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CHANGING LIVES, TRANSFORMING COMMUNITIES NOVEMBER 2013


LINKS INTERNATIONAL ‘LINKS’ WITH PARTNERS IN THE WEST AND IN DEVELOPING COUNTRIES TO INSPIRE, EDUCATE, EMPOWER AND RESOURCE INDIVIDUALS AND COMMUNITIES TO BREAK FREE FROM POVERTY AND DISEASE. LINKSINTERNATIONAL.ORG.UK

THANK YOU JACK! We’d like to say a huge ‘thank you’ to one of our youngest fundraisers, Jack Elford (7), who recently decided to try to do his bit to help others. Jack’s efforts raised an amazing £156 and we’re delighted to report that his donation has purchased the following: some hens, mosquito nets, Moringa trees, Links Air Miles and a water filter! It’s a wonderful contribution to our work – well done Jack! If you would like to raise funds for Links, please let us know how we can support you. Thank you!

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EDITORIAL TEAM Andy Read // Lynda Hubbard // Liz Brooks

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From the CEO Links USA Kenya Gala Dinner Links Gifts Links Business Day Uganda Projects Kingdom Resources India Information Mosquito Nets

DESIGN Sam Hubbard Design


EDITORIAL

The life of a Links International CEO is certainly varied! At no time was that more graphically illustrated than at the start of September this year. One evening saw me dressed in Black Tie attire, hosting our Gala Dinner in a London hotel. There I was mixing with some of our amazing supporters and some notable celebrities who provided the fantastic entertainment. The very next evening I flew out to Malawi with a small team to visit some villages in the south of the country and follow up on training we provided last May (as reported in the last edition of this magazine). There I met more amazing people in a very different setting; my dinner suit would have been very out of place – and also incredibly hot and uncomfortable! Quite a contrast, but the God who we love and serve was in both situations – encouraging, empowering and making His Presence known. And as we approach the season of Christmas, surely that is part of what the Incarnation of our Lord – the Word being made Flesh – is all about. God coming down to make His home in our neighbourhood, as The Message translation of John 1 makes clear. There is no part of our existence that is outside of where God wants to be involved and take up residence. So in both settings I was able to confidently talk about God’s love motivating us and being at the centre of what we want to communicate, in all we do. I hope you enjoy reading about that in this issue. My prayer is that you will all experience even more of His love for yourself this Christmas and into the New Year.

Andy Read CEO


LINKS USA DIGNITY & SUSTAINABILITY IN MISSIONS Dignity in Missions has become an important topic among those on the front lines of human care. As mission activity around the world is expanding, it is increasingly important to look not only at why we work among those in need, but also how. Though the world has changed drastically in the last century, mission work in many contexts is being done similarly to how it was 100 years ago. Thanks in part to books like ‘When Helping Hurts’, ‘Toxic Charity’, and others, questions are being raised about the effectiveness of missions. We’re finding more and more that measures of effectiveness need to be considered. For years, Links has sounded the alarm that mission work can be and needs to be sustainable. Sustainability in missions is key to ensuring the work we are doing carries dignity with it. A substantial hindrance to sustainability is doing things for people that they can

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do for themselves. At Links, we say, “We like to give a hand-up, not a handout.” Unfortunately, much charity work is done with an emphasis on the hand-out. The reality is hand-outs don’t solve long term problems and they are continually dependent upon funding from an outside source. They seem like reasonable solutions for immediate needs (which they can be for emergency response), but the bigger need is to ask, “Why do those needs exist in the first place, and what can we do about it?” In the West we love strategies, we love to be the hero and we like to accomplish big projects. When we feed a certain number of children, raise money or provide beds for homeless people, we feel a great sense of accomplishment. However, we can do an awful lot of work without actually helping very much at all. In fact, it is quite possible to inflict long-term harm on the very people we were trying to help if we don’t pay attention to how the help is being done. If we are creating

reliance on outside help as a solution, our work is likely not sustainable or dignified. Another hindrance in mission work is that it makes us feel good to help. It feels good to get attention and to be recognized (or even awarded) for the good that we’re doing. It feels good to go to orphanages around the world where fatherless kids hug you and call you “Mama and Papa”. It feels good to have sacrificed and to have raised money for a cause. It feels good to care. However, these feelings can subtly turn the attention from the good of those we’re helping to the good of those who are doing the help. Mission work will not bring dignity or sustainability to any context if the focus is on those who are doing the work. As bringers of Good News to the poor (see Luke 4:18), the goal of missions is for the Gospel to allow people in any context to experience the supernatural provision of God. The Gospel transcends


