Archive | April, 2011

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29 Apr


Iduka Partnership with A.I.D. (Advocacy Initiative for Development) in Sierra Leone!

28 Apr

Iduka is proud to announce a partnership with Advocacy Initiative for Development (AID) Organisation based in Sierra Leone. AID began as a youth services agency but, after incredible success, has expanded to encompass broad-based programmes that offer educational and vocational training, advocacy for human rights, and services that promote the development of whole communities.

Founder of AID, Sylvanus Murray, facilitates computer training

AID has now taken on the role of Iduka Field Partner as part of Iduka’s Africa Pilot Project (iAPP), and will have the important responsibility of selecting, supporting and developing Iduka’s scholarship recipients. Mr. Sylvannus Murray (pictured) is the founder of AID and is now a Vice Chair on the Executive Committee for Iduka, assisting student development in West Africa.

As an iAPP Partner, AID has several key responsibilities, including:

  • The selection and submission of students for Iduka’s scholarship scheme
  • Reviewing student candidates that are forwarded by Iduka (local students that have contacted Iduka directly)
  • Personally interviewing student candidates
  • Maintaining records of each student
  • Assisting students with their online profiles and subsequent online profile updates
  • Managing the scholarship moneys that are payable to the educational institution that the student is attending
  • Conducting follow-up interviews to make sure the students are getting all the support they need, and are actively volunteering in their community.

Of course, no student can benefit from Iduka’s education scholarships without a committed Field Partner working within the community to provide the vital student support. Moreover, local Iduka volunteers rely on Field Partners such as AID for leadership, mentoring and opportunities to make a difference. The networks and relationships that will result from the AID-Iduka partnership will create international awareness of the importance of higher education in Africa, and this partnership will also offer more education, skills and livelihood opportunities for students in Sierra Leone.

Sylvanus Murray working with volunteers

About AID:

Sylvanus Murray created AID in with the dream of establishing an organisation that advocates for the rights of humanity and offers services for the holistic development of people and their communities. Initially focusing on programmes such as education, health care, skills training, income generation schemes, youth empowerment and protecting women’s rights, the organisation soon expanded to include:

  • Human rights education
  • Gender and women empowerment
  • Child welfare
  • The eradication of human trafficking
  • Good governance
  • Sanitation and hygiene
  • Peace and security…

… to name a few.

With this level of commitment to the development of African nations it is certain that, together, Iduka and AID (and all of Iduka’s partners) will push forward the post-secondary education agenda in Africa.

Cycle For Education Day 1… Photos!

28 Apr

Here are some of the great snaps of Jolandie’s take off:

Before takeoff – Jolandie and her friends and supporters (photo courtesy of Christopher Venter)

Jolandie was overwhelmed by the amount of support for her yesterday: ‘I, in all honesty, could not have asked for a better start to my journey’, she said.

Jolandie prepares for take off!


Distance at zero... but not for long


Jolandie sets off… the start of the great adventure

 Jolandie covered 50km on her first day! She spent the night in Malmesbury and has many more destinations up ahead. Updates on Jolandie’s ‘Cycle for Education’ for Iduka will, of course, appear on this blog on a weekly basis 🙂 … keep checking for all the latest!

Cycle For Education Day 1… Jolandie Departs From Cape Town

27 Apr

Jolandie Rust departed at 10am this morning for her ‘Cycle For Education’ tour of Africa! Today (27 April) is also known as Freedom Day in South Africa – it is a day that celebrates South African democracy, hope, and opportunity. It couldn’t have been a more fitting day for Jolandie to depart for this epic cycle. Waved off by a crowd of friends and supporters, Jolandie set off on the open road with the sun on her back and the rest of the continent ahead.
Map of Africa – Jolandie begins in Cape Town, S. Africa

 As Iduka’s Good Will Ambassador, Jolandie will be delivering an open letter to African leaders in each country she cycles through, calling on them to promote and protect higher education in Africa. She is due to cross over to Namibia in two weeks or so and there will be many cheering her on along the way.

 Moreover, in partnership with Iduka, Jolandie will be raising funds and awarding scholarships to local students along the way. A vital aspect of this role will be for Jolandie to mobilize volunteers in all African countries! If any of you, the readers, would like to offer your time, support, or even just words of encouragement for Iduka and ‘Cycle For Education’, please raise your voices high and let Iduka know… we can support Jolandie’s dream together.

 The last words on this first day will rest with Jolandie… When asked how she feels about this challenge, she replied, “A little nervous, but very excited! I’ve been waiting for this for a very long time!” Go for it Jolandie! Iduka is behind you every peddle-push along the way.

 *** Departure Day Photos To Follow Shortly ***

What would you take?

26 Apr

Jolandie's bike - all ready to go!

