Education is the most powerful weapon which you can use to change the world.”– Nelson Mandela
JOHANNESBURG, November 16, 2015 – FleishmanHillard, South Africa’s leading communications firm, has paid its first dividend from its pioneering black empowerment deal with the Imvula Trust. The dividend will provide bursaries for 20 children from previously disadvantaged communities to study through business degrees facilitated by the prestigious Maharishi Institute, a non-profit organisation based in Johannesburg. A bursary is a full package of support covering: tuition costs, part-time work, lunch daily, books, materials, counseling, vocational skills certificates, leadership camps, and a job placement service.
The 20 students were told of their bursaries at a handover ceremony on November 12 and will start their work-study programme in January next year. Three years of tuition will be provided for each recipient.
“Education and its power to change lives was a key motivator for working with the Imvula Trust,” says Kevin Welman, managing director of FleishmanHillard in South Africa.
“Education is the only sustainable way of breaking the cycle of poverty in South Africa. That is what drove our decision to partner with an institution which values learning as much as we do. We believed that there was a more effective way of empowering people; one that would also empower a community, and which mirrored our belief in people and the development of human capital.”
The Maharishi Institute provides previously disadvantaged youths with the opportunity to develop relevant business and life skills through the correct education channels. A strong focus is placed on upskilling these individuals to ensure that they are market ready upon graduation.
The Maharishi Institute CEO, Dr. Taddy Blecher, believes partnerships such as the one between the Imvula Trust and FleishmanHillard South Africa are essential to empowering young South Africans.
“The Maharishi Institute has a holistic approach to upskilling. While receiving their education through our accredited education partners, attendees are employed – from administration to maintenance – and remunerated. They are then taught sustainable skills to empower them with the opportunity to attain sustainable careers. We have placed over 99% of graduates into meaningful long-term jobs and that is the fulfillment of this FleishmanHillard BEE programme,” says Blecher.
Newly announced FleishmanHillard president and CEO John Saunders attended the bursary handover ceremony.
“As a global firm, with 88 offices in 30 countries, giving back to the communities in which we work is very important to us. Seeing our South Africa office making such a tangible difference in their community is heartening. They have set an important example for the rest of us to strive to match in the future,” Saunders says.