“What you do not want done to yourself, do not do to others.” Confucius
School linking is often seen in isolation but it is strengthen and enhanced by including members of the wider community.
The UK One World Linking Association (UKOWLA) (link) working with partners in from communities in the Global South has identified the following principles, which apply equally within school links.
General principles of community linking
Links may be established as short-term initiatives as well as long term, but they should:
- Recognise, respect and value cultural difference
- Be equitable with a sharing and balancing of the benefits
- Aim for genuine dialogue and decision-making in jointly developing the framework of the link
- Develop the capacity of the people and communities involved in the link
- Encourage and engage women’s participation
- Raise awareness and advocate on rights and development issues – civil, political, economic, social and cultural
- Move beyond funding, recognising inequalities, but building on strengths, experience and knowledge
- Be inclusive in strengthening the communities in the link through engaging the young, local institutions, faith groups, the diaspora and others
- Be seen as an opportunity for collaboration with appropriate authorities such as local government.