LINKS USA

culture. Mission Work is not to make the impoverished more like us or to make us the rescuers. Missions is to partner together to show how God can work through redemption, restoration, and relationships.

“THE ROLE OF THE OUTSIDER IN THIS APPROACH IS NOT TO DO SOMETHING TO OR FOR THE ECONOMICALLY POOR INDIVIDUAL OR COMMUNITY BUT TO SEEK SOLUTIONS TOGETHER WITH THEM.”* Handouts will always be accepted, and people in need always know where to get stuff. However, how many know where to go to have meaningful relationships? How many are known well enough to discover what their non-material needs are? How many are being loved by missional people over the long haul? What sustainable measures

are being investigated that will allow them to provide for their own families with dignity? What do our friends and neighbors in compromised situations really need? We have to always remember that they don’t need us. They need to experience the Good News we are bringing and watch it transform the darkness of poverty into the marvelous light of provision. These are the types of questions Links has been asking for years. We believe that patient partnerships with a focus on equipping and empowering are the best way forward. We are continually investigating ways to do the most good while providing the most dignity. In this modern age of missions where there is so much activity from so many different places, Links will continue to be focused on sustainability and dignity as we continue our mission of changing lives and transforming communities around the world.

*When Helping Hurts by Steve Corbett & Brian Fikkert

JASON BOLLINGER CEO, Links USA

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LINKS TRIPS KENYA Our latest trip to Kenya took place from the 18th May to the 1st June this year. The team was hosted by Joy Counselling who are based in Miti Mingi. Links has a longstanding relationship with Paul and Jonah there and it was good to catch up on progress since the last visit in November 2012. Ann and Andy Edmunds led a team of six for this trip and the main aims were to deliver training in community healthcare, carpentry, business management and education. At the end of each training course, certificates were presented to attendees.

In Miti Mingi, a total of 12 people attended the training. We took the opportunity to recap on basic training using drama, quizzes and small group discussion. The topics covered were hygiene and sanitation, immunization, family planning, sexually transmitted infections (STIs) and breast cancer. On the final day, attendees were divided into regional groups to discuss actions relating to what they had heard. Our carpentry training proved very popular and a total of 15 people came to this teaching, many of whom had attended last year. The group wanted to make a window frame and some shelves for the local health clinic. Wood was purchased with previous carpentry funding from Links to make the frame, but although training was given in how to make the shelves, the cost of materials was beyond their means at that point. For those interested in starting their own business, some of our team delivered

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teaching in such things as making a business case, business plans, proposals and ensuring good records are kept. This strand of our work was extremely well received. Our education trainer spent most of her three days in the local primary school in various English language classes, supporting the teachers. She demonstrated new techniques and simple resources that could be readily available to the school staff. Half a day was also spent at the senior school. We’re pleased to report that the good relationships with the schools have been strengthened further. After the time in Miti Mingi, our team headed to two new areas – Kanerero and Kampi Turkana, roughly two hours away. The poverty of these communities was evident, but over 80 people came to see our team, which demonstrated how keen they were to hear our teaching. Unfortunately, with limited time, the


LINKS TRIPS

team was only able to deliver fairly basic sanitation and hygiene training, but this is important because both communities suffer with typhoid - and good hygiene is all it takes to reduce its spread. The training was very well received and a way forward for the communities was outlined. During the second week 23 attendees from the region, only two of whom had been trained by Links before, learned about basic hygiene and sanitation, the treatment of diarrhoea, nutrition (including diabetes), hypertension, HIV, STIs, cervical cancer and prostate

cancer. The education and carpentry teaching continued here too. The team had identified a couple of men who showed aptitude for carpentry and supported them in taking more of a leadership role within the group, with a view to encouraging them to continue practising the skills when the team left. The team spent some time discussing the Joy Counselling ministry, previous and current Links projects and some new ideas, before visiting the school to train on healthcare. One of our education trainers, Holly Vanstone, who until recently was with our partners Wellspring in Uganda, has agreed to help with devising a healthcare manual for children’s work. A significant number of children and youth in the church make this a worthwhile exercise.