Tomorrow, April 27, Jolandie Rust will be setting off from Cape Town to begin her 2 1/2 year circumnavigation cycle around Africa. Of course, today is full of last minute preparation and family goodbyes… the road ahead will be a long and difficult one but Jolandie, with Iduka, will be making such a difference to those she meets along the way.

What does one take on such an adventure? Well, first and foremost Jolandie will have her open letter, which is addressed to the African Leaders of each country she will travel through. As Goodwill Ambassador for Iduka, Jolandie will be presenting this letter to African leaders in the hope that it will inspire them to recognising Iduka’s cause in promoting and protecting higher education in Africa.

Second, she will have her djembe drums. These will be her communication tools along the way. No matter what the culture, no matter what the language, Jolandie will reach out to those she meets through the power of music (and the djembe drums are the secret to that power!)

Jolandie's Djembe Drums

Third, she will have her mobile phone – this vital piece of technology will be her only communication tool to contact us here at Iduka. With this we will hear every detail of the journey – the students she connects with, the volunteers she mobilises for Iduka, the African leaders she delivers the open letter to!

And last – but by no means least – she will have everything else… family mementos, a camera, sleeping bag, first aid kit, bicycle repair kit, bicycle lock, water flasks, cooking equipment, hot weather gear, wet weather gear, cold weather gear, helmet, sun hat… the list is long and the bags are overflowing!

If you were embarking on such a journey – 2 1/2 years on the open road with only a bicycle for transport – what “luxury” items would you take? Photos of loved ones? A journal? A musical instrument? Your lucky mascot?

If it was me, I would not leave the house without a journal, a camera, and my favourite novel. In the journal I could record every thought and feeling I have along the way – and it would be a book to treasure forever. I could also use the pages to draw pictures and communicate with those who speak a different language to me. I would take a camera, of course, to record all of the fantastic scenes and people I see and meet – particularly Iduka students and volunteers. Finally, I would take my favourite novel, as it would be like carrying some friends with me on the journey, and may provide some comfort on lonely nights.

What would you take?

Introducing the iAPP Executive Committee Members

25 Apr

As we launch phase 2 of our African Pilot Project at the end of April, we would like to introduce you to the Executive Committee members responsible to oversee the various committees.

Miguel Martim (left), iAPP Chair

John Ndegwa (left), iAPP Vice-Chair responsible for the Field Partners Program

Sylvanus Murray (right), iAPP Vice-Chair responsible for the Outreach Program

Mokhtar Omar (right), iAPP Secretary responsible to keep us all well-coordinated.

Over the next few weeks, the Executive Committee members will be introducing themselves on this blog and will lay out their vision and goals for the upcoming fundraising phase.

The Executive Committee is responsible for the general managerial responsibilities over the work of the Iduka African Pilot Project (iAPP).

We are lucky to have this outstanding and committed group of individuals on the Executive Committee, and we will soon be introducing the other members.

Iduka Partnership with Kisima Initiative in Kenya!

25 Apr

John Ndegwa - New Field Partner

Iduka is excited to announce a partnership with Kisima Initiative based in Kenya. Kisima is a non-governmental, non-profit organisation that provides education and employment schemes for youths living in poverty, along with support for their families. Kisima will be taking on the function of Iduka Field Partner as part of Iduka’s ‘Africa Project’, and will have a central role in the selection, support and development of Iduka’s scholarship awardees! John Ndegwa (pictured) is one of the founders of Kisima and will now sit on the Executive Committee for Iduka, assisting student development in East Africa.

As an Africa Project Field Partner, Kisima has several important responsibilities, including:

  • The selection and submission of students for Iduka’s scholarship scheme
  • Reviewing student candidates that are forwarded by Iduka (local students that have contacted Iduka directly)
  • Personally interviewing student candidates
  • Maintaining records of each student
  • Assisting students with their online profiles and subsequent online profile updates
  • Managing the scholarship moneys that are payable to the educational institution that the student is attending
  • Conducting follow-up interviews to make sure the students are getting all the support they need, and are actively volunteering in their community.

No student can benefit from Iduka’s education scholarships without a dedicated Field Partner working on the ground to provide the vital student support. Already John and Kisima have demonstrated their commitment to Iduka’s cause, as they have been instrumental in organising a scholarship for Iduka’s excellent student Neville Albert.

John (right) working with a volunteer

This Iduka-Kisima partnership is a fantastic opportunity to open the dialogue on education in Africa – particularly East Africa. The networking and information sharing that will result from this partnership will not only create national and international awareness of the need for higher education in Africa, it will also offer more education, skills and livelihood opportunities for African students on the ground.

