Tag Archives: education for all

What are the photo requirements?

20 Nov

“Is a photograph required when applying for the “LinkedIn® Challenge” scholarship? If so, what type of photo and how do students send their photos? ”  Olusola Bamidele George, Program Director at African Citizen’s Empowerment Foundation in Akure, Ondo State, Nigeria

Nigeria Political Map (Source: Wikipedia)

Another good question from Olusola in the Sunshine State, Nigeria. To apply students must create and complete a LinkedIn profile. Part of getting to 100% completion is uploading a photo. Here is what students need to know when uploading a photo to their LinkedIn profile:

  1. Upload a professional looking head-shot picture.
  2. Preferred file type is a JPG, PNG, or GIF.
  3. File size cannot exceed 4MB.
  4. A good pixel size to avoid uploading issues should not exceed 500×500 pixels.

Still having problems uploading the photo? Try a different browser.

If students have problems uploading their photos after following the above tips, they should try using a different browser. For example, if using IE, try uploading the photo with Firefox. That seems to resolve this problem.

Very Important:

Please note that LinkedIn has a very rigid and straight forward Photo Policy. Students need to know that their profile photo can be removed by LinkedIn if their profile image is not their “likeness or a head-shot” photo. If LinkedIn removes a profile photo, students still have a chance to upload a different photo to remedy this situation. However, if LinkedIn removes a photo 3 times, students will no longer be able to upload another photo to their profile – and they will not be able to participate in this initiative.

To learn more about LinkedIn Photo Policy and User Agreement, please click here.

Do you have a question?

Please send your questions with your picture or the picture of your school to iduka.chapters@gmail.com.

If your question is selected, we will feature it on this blog. This will help us create a comprehensive Frequently Asked Questions section for our ongoing “LinkedIn® Challenge” Scholarship.

Thanks in advance for your participation!


3 Questions About Recommendations

19 Nov

“What is the required format for Letters of Recommendation? Can Iduka provide a template students can use when requesting a Letter of Recommendation? How many Letters of Recommendation are students required to submit with their scholarship application?” — Olusola Bamidele George, Program Director at African Citizen’s Empowerment Foundation in Akure, Ondo State, Nigeria

Olusola Bamidele George, Ondo State, Nigeria

Answer to question 1:

Students are asked to request Letters of Recommendation via LinkedIn and must follow LinkedIn’s guidelines. Requesting recommendations on LinkedIn is as simple as 1-2-3. For example, students can from their LinkedIn profile:

1. Choose the position under their Experience or Education section that they want to be recommended for.
2. Ask a direct contact on their LinkedIn network to endorse them.
3. Provide specific details to their endorsers.

Answer to question 2:

No. Iduka does not provide a form letter for recommendations. However, since students must submit their letters of recommendation via LinkedIn, they must follow LinkedIn’s guidelines when asking for a recommendation from their teachers, professors, and colleagues.

It is the responsibility of local Iduka Chapters to help their students provide endorsers with samples they can use as guidance. When asking for a recommendation, students should be prepared to provide specific details to their endorsers. Even though these are people they presumably know well, to be mindful of their time, it is a good idea to provide them with a sample they can customize. Unfortunately, at this time endorsers will not be able to recommend any volunteer position you list on your LinkedIn profile under the Volunteer section.

For an overview of how Recommendations work on LinkedIn, please click here.

Answer to question 3:

To be considered for this scholarship initiative, students must have at least 5 recommendations on their LinkedIn profile. However, they can request and post as many recommendations as they would like. An high number of solid recommendation will greatly enhance your chances of getting a scholarship. It is also important to note that LinkedIn recommendations can only be requested from student’s direct contacts on LinkedIn, and that endorsers can only recommend you as a Colleague, Service Provider, Business Partner or Student. Therefore, the number of possible recommendations students can attain is limited to the number of 1st degree connections of their LinkedIn network that can provide an endorsement of their skills and accomplishments at school and work place.