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GALA DINNER WOW! WHAT A NIGHT! The Links team and trustees would like to say a huge thank you to everyone who came to our Gala Dinner on Saturday 7th September - and to those who supported it in so many other ways! It was a fantastic night! John Archer and Tim Vine had us wondering such things as “How on earth did he [John Archer] swallow that inflated balloon?” and “Will he [Tim Vine] EVER get that pen behind his ear?!” One guest said, “I haven’t laughed as much in ages”, whilst another “laughed until I

cried”! Tina Oldham and her band added beautifully to the ambience. We were also thrilled that our auctions and donations raised an amazing £7,700! Our heartfelt thanks go to our auction donors: Boden, Bunches, Alistair Bullen, Costco, Cote Restaurants, DeVere Venues, Grafica by the Sea, Hilton, Peter Hopkinson, Ministry of Paintball, More Precious than Silver, The Handmade Cake Co. and Verbatim – and to the successful bidders!

“THE GALA DINNER WAS HUGELY ENJOYABLE...I THINK LINKS IS AN AMAZING ORGANISATION AND AM VERY HAPPY TO SUPPORT YOUR WORK…BLESS YOU ALL FOR ALL THAT YOU DO TO EXPAND GOD’S KINGDOM AND DEMONSTRATE HIS LOVE.” Auction bidder You can see more photos on our Facebook page [www.facebook.com/ linksintl] – and please don’t forget to ‘like’ our page to get regular Links updates in your newsfeed. It was so successful that we’re going to make this an annual dinner – and are starting to plan the next one already!

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GALA DINNER

Hold the date!! Next year’s Gala Dinner will be on Saturday 4th October in Marlow, Buckinghamshire. We’re already working on the line up, so please put the date in your diaries now! “As John Archer and Tim Vine were keen to remind us… All the effort on the night and before, contributed in a large or small way to transforming lives and changing communities!! (Thanks for reminding us boys!)” Matt Bell, Chair of Links.

“AN AMAZING NIGHT OF FUN, LAUGHTER, GREAT FOOD – AND GENEROUS GIVING TO OUR WORK. THANK YOU TO EVERYONE WHO HELPED TO ORGANISE, WHO PERFORMED AND WHO SUPPORTED US. ROLL ON NEXT YEAR!” Andy Read CEO of Links

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LINKS GIFTS Training course places - Worldwide

Our trips usually provide training in healthcare, micro-enterprise and education. Attendees are keen, so we’d like to accommodate more.

One place at a training course £20 Code: 025

Moringa Trees - Worldwide

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Eggs - Northern Thailand

A new hen will lay about 400 eggs in ten months and excess eggs can be sold.

One hen £5.50 Hen feed for ten months £11 Code: 001

Clean Water - Worldwide

This amazing tree is fast-growing, super-nutritious and antibacterial. We’d like all our partners to have some!

Lifewater Filter Kits kill 99.99% of harmful bacteria, producing ten litres of clean water per hour for a year.

Five trees £10 Code: 023

One kit (including spare candle) provides clean water for more than two years £45 Code: 013


LINKS GIFTS Bicycles - Africa

Bicycles provide essential transport for rural health workers and micro-enterprise managers.

One bicycle £160 Code: 020

Links Air Miles

Donkeys - Kenya

Donkeys help mothers whose only water supply can be two hours walk away.

One donkey including four water carriers: £115 Code: 019

Contribution to Trust Fund

We have calculated that, on average, it costs Links £7.50 per 100 miles to send a central team member to monitor progress at one of our communities.

