South African cricketing and transformation icon Dr Ali Bacher has joined multi-award-winning higher education institution the Maharishi Invincibility Institute in its work to help unemployed youth in South Africa gain access to transferable skills and opportunities through education, training, jobs, and careers to break the poverty cycle.
Bacher will provide support on fundraising initiatives to help bright young South Africans from underserved and underprivileged communities who are unable to afford to study further, as well as provide mentorship support to these students by engaging and interacting with them.
“The work the Maharishi Institute, and its CEO and co-founder Dr Taddy Blecher, are doing to empower and unlock the potential of young South Africans through education and skills development is extremely inspiring, and motivates me to support and help as much as I can,” says Bacher.
This partnership builds on the community development work Bacher has done in the past serving as Chairman of non-profit healthcare organisation Right to Care and the Alexander Forbes Community Trust,which has included annual financial support for 24 final year Bachelor of Business Administration students at the Maharishi Institute.
The Maharishi Institute provides bursary loans and self-development programmes for talented youth to further their studies and assists them to find employment opportunities when they graduate. It focuses on Consciousness-Based Education, a system of education designed to develop the full potential of every student.
Through the Maharishi Institute, over 19,070 South Africans have been educated post-secondary school, found employment and moved out of poverty into a more successful life. These youth – 70 percent of whom are women – now have combined salaries exceeding R1.4 billion per year and expected life-time earnings of approximately R41.9 billion.
Over 600 000 young South Africans in schools have also been reached with one-week education and life-skills training courses. Finding more sustainable ways to educate and empower unemployed youth “It is critical to continue developing more sustainable means to help unemployed youth in South Africa gain access to much-needed educational and training opportunities that will aid their employability and empower them to break the cycle of poverty – and we are proud to have a partner like Dr Ali Bacher, who is equally committed to creating an equitable society and developing communities,” says Dr Taddy Blecher.
Bacher and Blecher have both received awards for their work in education and community development. Bacher’s includes the Da Vinci Laureate award for Social Architecture in 2013, which acknowledges the singular contribution of individuals towards re-defining social systems to create a more equitable society and embrace unity in diversity.
Blecher has won 34 organisational and personal awards for his work, including the World Economic Forum “Global Leader of Tomorrow” and “Young Global Leader of the World” awards, Skoll Global Social Entrepreneur award, and being named one of South Africa’s 21 Icons in the 21 Icons initiative. The Maharishi Institute was also selected by Stanford University’s Guide to Re-Imagining Higher Education, as one of the twelve most innovative higher education institutions in the world, and one of only two in Africa, in 2019.
The partnership between the Institute and Bacher will allow the organisation to continue this work in developing the potential of future generations. “Seeing the dedication of the Maharishi Institute students – even during the pandemic where students without laptops used their mobile phones to continue their studies – and their pride in working within the university as part of its self-funding model, truly represents what the power of education means to them and shows how important support for initiatives like this is,” says Bacher.