For over ten years, Media Works has partnered with the Maharishi Institute to assist the organisation with providing South Africa’s unemployed youth with the resources and skills development tools they need to increase their chances of finding employment.
“Our focus is on youth with genuine leadership and academic potential that are stuck in a cycle of poverty, unable to access the resources necessary for them to overcome their socio-economic status,” says Dr. Taddy Blecher, founder of the Marharishi Institute.
The Maharishi Institute follows a holistic approach to learning and training, using consciousness-based education, self-development programmes, and new technology to enrich the lives of unemployed youth and build workplace leaders.
“Empowering youth with technical and soft skills through work readiness programmes is the best way to prepare young people for the workplace. These skills make South Africa’s youth more employable,” says Dennis Lamberti, the Development Director of Media Works.
Media Works has freely provided the Maharishi Institute with a learning management system (LMS) equipped with the full Effective Workforce programme as well as access to Media Works’ online Adult Education and Training (AET) courses.
The Maharishi Institute uses Media Works’ AET courses to bridge any numeracy and communication gaps identified in its students. While the Effective Workforce Programme course is used both before and after students are placed with an employer.
“The conscious-based education system of training is centred on whole student learning and development, connecting whatever a student is learning, with how it relates to them as a person, and why it’s useful in the world. With this approach students are able to learn at high speed and retain greater quantities of information,” adds Blecher.
To enhance success, Maharishi Institute also provides:
- Experiential learning
While studying for qualifications via distance learning students have the benefit of gaining part-time and the full-time work experience through the institute’s experiential learning programmes
- Self-development programmes
The institute uses the Transcendental Meditation technique. A method that has been shown to improve learning ability, academic achievement and self-confidence
- Financial support in the way of bursaries and interest-free loans
- Access to computers, high-speed fibre internet, and a well-equipped library
- Provision of a daily midday meal
“Since we first started in 2000, across all our programmes, we have assisted 17 580 unemployed youth to access higher education and quality employment. Many are now leaders across the economy. We are grateful to have had an average of over 95% job placement rate, which is unusual in that these have been drop-out youth who have been stuck and marginalised. These graduates are closely tracked and earn over R1.050 billion combined salaries per annum. We estimate they will earn R28.5 billion conservatively over their working careers,” says Blecher.
Lamberti believes that the work done by the Maharishi Institute is truly life-changing. By making tertiary education accessible to youth from disadvantaged circumstances, the institute opens the youth “to a whole new world of opportunities that they never knew existed”.
“Media Works has been an amazing partner to Maharishi Institute. Not only by providing the institute with access to its comprehensive online Adult Education and Adult Training programmes, but also by keeping us up to date with the developments in adult training and work readiness training,” Blecher adds.
Over the years the institute has partnered with various other leaders in the technology industry for donations, knowledge sharing, and opportunities for students to gain work experience. These include Microsoft, Aptronics, Axiz- Alviva, EOH, and Cisco.
“This collective effort is geared towards getting unemployed and marginalised youth employed in good jobs. This transforms their lives economically and breaks them and their families out of poverty,” says Blecher.