Our Trust fund pays for the central costs of all that we do and, whilst we aim to be good stewards, core funding is often a challenge.

100 Links Air Miles: £7.50 Code: 022

Sample contribution: £5 Code: 023

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LINKS GIFTS ORDER FORM PLEASE TICK IF GIFT VOUCHERS ARE REQUIRED

please cut along the dotted line

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LINKS BUSINESS DAY LINKS BUSINESS DAY On Tuesday 9th July, Links hosted a Business Leaders’ information day in Northamptonshire. Links CEO, Andy Read, opened the day before Norman Barnes retold the history of Links from the initial vision nearly 30 years ago. Andy then brought attendees up to date with Links’ current activities. After a short break, Erik Hoving, Dan Turner and Will Hibbert of Bunches explained the benefits to them personally, as well as their staff and business of being involved with Links work. In a fascinating case study session, Richard Emmett detailed the difference that some simple agricultural measures, like composting, had made in Malawi since his initial involvement last year. The afternoon sessions consisted of two break out groups, one covering microenterprise development and the other community healthcare training. After a question and answer session, Grace Barnes closed the day beautifully with a Bible reading and prayer.

passion over a number of years now to see partnership between those who are in business and those of us who have facilitated mission and mission projects. A number of years ago now I began to take those involved in business on team with me to such places as India, Ghana, Jamaica, Sri Lanka and the Philippines. Their expertise over the years has proved to be invaluable. Here, we were holding a conference solely for those in business and we had never attempted this before, but it proved to be an exceptional day. The chemistry between those in business and those of us directly involved in mission has always fascinated me and this day was no exception. Will we have more of these kinds of days? I hope so and I believe that it is the way forward in this changing world in which we live. Never has it been more true to say “Together we can make a difference”’.

When asked what he thought of the day, Norman Barnes said: ‘It has been my

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LINKS TRIPS UGANDA From 21st April to 1st May a small team led by Links’ Community Healthcare Manager, Ann Edmunds, visited our partners, Wellspring in Uganda. This community healthcare training followed on from our last trip in November 2012. Herbert and Eve, who lead Wellspring, created a very full itinerary which meant that the team saw many different communities over the two weeks. Early on in the trip, the team visited Kasosi village for the very first time - and by the end of that morning, the group had increased from 50 first thing to 70! They carried out a brief needs assessment and used drama and discussions to teach basic hygiene. As water was identified as a major issue, five water filters were given out and attendees were told how to use clear plastic bottles in the sun to treat water. Treatment of diarrhoea and how to make an oral rehydration drink were also explained. The sessions ended with attendees being asked to consider

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what they would do differently in the light of what they had just learned. Basic hygiene, nutrition and immunization remain some of the biggest local health issues with childhood diarrhoea and typhoid all too prevalent. Sadly, whilst people seem aware of the importance of hand washing, using latrines and other preventative measures, factors such as access to safe water still limit the communities’ efforts to slow the spread of infection. As is so often the case in the villages we visit, malaria, HIV, eye problems, access to medicines, immunization, unemployment, poverty and climate change are also big considerations here. The team later travelled to Tororo and Apokor. Again, the main health challenges were identified as safe water and family planning, so simple ideas like encouraging people to boil their water were explained. Many people came to hear the team’s training in Mbula, which made delivering


LINKS TRIPS

programme. Again, some more communal water filters were given and recipients were shown how to set them up.

the teaching and group discussions challenging - especially when the afternoon’s pouring rain seemed to double the number of bodies crowded in to the small church building! As well as problems related to safe water, nutrition was identified as another priority, so it was covered in the afternoon’s

On the Sunday, the team members split up to visit two different churches in Mbula and Apokor, meeting up for lunch at Mbula before heading back to Wellspring. Little did they know that the Wellspring Community Neighbourhood event being held in the team’s honour that evening had ‘the muzungus’ (our team members) down to be part of the entertainment! For the last two days, the team visited some local projects including an affordable housing development that is being built on land which Links has helped to fund, a solar lighting pilot and a business proposal for the production of fruit juice that can be frozen and given to the children in Wellspring’s school. One final visit the team made was to a family with a child who is severely affected by hydrocephalus and another with twin girls of 18 months old who were living in horrendous conditions.