It is the responsibility of local Iduka Chapters to mentor their students on how to request a LinkedIn Recommendation.

To learn more on How to request a recommendation on LinkedIn, please click here.

Even though LinkedIn recommendations are not as formal as the traditional reference letters, we feel that they provide us with a more transparent way to vet our scholarship applicants.

A big thanks to Olusola and his team in Ondo State, Nigeria! We will soon post the other question you’ve sent us.

Do you have a question?

Please send your questions with your picture or the picture of your school to iduka.chapters@gmail.com.

If your question is selected, we will feature it on this blog. This will help us create a comprehensive Frequently Asked Questions section for our ongoing “LinkedIn® Challenge” Scholarship.

Thanks in advance for your participation!

What is the role of a local chapter?

6 Nov

“I’ve created a local Iduka Chapter in Tunisia and I’m glad to be part of this project. But now, I don’t know what I should do next. What is the role of my chapter in general, and my role as chapter president in particular? What can I do next?”

Rabeb Aloui, UNESCO Club Iduka Chapter, Tunis, Tunisia

Faculté des Sciences Humaines et Sociales de Tunis, Université de Tunis

What is the role of a local chapter?

Iduka Chapters are instrumental to the success of our program at the local level. The local Iduka Chapter is responsible for our local outreach campaigns and for making sure that all information from Iduka and the National Council is accurately disseminated to all students associated with the chapter.

To be a bit more specific, within the current context of the “LinkedIn® Challenge” Scholarship, the local chapter is responsible for:

  • Raising awareness about the scholarship and registering students;
  • Providing training and mentorship to students applying for the scholarship.
Note: For a complete list of tasks and activities, please click here.

Chapters with more members will qualify for personalized trained sessions. These training sessions will cover the registration and application process, and will be scheduled according to each chapter overall membership ranking.

What is the role of the chapter’s President?

A chapter’s president serves as a liaison between Iduka and local students, as well as a link between the local chapter and the National Council.

A good chapter president will be proactive in planning and developing chapter activities that are aligned with current scholarship initiatives, awareness campaigns, and other Iduka regional projects.

Leadership training pertaining to the ongoing “LinkedIn® Challenge” Scholarship will be provide to chapter officers. The chapter leadership will in turn be responsible to transfer that knowledge to their chapter’s members, particularly to those students who are applying for a scholarship.

Thank you, Rabeb for these two great questions!

Do you have a question?

Please send your questions with your picture or the picture of your school to iduka.chapters@gmail.com.

If your question is selected, we will feature it on this blog. This will help us create a comprehensive Frequently Asked Questions section for our ongoing “LinkedIn® Challenge” Scholarship.

Thanks in advance for your participation!

Scholarship Frequently Asked Questions

5 Nov

Iduka’s “LinkedIn® Challenge” Scholarship are awarded on the basis of need and merit, but rewarding talent in specific areas of study is our primary focus. To help us select promising scholarship recipients we follow a set of rules that we want all applicants to understand as they participate in this ongoing scholarship initiative.

What is the Iduka “LinkedIn® Challenge” Scholarship? Who is eligible for this scholarship initiative? What are the application requirements? These are some of the questions we get on daily basis.

Frequently Asked Questions


Some of these questions are already answered by the scholarship’s application guideline you can find on this blog page, but many more you may have are still unanswered.

To help us clarify all queries students may have, we challenge you to send us your questions with your picture to iduka.chapters@gmail.com.

If your question is selected, we will feature it on this blog. This will help us create a comprehensive Frequently Asked Questions section for our ongoing “LinkedIn® Challenge” Scholarship.

Thanks in advance for your participation!

Another Scholarship Contest Winner

9 Oct

Iduka would like to congratulate, Eric Gitta, the recipient of the most recent scholarship contest election.

Eric is post-graduate student in Education Administration and Management at Makerere University in Kampala, Uganda.

Eric Gitta, Uganda

This scholarship recognizes Eric’s academic achievement as well as his volunteer work as General Secretary for Substance Abuse and Violence Episode Reduction (SAVER UGANDA), where he exercised his leadership skills in managing the organization’s daily operations.

