Aidlink Ireland

Aidlink is a development organisation, striving to achieve gender equality and tackle poverty in Africa, while also raising awareness of global inequality in Ireland. Founded in 1982, Aidlink was formed by a group of volunteers in Dublin. 40 years later, Aidlink works through a tested partnership model with African community-based NGOs, delivering life-changing programmes, strengthening the capacity of communities and delivering sustainable results.

Aidlink targets the most isolated and marginalised in society, empowering communities to take greater control over their lives and livelihoods. In recent years, we have concentrated our work in three countries: Kenya Uganda and Ghana. Aidlink is particularly committed to supporting women and girls and tackling harmful cultural practices that impede on their education, agency, personal choices and basic human rights. We believe that by putting the furthest behind first – often girls – we can support entire communities’ growth.

Many of the communities Aidlink works with are patriarchal and polygamist in nature, and continue to engage in customary practices and behaviours that are especially harmful to women and girls. This includes physical violence, child marriage and female genital mutilation, as well as routine exclusion of women from decision-making that affects their lives, such as on issues of education, marriage and family planning.

We address the social and cultural barriers that cause children, especially young girls, to drop-out of school, working to promote gender equality and rights-based education. Students, teachers and Boards of Management receive training to support a child-friendly learning environment; communities are sensitised on the harm of cultural practices like early marriage and female genital mutilation (FGM) and on the value of education. Through community volunteers and leaders, we identify out-of-school children – particularly girls and children with disabilities – and support them to enrol back in school.

We believe that with deeper understanding, and sustained focus on the drivers of gender inequality, communities can come together to create more just and inclusive societies. When women and girls can exercise their agency and live free from harm, entire communities benefit and progress.