Kisima Initiative has been working with local communities since 2002 and they offer a variety of development projects including: Youth Support, Orphaned and Vulnerable Children’s Educational Support, Women’s Projects, and Agribusiness. As a Field Partner for Iduka, Kisima will now be able to offer undeserved, underrepresented and underprivileged students in East Africa the opportunity to realise their higher-education ambitions!

Cycle For Education – Why It Matters…

21 Apr

Jolandie Rust is about to set off on the biggest challenge of her life – in six days she will begin the 40,000km circumnavigation of Africa. Just one girl, just one bicycle. But this challenge means more to Jolandie than physical achievement… along the way she hopes to serve as an inspiration for girls everywhere and spread a message that education is the key to prosperity. Jolandie, as Iduka’s Goodwill Ambassador, will be delivering an open letter to African leaders in each country, asking them to promote and protect higher education in the continent.

Education is an incredibly important issue. The second Millennium Development Goal, outlined 11 years ago, continues to call for universal primary education. This crucial education requirement will construct the foundation for secondary school learning, which ultimately provides students with the development needed to progress into further education and the world of sustainable employment. The transformative power of education to break generational cycles of poverty must be recognised! Through education boys and girls can gain the skills and knowledge needed to transform the prosperity of local communities and support the development of their nation.

Sadly, the truth remains that Africa has the lowest primary school completion rates in the world and the majority of out-of-school children are girls (UNESCO).

School children in Kenya

Iduka is currently working with local students and volunteers in all African countries in order to assist African students to achieve their dream of further education. In particular, Iduka will be specifically targeting girls’ education. Jolandie, by representing Iduka, will be giving the campaign a voice. Cycle For Education is not just about pushing the boundaries of solo female cycling, it is also about creating momentum for a cause that so many young boys and girls dream of – higher education!

Jolandie Prepares For Departure!

19 Apr

In just eight days (the 27th April to be exact), Jolandie Rust will begin the epic challenge of cycling across Africa… solo.

Scary? Perhaps. Challenging? Most definitely. Inspiring? Beyond a doubt. Jolandie will be conquering 40,000 kilometres on this marathon cycle, and her aim throughout the journey is to communicate and connect with people of all ages (particularly girls, who are often at a disadvantage in socioeconomic status compared to their male counterparts) in order to promote and raise money for higher education with Iduka.

Of course it won’t all be smooth-cycling for Jolandie as she will face many difficulties along the way. The route will take her through both sub-Saharan and North Africa, and so she will have to face the aftermath of turmoil in countries such as Libya and the Ivory Coast. She can only apply for visas for each country as the journey progresses – there will be little chance to plan for these beforehand. Of course Jolandie must take care of herself physically and mentally too – this two and a half year trip will test her physical endurance, remove her from everything she knows and loves and will, at times, prove to be a lonely path… “I know that I will miss my friends terribly!” she says. At the moment Jolandie is taking the deep breath before the dive. With so much preparation and so little time she has calmly remarked that she is now “extremely focussed on getting done what I have to do.”

There is so much for Jolandie to look forward to. Through the course of the trip she will be carrying two small djembe drums, and these will be her “communication tools” to help her connect with every person she meets. No matter what the language or the culture, these drums will provide the means to share knowledge and experiences… a type of informal education. Jolandie is a keen believer that education is the key to social and economic uplift in Africa. On an individual level, this education brings knowledge, skills and opportunities – and it can come in many forms. Jolandie hopes that her cycle will inspire young girls to follow their dreams and believe in their capabilities; and she believes that, by sharing music with girls and boys, she will open communication channels, exchange experiences and encourage inquiry and self-reflection. Moreover, Jolandie will be representing Iduka at every step of the way… (well, every peddle push at least…)

Iduka, founded in 2009, is a non-profit organization whose mission is to promote post-secondary education. Since starting its pilot project in Africa in 2010, Iduka has mobilized thousands of local students and volunteers in all of the African countries participating in the program. Iduka is launching a few campaigns to assist African students achieve their goals of post-secondary or tertiary education, including its campaign specifically targeting girls’ education (information on a new partnership with Kisima Organisation in Kenya will shortly follow).

The long road ahead...

Jolandie will be cycling through this continent with Iduka and together they offer opportunities for a brighter future!

Follow every step of her journey on here with regular blogs and updates. Importantly you can show your support by visiting this CrowdRise page to become a Gifter. It is your support that will change lives, one student at a time.

Scholarship Recipient Report

13 Apr

Neville  Albert

Neville has found his dream course in Mohamed Amin’s Television and Film Training Centre in Nairobi, Kenya. Neville believes his studies will allow him to help give voice to communities like those at the Kakuma refugee camp. “I choose to use my videography skills to help the community.”

Make sure you check out his story here. To invest in students in Southern Sudan, please visit this page.

We appreciate your contribution to Neville’s education!



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