As with all our scholarships, recipients are asked to serve their communities in meaningful ways. Eric was instrumental in promoting Iduka’s programs to local university students in Uganda during the initial phase of our pilot project . He is now actively reaching out to local rural students through his very own Education for Rural Impecunious Children (ERIC). We commend his dedication to providing basic educational opportunities to rural-African students.

Thanks to everyone who applied and made our first scholarship contest a success! We encourage all eligible African students to participate in our “LinkedIn Challenge” scholarships. For more information, please click here.

Iduka “LinkedIn® Challenge” Scholarship

25 Sep

To celebrate President Barack Obama’s visit to LinkedIn Corporation on Monday, Iduka is excited to offer through its African Pilot Project, a number of “LinkedIn® Challenge” Scholarships.

President Barack Obama

Iduka was formed in response to the need to make college more affordable in our communities, our nation, and the world. In early December 2008, a group of Obama For America volunteers from Port St. Lucie, Florida met to organize a program to help students reach their goal of higher education. The group established a financial aid process that can bring meaningful change in our society.

The purpose of these Iduka “LinkedIn® Challenge” Scholarships is to make post-secondary education more affordable for our African Pilot Project students and to give them a chance to pay back by volunteering in their local communities. Scholarship recipients must agree to volunteer at local Iduka Chapters to promote our programs and the value of professional social networking that LinkedIn has to offer to college students around the world.

“LinkedIn is expanding rapidly. We have two new members joining every second.” Said Miguel Martim, Iduka’s volunteer Excutive Director and a LinkedIn employee. “Everyone from top CEO’s to President Barack Obama has a LinkedIn profile. We want our students to learn the basics of LinkedIn and start to develop a strategy for success while they’re still in college.”

We encourage all eligible African students, including our student volunteer interns to participate in this challenge. For more information about eligibility and application instructions, please click here.


(Image source: The White House. Author: Pete Souza. LinkedIn is a registered trademark of LinkedIn Corporation.)

Namibia: The High Cost of Education

7 Sep

A recent article by allafrica has highlighted a significant stumbling block in Namibia (and Africa’s) wider goal to tackle illiteracy and poverty; namely, that the cost of education is too much for many people to afford.

High school costs means fewer pupils can attend lessons.

Maurus Nekaro, the Governor of Kavango Region in Namibia, spoke of how education costs are far too high to be inclusive. Nekaro also pointed to the importance of incorporating media and communications technologies into education in order to enhance studies and facilitate rapid progress. Of course, such technologies cost money and, with fees already on the rise, would such proposals further inhibit the affordability of education?

Nekaro’s comments come at the same time as another headline: tuition and hostel fees at the Polytechnic of Namibia are to rise by 7% and 10% respectively from early next year. Such an increment has enraged the Student’s Representative Council who believe they will see no improvement in the quality of services at the Poly. Members of the Student’s Representative Council have already complained of small classrooms and overcrowding. With the cost of education set to soar in Namibia, questions arise as to how this will affect wider access to post-secondary education in the country. In order to tackle illiteracy and poverty, affordable education must be a higher priority.


Photo credit: Caitlin Heller, Wikipedia

Jolandie’s Progress: The Good, The Bad, and The Ugly

28 Aug

Although I have been a little quiet on the blog front of late, that is not to say that Jolandie’s travels have not progressed. It has certainly been an eventful month, and below is the latest post from Jolandie’s friend Hanret (with some rather upsetting news)…

Jolandie contemplating the road ahead

” Getting ready for my daily walk in the park with Jolandie’s favourite hound this morning, we were chatting about the night that was and the day ahead. She wasn’t feeling great – she’s fighting an awful cold and had a restless night. However, she was up and going and had already passed N’zeto!

And then I got the message I had always been dreading. Funny, I was never concerned about Jolandie being abducted or taken hostage or anything like that. Not only because of the excellent tactical training she received from Tacmo, but also because of who she is.

