Tag Archives: Millennium Development Goals

Rewarding Education Initiatives

2 Oct

Iduka is an organisation proud to push for more post-secondary school opportunities throughout the entirety of Africa. After all, education means empowerment and the chance to increase ones own quality of life. Iduka’s “LinkedIn® Challenge” Scholarship is the latest opportunity Iduka offers to motivated individuals. But of course Iduka does not for one minute take for granted that primary and secondary schools must also have opportunities in abundance if Africa’s youth are to flourish.

 The Commonwealth Education Good Practice Awards (to be held in August 2012) provide an excellent chance to recognise and reward innovate education practices in primary and secondary education. The deadline for the tri-annual competition is fast approaching (30 November 2011) and entrants in previous years have come from far across the Commonwealth. To qualify, the entrant education practice must have addressed at least one of eight action points:

  • Achieving universal primary education
  • Eliminating gender inequalities in education
  • Improving quality in education
  • Using distance learning to overcome barriers
  • Supporting education in difficult circumstances
  • Mitigating the impact of HIV on education systems
  • Using education to promote sustainable development
  • Promoting civil paths to peace.

 

Commonwealth Flag

So many schools, projects, and non-profit organisations across Africa do such fantastic work in primary and secondary education. At the last competition in 2009 the victors were from Malaysia, this year let us hope that African endeavours are well-represented. Good luck to all those organisations that enter, without all of their hard work Iduka would face an even harder uphill struggle. For more information on the competition, visit allafrica.

 

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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

Back to Windhoek!!

6 Jul

FINALLY!!!

I will be flying back to Windhoek on Tuesday, 12 July!
I hope to be back on the road, officially, by latest Friday – 15 July.
That gives me little over a week to make it to the Angolan border, then a month to get through Angola.

So you can expect more ‘exciting’ updates pretty soon!!

“The road calls”

In the meantime, check out an article about my trip on Jacaranda FM!! There’s an audio interview as well that you can listen to.

I had a meeting on Monday with Managing Editor, Denzil Taylor, at Jacaranda FM. I’m very happy to announce that they have come on board in a big way!
Now you’ll be able to listen in LIVE for weekly updates. I’ll be chatting to the team every week to keep you all updated on where I am and how things are going.

A big thank you and a very warm welcome to the Jacaranda FM team!

I’ll post an update as soon as we’ve sorted out the more ‘nitty-gritty’ details.

In the meantime: Check out their Website.

Shaping the Next Generation of Entrepreneurs

29 Jun

An energetic crowd of more than 100 delegates from around the world gathered today in Melaka to listen to Malaysia’s Prime Minister’s wife, Datin Seri Rosmah Mansor as the keynote speaker at the 11th Melaka International Youth Dialogue luncheon organized by the World Assembly of Youth (WAY).

Ntiokam Divine, Iduka Outreach Coordinator (left) with Malaysia's Prime Minister's wife, Datin Seri Rosmah Mansor (right).

“The next generation must not only transform business just for profit per se. They must reshape its relationship to society by creating economic value in a way that also creates value for society,” she said at the conclusion of WAY’s annual meeting.

Also present was the Deputy Minister of Youth, National Service, Sport and Culture of Namibia and WAY’s Vice-President, Mr. Pohamba Shifeta, the President of the World Youth Bank Network, Mr. Tomislav Bogdanic, Melaka Chief Minister, Mr. Datuk Seri Mohd Ali Rustam, MP of Malaysia and WAY President, Datuk Idris Haron, WAY Secretary General, Ms. Ediola Pashollari and our own Iduka African Pilot Project Outreach Coordinator, Mr. Ntiokam Divine.

Tomislav Bogdanic, Ntiokam Divine, Pohamba Shifeta, and Ediola Pashoralli

WAY was established in 1949 and has members in most countries promoting programs in areas, such as: democracy, environment, human rights, population, health, drugs, community development and leadership training.

We are proud to count with the support of WAY!

Cycle For Education

7 Apr

Are you ready to pedal? If so, there will be plenty of opportunities for you to cycle for education in the next 2 1/2 years.

Jolandie Rust passing through Aggeneys, a small mining town in Northern Cape, South Africa.

As our African pilot project embarks on its fundraising adventure, we invite all to join Jolandie Rust as she circumnavigates Africa on her bike.

Jolandie today announced her  African circumnavigation solo bike ride to benefit Iduka and its campaign to promote and raise funds for girls’ education in Africa.

Jolandie at the Tzaneen Waterfalls in the Limpopo province in South Africa.

Jolandie will be undertaking this feat completely unsupported in her attempt to be the first women to solo circumnavigate the world’s second largest continent on a bicycle.

“I want to inspire people to follow their dreams and encourage girls to dream with their hearts,” Jolandie said. “Partnering with Iduka on this 2 1/2 year, 40,000 kilometers journey, will allow me to emphasize to the girls I’ll meet along the way that their dream of a better future for themselves and for Africa starts with education.”

Jolandie arriving in Johannesburg from her cycle solo around South Africa.

Do you want to join Jolandie and Iduka on our adventure to raise funds and awareness about girls’ education in Africa? There are plenty of opportunities and all are welcome to join us. We’ll be happy to have you involved!… and if you want to give us a push, please donate now or join our fundraising efforts on CrowdRise.

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Open Letter to African Leaders

28 Nov

Protect and revitalize higher education in Africa.

“Contrary to the conventional wisdom that basic education is sufficient for African development, higher education builds the intellectual capital required for sustainable development.” — Suzanne Grant Lewis, Partnership for Higher Education in Africa

Lameck Okeyo, Iduka Volunteer Intern at Kenyatta University near Nairobi, Kenya

African Leaders need to know that their constituents care about education and support their commitment to the Millennium Development Goal (MDG 2) of achieving universal primary education for all by 2015. However, that cannot happen at the expense of higher education.

Rwanda’s recent decision to reallocate a large percentage of its higher education budget to the primary education sector is not the model to follow if we are serious about accommodating the newly enrolled primary school aged children, eradicating poverty and unleashing Africa’s full potential.

According to the UNESCO, a total of 1.2 million additional teachers are needed in the region to reach the internationally agreed goal of getting all children into primary school by 2015. Without continuing investment in higher education we will not be able to train these new teachers and ensure that, by 2015, all children have access to and complete primary education that is free, compulsory and of good quality.

Adding to the pressure is the impact of the global financial crisis that is forcing many poor countries to make further cuts to higher education. The Global Campaign for Education (GCE) reported earlier this month that “Mozambique’s education sector, which has made remarkable progress over the past 10 years, narrowly avoided having to cut 20% of its education funding and reduce by half its new school building programme following a last minute and much welcomed bail-out by the World Bank which provided $56 million.”

If we are to meet the MDG 2, we must stand up against drastic money-saving measures, including enlarging classes, closing schools, laying off teachers, and imposing further cuts to higher education.

You can help protect and revitalize higher education in Africa! Ask African leaders to strengthen higher education by signing this petition now.

We will deliver this petition to the: AU Head of Education Division and to all African leaders Jolandie Rust will meet during her Cycle for Education tour of Africa.

JOIN OUR GLOBAL CALL TO ACTION BY:

1) Signing the petition;

2) Spreading the word far and wide! Please re-post the link on your social network sites by clicking on the Facebook and Twitter icons below;

3) Clicking on the “+ Share” icon below to get to the Email button that enables you to send this forward action alert  to your friends, family members and colleagues.

Thank you for caring about higher education in Africa!

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