From here, they went straight on to a communal, grassy area to deliver more healthcare teaching on hygiene. The stark reality of the living conditions and the challenges villagers face when trying to practise what they hear from our teams were very apparent. If you would like to join a Links team on a trip next year, please keep looking at our website. Details are posted as they become available. We do hope you can join us one day!

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PROJECTS SWEET AS HONEY The cover of the last issue of the Links Magazine showed a very happy Chief Chapsinja in Malawi, after he was given a pilot bee-hive on our May trip. We were thankful to God that a Queen Bee took up residence just two days after the hive was put up, but what happened next? Our October visit to Chapsinja revealed that one attempt had already been made to harvest honey, resulting in some nasty stings. A key reason for Richard Emmett revisiting now was to demonstrate safe honey collection. He writes: ‘Approaching a hive of 50,000 busy bees, with only a hat, head mosquito net, and some rubber gloves, to take their honey is a “sobering moment”. The workers will give their lives to protect their Queen Bee. Yet if Mfumu Chapsinja does not see honey being safely harvested with what is available locally, this project won’t catch on – and each hive can produce an annual salary’s worth of honey! I also know that the workers should understand

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the fire risk of my smoking twisted straw taper if I hold my nerve. As I lift the hive’s lid, I see just what “hive of activity” means, and none of the expected pains of stings come - protection seems to surround me. After what seems an age, the honey is harvested, and the Chief says he will make more for his village, as he has seen how it can be done. Job done, back home thankful and full of joy. God gives “good gifts” not what harms us.’

Refreshing Water…. In September a small team went to the Blantyre area of Malawi and visited four villages where we had recently enabled much needed repairs to boreholes. Shawn Storey from Texas, who has experience in safe water projects elsewhere – including Kenya and Haiti – joined the team. He helped us to make a good assessment of the work that had been done – much of it good – and where more attention was needed. The villagers are very grateful for this provision. In fact, we were told by our partners that if any of us wanted to stand for government office, they are sure we would be elected!


KINGDOM RESOURCES LINKS INTERNATIONAL PROVIDES ‘SPIRITUAL FAMINE RELIEF’ TO WORKERS AROUND THE WORLD, MANY WITHOUT ACCESS TO CHRISTIAN RESOURCES. WE CURRENTLY SEND 135 PARCELS TO 40 NATIONS THREE TIMES A YEAR. THESE WERE IN THE LAST PARCEL. Groundlevel Worship CD Encounter

£45 blesses someone with three parcels a year. The parcels remind missionaries and workers that they are loved and thought of. Here are some of the many ‘thank you’ emails we recently received: Thanking you for your supplies at regular intervals. India

Book, ‘Essence: the manifesto of Jesus’ Roger Ellis

Living from the Heart Teaching CD by Stephen and Mara Klemich

Thanks for the valuable parcel you sent. Groundlevel CD is playing again and again in my car, and the teaching CD has done one round. The book by Roger Ellis ‘Essence’ is excellent vision creating material. India

Thank you very much for the latest package which arrived two days ago. It is very helpful to have the combination of teaching and worship and these materials get shared around our compound. Pakistan

These are really inspiring exhilarating books. Every believer in Jesus Christ will be benefited by reading these precious gems of thoughts. CDs are very useful and excellent. Thank you very much for remembering us and sending us the same. India

Everything arrived safely by post yesterday to our home in Portugal. God bless you for your continued kindness in this ministry to us abroad. Portugal

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INDIA INDIA UPDATE Our partners in India have some exciting developments that we thought you would like to read about. As you may be aware, talking about Christian teaching in certain geographic areas in India is sensitive, so we have anonymised the stories – but apart from this, the content is as we received it. Hello I am VG, would like to thank God for bringing His light into me and my family. For me Christ was for Christian but gospel was shared to me a such way that I started reading New Testament and now I my family are part of [church]. Please continue to pray for me and my family. Hi I am AK, following Christ along with my Mom, Dad and brother. Gospel of Jesus has brought light in our lives and such a peace we have that we cannot express this with words. What a joy to know the true and living God. I am part of [church].