She is incredibly level-headed, she always remains calm, she is brilliant at thinking on her feet and she has a mental fortitude way beyond her years. I always felt that she would cope better than most in a sticky situation.

However, I always feared most for Luna’s safety. I forever implored her to tie a piece of string to Luna and to her wrist when sleeping in her tent out in the open!! But I somehow never thought Jolandie and Luna would be parted the way they were today.

There she was, coughing and cycling along when she heard a vehicle coming up from behind and slowing down. Nothing unusual about this – well-wishers and good Samaritans do this all the time. A black Ford ‘bakkie’ (small truck thingy for the non-South Africans) with four youths pulled up alongside her.

They motioned for her to get off her bike, laughing and joking. Jolandie thought they were inebriated and at first thought it all a joke. But when they got out of the ‘bakkie’, flashing knives and pangas, she knew it was no joke, though they were still laughing.

Quick thinking Jolandie said she wanted to keep her handlebar pannier as she had food in it. There was some food in it, but also her passport and money! And she also took her one front pannier – the one with her toiletries in!! What a girl!! Have passport, money, food and toiletries – can travel!! Good thinking!!

When the ‘bakkie’ with the laughing, inebriated youths and Luna disappeared over the horizon, Jolandie realised it wasn’t just a prank. This was for real.

She started making her way back to N’zeto on foot, feeling vulnerable and shaken. Hvir and I were pacing up and down because Jolandie was in an area where the cell phone reception was exceptionally bad and I couldn’t get hold of her to talk to her. I had to rely on the odd message she managed to send when there was a bit of a signal.

Werner, one of her friends in Lobito contacted someone in Soyo who doesn’t know Jolandie from a bar of soap, but he immediately started driving to N’zeto. Between Candido, her hosts in Luanda and Pedro, her contact at Hoteis Angola – her kind and generous sponsors in Angola – the Zaire province police commander was contacted and the N’zeto police was sent looking for her.

Now, and this is the part where all South African’s jaws will drop, not one but TWO helicopters were dispatched from Luanda to go and look for the perpetrators AND road blocks were immediately set up on all roads leading north looking for Luna!!! And by all accounts, if the perpetrators do get caught, they’ll sober up VERY quickly, lose their smiles and probably some other body parts too!!

Shortly after Jolandie and Luna were separated

Oh, and it only gets better! Back in N’zeto Jolandie was interrogated by about 30 police officers, wanting every bit of detail of the youngsters and then she was taken to a hotel and two guards were placed outside her door!! She said it felt as if she was in a witness protection program!! The governor of the Zaire province was notified of the situation. He hopped into his Lear Jet (OK, I’m getting carried away and am exaggerating – it was a Cessna, but still!!) and flew to N’zeto, picked Jolandie up and flew her back to his personal residence in M’banza Congo!!!!! Here a doctor was summoned to examine her and he gave her loads of vitamins and tablets for pain and fever!! (It did occur to me that a traditional healer may be called upon and that he may arrive with rabbit feet and hen’s teeth, but then I live in a different part of Africa – clearly!!)

Jolandie will be staying with the governor for the next two days while the search for Luna continues!! And while she recovers from her dreadful cold!!

I am truly and utterly stunned, amazed and humbled by the generosity, kindness, love and gentleness that is being bestowed upon her by so many, until recently, complete strangers in a foreign country. And so incredibly saddened that ‘them criminals, they are everywhere’.

I know I speak for Jolandie when I thank everybody, the incredible people in Angola, the wonderful facebook friends and many others who have been sending good wishes and support. You guys are all awesome and without people like you in her life, none of this would have been possible.

I’m very pleased that Jolandie has a warm bed to sleep in tonight and is being taken care of, but feel sorry for Luna who is with unkind and malicious strangers!!

But Angola seems to be the country of miracles and it would not surprise me in the slightest if I’ll be sitting at my computer in the early hours of tomorrow morning informing you that Luna has been found!!

