The South African branch of SAP, the world’s largest provider of business software solutions, has announced a partnership with the Maharishi Institute to cover education costs of black students in need.
SAP South Africa will channel dividends from 19,5% of its shares to finance the long-term project.
“True empowerment for me, and the only real asset you can give a human being, is education,” said Pfungwa Serima, CEO of SAP Africa, encapsulating the reasons behind the ground-breaking commitment.
“Partnering with SAP in this way is game-changing for the Maharishi Institute,” commented Dr Taddy Blecher, CEO of the Maharishi Institute.
“We are a non-profit group that has exclusively served disadvantaged individuals for 35 years with a focus on youth in South Africa. We have seen the power of facilitating access to post-secondary education bringing employment to over 14 000 [previously unemployed] individuals.
“The beneficiaries of The SAP South Africa Empowerment Trust will increase this number and, working together, we will change the lives of thousands of young people,“ said the visionary leader of the Institute.
WATCH VIDEO: SAP South Africa launches co-operation with the Maharishi Institute
From being stuck in poverty to realizing one’s full human potential
The Maharishi Institute helps youth who are struggling in difficult economic conditions across South African townships and rural areas.
“We bring them firmly into the middle class,” explained Dr Blecher. “We’ve realized that these young people who are stuck need a colocation of services.”
“Education on its own is not enough. A job on its own is not enough. Skills are not enough. The youth need all these things together. That’s what we’re doing at Maharishi Institute, in co-operation with our partners.
Our students get a degree, they go through a skills programme, and we give them a job – so while they are studying, they’re actually earning money so that they can provide some basic support for their families. We give them food, books, access to clothing if necessary, and a lot of psycho-social support. This is Black Economic Empowerment in its highest form.“
Since its creation in 2007, the Institute has helped to bring economic sustainability to over 70 000 youth and their family members.
“I’m truly honoured to be one of the 20 students selected to be part of the SAP Programme. The opportunities and the education that the Maharishi Institute has given me will empower me to not be defeated by the challenges I face,” said Kelebogile McKenzie, student at the Maharishi Institute.
“My family expenditure exceeds that of our monthly income. It has been very difficult in the past year. I would like to thank you from the bottom of my heart,“ added another student and beneficiary of the partnership, Zakhele Ntshangase.
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