Update October 2020
Members of the Learning Links Team, with Prof Chris Evans (right) at the University of South Wales, as well as Yasus Afari and folks sharing research findings from the "Sheep to Sugar" project - this was October 2019.
Greetings to you wherever you are in the world. This is such a strange time, so stay safe and be kind. It's easy to feel angry about delays and changes, but it doesn't really help.
Learning Links International (LLI) is a volunteer led social enterprise set up in 2010 with support from Jamaican poet, Yasus Afari. The LLI Directors come from Wales, Jamaica, Nigeria and England, and we are currently operating on Zoom!
Initially based in Wolverhampton, Learning Links International founder, Liz Millman, worked with colleagues in Wolverhampton and the wider West Midlands, making links with Jamaica, as well as developing and managing the Black History Month Programme in North Wales. Click HERE
In 2014 LLI gained the National Sector for Voluntary Organisations Award: Investing in Volunteers.
By 2016 LLI was working mainly in Wales and we are grateful to Maggie Ogunowa for helping us set up an office in Penygroes.
At present our focus is in finding new ways to research the shared histories and links between communities and countries, and telling these stories using a range of approaches working with poets, teachers, authors, academics and entertainers.
With our developing Zoom skills we started 'Black History Lunchtime Coversations' every Friday lunchtime - teaming up with 'Belong Nottingham' and 'Highlands and Slavery' This is going well. Click HERE to go to the website and register for the next session or link with recordings of past sessions.
Jamaican poet, Yasus Afari, keeps in close touch and we are working on the 'Building Bridges' poetry project, showcasing the poetry written by students and teachers he met at schools in North Wales and in Pennants, Jamaica.
Yasus Afari's virtual 'Jamaica Poetry Festival 2020' was amazing - a fabulous achievement with 65,000 views so far - to check out on YouTube Click HERE It's well worth planning to take a couple of hours and just watching it!
The 'Dyffryn Ogwen Wirters and Friends' Zoom sessions on Creative Writing have started and are going well.
Click HERE for more information. This is supported by Lottery 'Celebration' funding.
The 'Pennants Project' team meet evrey few weeks and we are making good progress towards raising the funds to refurbush the school in ennants and build an Infant Department.
We are also currently exploring the links that Wales has around the world, as well as looking at ways to celebrate Welsh Language and Culture, and due to Liz's current location, we are exploring the way that the story of colonial invasion of the Australian continent is told. It was recently 250 years since Cook landed, so there is lots of TV coverage of the story - told in many different ways.
In the UK we work with a wide range of organisations and schools, including Arts Council Wales, , Race Council Cymru, Rotary International and Wales International/ Cymru a'r Byd.
In Jamaica we work with the Institute of Jamaica, Edutainment Promotion and the Jamaican Language Unit, as well as the Rotary Club of May Pen and Clarendon Council.
THANK YOU / DIOLCH YN FAWR to the National Heritage Lottery Fund for supporting our application to research the story of 'From Sheep to Sugar: Welsh Wool and Slavery'. Check out www.welshplains.cymru for links to the project's bilingual sites. This was a very successful project, with lots of 'spin off'!
DIOLCH YN FAWR / THANK YOU
to the Rhona Reid Trust for support with the 'Building Bridges'
Project - website under construction!
THANK YOU / DIOLCH YN FAWR to the Welsh Government for additional support for the "Geriau Windrush Words" project and also "Caribbean Connections"
and "Tenke" / Thank You to YASUS AFARI for your support in carrying out the Jamaica Wales Alliance Community Black History Month community tour in Wales in October 2019.
Learning Links was developed initially 10 years ago, see "Remembering 2007 in 2017".
Now our research and projects cover an even wider spectrum, as we identify new links and opportunities for research by community based volunteers in countries and communities around the world.
Please use this site to link with us to see how we can explore together and link with your interests. So please find out about the projects and activities we have been involved in, and also about some of the ideas we have for developing some of these threads and the new challenges we are taking on.
We are always delighted to hear from people interested in our work and activities! There are many ways to explore and share stories, please contact us if you have an idea or suggestions to make.
Here are members of the Learning Links International Jamaican delegation at the Denbigh and Flintshire Agricultural Show held in North Wales each August - this was the group who went in 2017. The following year the Jamaican High Commissioner and his wife came along to join us!
NB Currently we have most of our work based in Wales. We are updating our website with the intention of presenting more information in Welsh, with monthly updates.