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I am BS, I work in Police. Me and my family love the Lord serve the Lord. Two months ago we came to know the Lord when through prayers my wife was delivered from the bondages of darkness. We are part of [church]. AY: Christ has made a self image change in my life. Please pray for my family to know Christ too. Our partners offer the following ways in which you can be part of this community transformation, so please contact the Links office if you would like to know more: •B  y praying for more harvest and harvest force •B  y praying for all the trainings of new believers, church planters and Type I to Type IV leaders trainings and specific people group trainings •B  y praying for protection over Church Planters

• By visiting us and encouraging Church Planters • By supporting trainings and Church Planters • By supporting to complete the new training centre • By just letting us know that you are praying for us

Thank you!


CONTACT US LINKS OFFICES UNITED KINGDOM (HEAD OFFICE) PO Box 198 Littlehampton West Sussex BN16 3UQ +44(0)1903 778515 office@linksinternational.org.uk SOUTH AFRICA PO Box 37604 Valyland Fish Hoek 7978 +27 (0)786354674 mikegodward@linksinternational.org.uk UNITED STATES OF AMERICA PO Box 1223 San Marcos TX 78667 +1 (512) 765 4657 info@linksinternationalusa.com linksinternationalusa.com

TRUSTEES

Matt Bell (Chairperson) // Sim Dendy // Leigh Hills // Phil Moore // Lina Read

DIRECTOR

Andy Read CEO

BANKERS

Lloyds TSB Bank plc North Middlesex Group, Business Centre, PO Box 2135, Marlow, SL7 3HG

AUDITORS

Hewitt Warin Ltd Harlow Enterprise Hub, Edinburgh Way, Harlow, Essex CM20 2NQ

COUNCIL OF REFERENCE

Norman and Grace Barnes, Founders of Links International // Fran Beckett, Charity Consultant // Stuart Bell, Team Leader, Ground Level // Dr Steve Brady, Principal of Moorlands College // Rev Steve Chalke, Founding Director Oasis Trust // Gerald Coates, Pioneer // Dr Patrick Dixon, Global Change // Dr Rowland Evans, Nations // Mrs Faith Forster, Ichthus Christian Fellowship // Dale Gentry, Prayer Breakout Network // Floyd McClung, Formerly International Director YWAM // Micha Jazz, Peaceworks // John Noble, Spiritconnect

ASSOCIATE MINISTRIES

Links International works in association with the following ministries to present the challenge of world mission to the Church.

FINANCIAL STATEMENT

Links Magazine is sent free of charge to our partners and on request. All gifts to Links International are acknowledged and used as directed and designated; if the designated project has already been fully funded, discontinued, or cannot be completed for reasons beyond the control of Links International, the Board of Trustees reserves the right to use the funds for other similar projects, where most needed. Undesignated gifts are used for the general purposes of the Trust under the direction of the Trustees. Our accounts are audited annually. A copy of our report and accounts is available upon request. As a registered charity, Links operates its own Gift Aid scheme. Further details are available on request. All cheques should be made payable to Links International. Registered charity number 327000

Links International is a member of the Evangelical Alliance and Global Connections.

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HELP US STOP MALARIA! - In 2010, around 660,000 people died from Malaria - Most of these deaths occur among children living in Africa, where a child dies every minute from the disease - BUT - Malaria is preventable and curable! - The most cost effective way to prevent Malaria is through the provision of insecticide-treated mosquito nets, which protect recipients while they sleep under them every night (World Health Organisation) In many of the places we visit with Links’ teams, Malaria is a huge problem. That is why we know just how important it is that we continue to provide these nets. As part of Links’ trips, we train people in how to use them properly and how to adopt ways of discouraging mosquitos in residential areas. Please help us. Just £7 will help to save a life.

Links International Magazine November 2013  

Changing Lives, Transforming Communities

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