We exist to promote post-secondary education microfinancing as a means to increase employment, stimulate entrepreneurship, and ensure self-reliance.
We do this by Crowdfunding students who volunteer in their communities to pay for their financial assistance, and are willing to participate in our mentorship and internship programs.
“A Education is the most powerful weapon which you can use to change the world.”- Nelson Mandela
We too have big dreams, like guaranteeing the right to post-secondary education for all students in order to ensure peace and prosperity of local communities around the world.
“Poverty is the greatest violation of all human rights.”- Vicent Ferrer, Catalan Philanthropist
Iduka’s goal is to promote college affordability through an innovative crowdfunding platform available to those students for whom the dream of a college education might not otherwise be possible. In doing so, we help “to educate, to rear, to teach, to bring up, to raise” the leaders of tomorrow.
Ultimately, it´s about giving low-income students meeting a specific background criteria a path to reach their potential and getting them ready to enter the workforce with the right set of skills.
“ Education does not change the world. Education changes people. People change the world.”- Paulo Freire, Brazilian Philosopher and Educator
Our organization has been managed since its inception by the goodwill of a group of volunteers who are wholeheartedly committed to our cause. In spite of inadequate funding (let’s face it, most funders shy away from all investment not directly tied to programs), we have built a terrific IT infrastructure relying solely on pro bono partnerships established with leading technology companies, such as bng, BindTuning, and Microsoft.
In order to build a robust infrastructure that expands on our current technology systems and the programs funded by a grant from LinkedIn, we need your small contributions to:
Here´s our story
Paying for college can be extremely difficult and stressful – especially if you are studying abroad or out-of-state. Our founder Miguel Martim experienced this firsthand when he went for a post-graduate degree in the USA. Even though he had a partial scholarship, he was faced with the daunting task of bridgin the gap created by all the extra fees while supporting his young family. The process to secure funds to cover all these unexpected expenses added a lot of stress to an already difficult situation.
He figured that enrollment in the program had not been possible if it had not been for a last minute $3,000 scholarship that resolved the problem. That is how the idea of creating Iduka was born.
Our initial group of volunteers met for the first time at a house party hosted by Miguel Martim that took place in Saint Lucie West, Florida in early December 2008 to commemorate the election of President Barack Obama.2008
Within days of the first meeting, a small planning group was formed and Iduka’s vision was outlined to provide an outlet for active citizenship in the area of college affordability.2008
The group reached the conclusion that in spite of all traditional financial aid assistance available, many students in our communities are still unable to pursue a college education due to its costs, thus justifying a program like Iduka.2008
In April of 2009, Iduka was incorporated in the USA as a 501 (c) (3) corporation with money raised at a garage sale held at the home of one of our board members.2009
Received a multi-year grant from a private foundation in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania.2009
Started a Thrift-store (now closed) in Port Saint Lucie, Florida.2009
Started a pilot project in Africa.2010
Awarded first scholarships as part of our pilot project in Africa.2011
Received an Innovation Grant from LinkedIn for Good Foundation.2013
Incorporated a subsidiary in Portugal to run program in the Community of Portuguese Speaking Countries (CPLP).2013
Received a Capacity Building grant from Calouste Gulbenkian Foundation that included a Social Innovation Bootcamp at its headquarters in Lisbon and was selected as one of the most innovative ideas of Portuguese origin.2014
Participated in the IES-SBS (Social Entrepreneurship Institute - Social Business School) mentorship program.2014 – 2015
Received a product donation and hosting services from Microsoft.2015
Started the program in the Community of Portuguese Speaking Countries (CPLP).2015
You too can become an agent of change by helping us make college more affordable. You too can make an impact by either lending and/or donating your money; or by volunteering your talents and time in supporting and extending the reach of this grassroots initiative.
Get engaged. Participate and help us spread the word by inviting your family and friends to register as lenders or students.
Statistics show that 70% of all new jobs will require some form of post-secondary education; and that for each additional year of schooling the gross domestic product (GDP) raises on average 0.37%.
In order for this level of student participation to be possible and have a greater impact, we need to ensure that new ways of financial assistance are available to the students from low-income backgrounds, particularly those students in one or more of the categories below:
It is our collective responsibility to help create innovative solutions for both reasons of equality of opportunity, and for the future economic prosperity of our local communities, nations, and the world.
Our failure will result in these students to take out private loans in order to meet the rising costs of their education, and in many cases drop out of their programs due to lack of funds or rising debt obligations.
Some numbers on Literacy:
36 million (one in six) U.S. adults have less than basic literacy skills
Nearly one in three U.S. adults lack basic numeracy skills
Hispanics and blacks are three to four times more likely to have low literacy skills than whites
Nearly 35 percent of U.S. adults with learning disabilities scored at the lowest levels in literacy and 50 percent scored at the lowest levels in math
Many have a high school diploma and 63 percent are employed, but most are underemployed, earn low wages, and lack the skills necessary to go to college or advance their careers
171 million people could be lifted out of poverty, if all students in low-income countries left school with basic reading skills
Source: OECD 2013. Time for the U.S. to reskill? What the survey of adult skills says.