Kidlinks World, Inc. is a registered 501(c)3, non-profit organization that is based in Madison, Wisconsin and is 100% volunteer-run and donor-funded. Kidlinks has been in existence since 2004, with the mission of improving the lives of vulnerable children in South Africa and Madison, Wisconsin. We accomplish our mission by forming partnerships with grass roots initiatives that serve the children on a daily basis. We currently support nine projects operating in South Africa and Wisconsin, USA. Through these partnerships, Kidlinks is reaching over 3,000 vulnerable children.
We support each of our partners in different ways, based on their needs. Our support comes in the form of small grants, regular financial contributions, building food gardens, establishing playgrounds, and providing educational assistance. In addition to Kidlinks’ assistance from the US, each year, Kidlinks members and volunteers travel to South Africa to assist our partners, strengthening our relationships and commitment. We are able to financially support our partners through our numerous fundraising events in Madison and through the generosity of Kidlinks’ supporters. Volunteers also work with our Madison-based project.
Kidlinks also promotes cultural understanding and awareness by enriching the local community with information on the socio-economic realities of Southern Africa, HIV/AIDS, and the inspiring work that is being done to help vulnerable children.
WHY WE WORK IN SOUTH AFRICA AND WISCONSIN, USA
The main reason we work in South Africa and Wisconsin is because we have strong relationships in both places. We believe that having a strong relationship with our partners allows us to help the children in a more comprehensive and effective manner, as well as to provide a high level of accountability to our donors and supporters as to how their contributions are being spent.
We also work in South Africa because the need is great. The prevalence of HIV close to 19%, which exacerbates poverty, malnutrition, inequality and other socio-cultural factors. Children are extremely vulnerable in this environment. These children are at an increased risk of abuse, rape, suicide, substance abuse, housing eviction and stigma, as well as a decreased ability to stay in school or to find legitimate employment. These are the challenges that Kidlinks and our partner organizations work to improve, ultimately bringing about positive change in the lives of affected children.
Empowerment: We promote confidence, independence and self-sufficiency, seeking to provide a hand-up, not a hand-out, to the individuals we support. Kidlinks doesn’t solve problems for people, it solves them with people.
Sustainability:We undertake all of our projects and partnerships with the intention that our support will be continual, while simultaneously working to create structures and programs that will support our project partners without creating dependency.
Compassion:We work to ensure that all of our actions display empathy, understanding and care, always seeking to preserve and enhance the dignity of those we serve, guided by the fact that we are all equal and we all have a right to a healthy, happy life.
Ethics: We conduct all of our work in a transparent and accountable fashion, ensuring that we are spending funds in a responsible and effective manner.
Connection: We believe that we are all connected and as a result, we all have a vested interest and a responsibility to care for those less fortunate. In so doing, we grow as individuals, we uplift others and we build a better world, one connection at a time.
We envision a future where all children will be given the opportunity to lead a safe and healthy life in which they are nurtured, provided for, and empowered so they may each realize their full potential and grow into educated, independent members of society.