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.

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3 Responses to “Jolandie Prepares For Departure!”

  1. Sheripher Dinala April 20, 2011 at 12:05 am #

    O the best gal…it takes determined people to bring about change….Go on and we are behind u..!!!!!!!!

  2. ominet April 20, 2011 at 8:10 am #

    since you have decided to talke the bull on the horn i support you with prayers cos the road is narrow. i hope to meat you soon.

  3. John Ndegwa April 20, 2011 at 11:23 am #

    Looking forward to see you in Kenya..as the journey takes toll of your body, we hope people in places of making decisions towards post secondary education among the poor will listen to this voice. Go for it Jolandie…

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