of developing reciprocal relationships between people and communities in different cultures and countries

Linking and partnerships between two communities working together can be short- or long-term initiatives and can develop in different ways:

  • On a personal basis.
  • Between representatives/members of a local organisation e.g. youth group, church, hospital or local council.
  • Between villages/towns with a focus on developing a range of jointly agreed activities.

There are of course many ways in which Links can be initiated; some may be started after a visit to, or contact with, another country, or perhaps there is a specific event or problem that provides the spark. Another way in which a link may begin, and certainly a way in which to test its ideals, is to develop and deliver a project.

Building Linking partnerships takes time, commitment, openness and honesty if trust, respect and understanding are to develop. The exchange of information, as well as reciprocal exchange visits, can strengthen a shared understanding of what a Link can plan to achieve over time. One important characteristic of Linking is that it is not a one-way donor-recipient process whereby benefits (financial and other) flow in one direction. It is a two-way exchange based on equality of decision-making, which recognises the developmental needs of both communities.