Twinning Cities, Striving towards sustainable development

We help support communities to Reach Their

LEICESTER PROJECTS

The Leicester Masaya Link Group (LMLG) co-ordinates Leicester’s official twinning link with the city of Masaya in Nicaragua. The LMLG use their expertise in international linking and sustainable development to inform and deliver global learning in schools and community groups across Leicester.

Teaching in Leicestershire Schools

Leicester’s official town twinning link with the city of Masaya in Nicaragua was established in 1987. Since then, the Leicester Masaya Link Group (LMLG) has been working to foster friendship and mutual understanding between the two cities, with the dual purpose of contributing to the alleviation of poverty in the Masaya region and building awareness of and engagement with related global issues in and across Leicester’s communities and schools.

Our first-hand experience of development issues is integral to our programme of global learning and over the years we have devised and delivered a range of projects for schools, notably the “Food for Thought” programme, an interactive learning approach to tropical eco-systems which provides hands-on experience of life in Masaya. Global Challenges-Sustainable Solutions and the Plant to Product project offer pertinent examples of the local to global implications of the Sustainable Development Goals

From Plant to Product

In this project, inspired by the Leicester Masaya Link Group’s development work in Nicaragua, Leicester schools learn about resourcefulness and resilience from our counterparts in Masaya. Young people explore the centrality of maize to Nicaraguan life, from fresh corn on the cob to the ubiquitous ‘tortillas’ and the traditional maize and cocoa ‘pinolillo’ drink served in carved gourds, from greetings cards decorated with dyed maize husks to the medicinal uses of maize silks,  they see how every part of the plant is used.

 

As well as handling original artefacts from Masaya, students think about how the LMLG’s projects in rural communities are making a positive contribution to the Sustainable Development Goals including access to water, clean/affordable energy, gender equality, poverty reduction and climate change mitigation. A key aspect of the project is to open a discussion about interdependence and the connections between our local lives and the global context in the 21st century.

 

For more information or to book sessional visits to schools, contact lmlg@leicestermasyalink.org.uk

The Global Learning Library

The LMLG also manages the Global Learning Library which comprises our own extensive collection of development education resources. The library contains books, artefacts and learning packs for schools and community organisation to borrow at any time. More information about the resources can be sought from Lee Jowett, Sustainable Schools Coordinator for Leicester City Council or by contacting lmlg@leicestermasayalink.org.uk

Global Youth Work

Leicester Masaya Link Group youth and community work practitioners use Think Global’s framework to synthesise some of the complex ideas of good practice in global youth work. This framework is based on the concept of Connect, Challenge, Change, providing youth work practitioners with a model for planning and evaluating their own global youth work.

Leicester Masaya Link Group youth and community work practitioners use Think Global’s framework to synthesise some of the complex ideas of good practice in global youth work. This framework is based on the concept of Connect, Challenge, Change, providing youth work practitioners with a model for planning and evaluating their own global youth work.

 

Destination: Think

Destination: Think is a “off the shelf” resource for youth workers complete with lesson plan, activities and resources for a complete 2 hour session. The resource is a series of workshops based on items needed for a holiday and produced in a suitcase. Lesson plans include sessions on:

  • Passport – Immigration
  • T-Shirt – Fashion Industry
  • Money – Global Financial Inequalities
  • Sunglasses – Climate Change
  • Book – Inequalities in Education

Activity packs can be purchased from 

lmlg@leicestermasayalink.org.uk

LMLG & ADIC PROJECTS

ADIC is LMLG’s partner in Masaya and we have been funding and organising projects jointly for about 20 years. Here are some of the main projects and what they have achieved.

Proyecto Sol (‘Sun project’)

Perhaps the biggest project which LMLG has ever run in conjunction with ADIC, this brought electricity to more than 120 homes in rural areas which at the time were remote from the electricity grid, using small-scale solar energy systems. Funding was provided by UK housing associations, including Leicester-based associations. A volunteer engineer from Spain trained ADIC staff to install the solar kits.

In recent years, the government has extended electricity coverage to almost 99% of Nicaragua and electricity generation is close to 80% from renewable sources such as wind, geothermal and hydro.

Children in Farming & Schools Gardens

ADIC has worked with two different local primary schools in Masaya to develop children’s awareness of the natural world and to plant trees in the school grounds.

Model Farms

ADIC has been working on sustainable agriculture with small farmers in the Masaya area for several decades, often focussed on building the skills of women or young people in the farming families.

One of the tasks shown in the photo is drawing plans of each farm which express each farmer’s ambitions for how it might look in the future.

An aim of the project is that farmers who have taken part in earlier projects help to train new families joining for the first time.

Straw Bale Houses

Many houses in rural areas are poorly built but the cost of building a conventional, earthquake-resistant house is too high for most farming families. ADIC experimented with using straw bale construction, which is both more economical and eco-friendly, using local materials. After building a model house (part of ADIC’s office), 13 new homes were built using the straw bale method.

 A  lot of the new homes are still in excellent condition, several years later.

Water Tanks

In rural areas, while most houses have a water supply it can be very intermittent. The water tanks we installed with funding from the British embassy enabled more than 100 families to have a reliable supply of water, often used to irrigate their plant nurseries.

Scroll to Top