Tonight I would not only like to thank Hoteis Angola for their incredibly generous financial sponsorship, but also for pulling out all the stops today to take care of Jolandie today. What an example of what sponsorship is all about!!

I have had many messages from people offering to help. If you want to help financially, please visit Jolandie’s SPONSOR A COUNTRY page. You can make donations via PayPal or directly to her bank account. And thank you so much!”

Happier times with Luna

Good Samaritans, friendly goats, and reaching Angola

1 Aug

26th July:

I have been cycling for 11 days solid now. No rest days. I just simply can’t afford to take a rest day. The time limit on my Angolan visa puts me under enormous pressure. So I simply have to push on. We (Hanret and I) have worked out that I have to maintain a minimum daily average of 70km, and I can only afford 3 rest days! That’s only 3 rest days from Windhoek all the way to the DRC!!!

On my way from Windhoek to the Angolan border, I have experienced immense kindness! FNB Namibia has helped, not only financially (by sponsoring the Namibia leg of my trip), but the staff at branches on my way North have welcomed me with open arms! Helping me with organising sponsored accommodation, taking me out to dinner, making me feel welcome! I have also experienced kindness from strangers on the road. Like Terry, who I met on my way to Otjiwarongo. Terry drove 70km that evening to fetch me so that I wouldn’t have to sleep next to the road! And then there’s the family who gave me N$100 at a picnic spot on my way to Oshivelo! Strangers who have given me shelter and even offered their own beds for me to sleep in! I have given motivational talks at a number of schools in Namibia, as well as to FNB staff at some of the branches on my route going North! The responses have been amazing and I feel so priviledged for the opportunities given to me to share my story!

From Oshivelo onward it became a very different ball game! I had been told that 80% of Namibia’s population resides in the North. Meaning: that I would now start to see more and more people! At Oshivelo I went through a control post. Here I got shouted at for attempting to take a photo! Then I had a group of kids surround me and chant: “Miss, miss, give me one dollar”. After that things got better though. I did see more and more people! Mostly friendly. People would wave and greet me with big smiles as I pass them by. Some would just stare with confusion written all over their faces. Even the goats would run up to the road and bleat at me in greeting!! (I kid you not!!) Halfway between Oshivelo and Ondangwa I spent the night sleeping next to the road. No problems whatsoever! And now I find myself sitting just a few hundred meters from the Angolan border!

Oshikango is a chaotic town! I picked up a tail about 10km from town (local boys riding in my slip stream). In return for my hard work, one of them had to guide me around. I cannot adequitely describe what it is like riding into this town on a bicycle! People shouting at you from all directions in Portuguese, English, Afrikaans, and other local dialects. It feels like there are millions of people here! Even had my first Portuguese conversation! Yay! Staying at Piscas tonight, for free! Had pizza as my last meal in Namibia! Tomorrow morning I cross the border and say: BOM DIA ANGOLA! 🙂

Last night in Namibia!

Farewell My South Africa – Again!

11 Jul

The road calls! And so I go.

I will be back in Namibia by tonight!
The time I have had to spend with my nearest and dearest at home, has been a true blessing.
But now I really need to get a move on. The time restrictions that my visas for Angola, DRC and Congo place on me, will force me to have to push really hard for the next few months. I have to uphold a daily average of at least 75 kilometers, or else I won’t make it to each border in time.

Back to Luna in Namibia!

Whilst on the road, it is not always possible for me to update my blog on a regular basis.

Hanret Snyman, one of my nearest and dearest friends, has been my ‘ground control’ support whilst on the road and the person who I am in constant contact with. (Also the person that puts in an amazing amount of effort behind the scenes in helping me live my dream). She will be posting regular updates when I am not able to.

So be on the lookout for updates from “La Domestique“.

Be sure to listen in on JacarandaFM every Thursday for LIVE updates! (I will send out a notification as to what time)

And if you’d like to get involved and sponsor a country: Click here for more information.

A big thank you to FNB Namibia for sponsoring the Namibia leg of my trip!!!

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