Associazione Culturale Link has been established in 2003 by a group of young people wishing to promote non formal education, intercultural learning activities and human rights education in the Region of Puglia. During the years the association has offered mobility opportunities to hundreds of young people, focussing on Youth in Action activities such as youth exchanges and European Voluntary Service. Link is since 2007 a hosting, sending and coordinating organization in the frame of Action 2 and offers a variety of activities for young people from all over Europe. Beside exchanges and EVS, Link is also involved, both as organizer and as co-promoter, in many other projects supported by the program: partnership building activities, training courses, feasibility visits am projects supporting innovation and quality in youth work. Link is also dealing with other European programs such as Europe for Citizens and Lifelong Learning Program, with the aim of offering also opportunities to better understand other cultures to young people and adults. Link is very focussed on inclusion of young people with fewer opportunities. At local level the main activities are: supporting young people searching for educational projects abroad, organizing information campaigns for young people and for adults, running creative workshops with pupils and with youth (including those for disadvantaged background), promoting projects of non-formal education in collaboration with schools and local associations, implementing workshops with disabled youngsters, promoting volunteering and giving support to informal groups and organizations interested in European programmes.
Link promoted the European network Volatin (for the promotion of non-formal educational activities in neo-Latin languages) and is part of the network Cinco (promoting intercomprehension and multilingualism). Since 2012 has been recognized as a youth organization active at European level.
The staff is composed by 5 youth workers plus 3 local volunteers, working on a daily basis with a large public composed especially by young people aged between 13 and 30 years old. Specific projects and activities are carried on, on a regular basis, with disadvantaged target groups (early school leavers, young people with disability, minority groups, etc.). Link has worked with the “Youth in Action” Programme, and especially with the European Voluntary Service, since the year of its foundation (2003). During these years the association has sent and hosted several volunteers, giving them opportunities of intercultural learning and exchange. Through years and experience it has been reinforced the concept of EVS as a fundamental tool for the growth of youngsters and for the development of the organizations involved in the projects. Moreover, the presence of young European volunteers in a particular context allows to reinforce and/or build new networks in the local level and bring youngsters and host organizations closer to European values, so they can feel themselves as active citizens and contribute to spread principles and issues such as the respect of diversities, tolerance, fight to discrimination, intercultural dialogue and non-formal education.
Link has a strong and diversified partnership in the local area, involving the cities of Altamura, Bari and Matera and well cooperate with local authorities and schools. Since 2010 Link coordinates 2 hosting projects in Matera and since this year also 1 HO in Altamura, giving its support to those organizations that decided to involve in their activities European volunteers. This experience so far has been very successful and the organizations we coordinate are really motivated to go on in this process. By participating to the EVS as a sending organization, Link allowed many youngsters to live an experience of intercultural mobility and learning and, when back, to become an active part of the association as local volunteers so they could contribute properly to implement hosting projects and activities, promoting the integration of European volunteers in and with the local community. On international level, Link can now count on a strong collaboration with several partners in Europe and outside Europe with whom Link constantly organises projects within the “Youth in Action” Programme and other programmes for the young people and adults mobility. Since its birth, Link has continued spreading its local and international partnerships, creating news collaborations and networks and broadening its influence in the local area, promoting international voluntary work and brining young people closer to Europe. All the experiences gained during these years and the success of the projects organised (sending, hosting and coordinating), encourage Link to continue with its activity and to persist in achieving its goals.
Office: Via Santa Croce n°3, 70022 Altamura - Italy
Legal address and post address: Via Silvio Pellico 10, 70022 Altamura - Italy