Ali Bacher joins grass roots college to mentor young people

02 July 2021 - 20:27 By sipokazi fokazi
Former cricketer Ali Bacher will be working with Maharishi Invincibility Institute in its work to help unemployed youth in SA gain access to transferable skills and opportunities through education and training.
Former cricketer Ali Bacher will be working with Maharishi Invincibility Institute in its work to help unemployed youth in SA gain access to transferable skills and opportunities through education and training.
Image: Wessel Oosthuizen/Gallo Images

Former SA cricket captain and veteran administrator Dr Ali Bacher will use his knowledge to inspire young people in the education sector.

A non-profit private college and development organisation, Maharishi Invincibility Institute, said it will be working with Bacher to help unemployed youth in SA gain access to transferable skills and opportunities through education, training and jobs to break the poverty cycle in the country.

Bacher, who has just joined the institute, will be providing support on fundraising initiatives to help bright young South Africans from 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. 

CEO and co-founder of the institute Dr Taddy Blecher said the work it is doing with Bacher will not only empower the youth but will unlock the potential of young South Africans through education and skills development.

Bacher said doing the developmental work with the college “is extremely inspiring, and motivates me to support and help as much as I can”.

“Seeing the dedication of the 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,” said Bacher.

The partnership builds on the community development work Bacher has done in the past as the chairperson of non-profit healthcare organisation Right to Care and the Alexander Forbes Community Trust, which incudes annual financial support for 24 final-year Bachelor of Business Administration students at the Maharishi Institute.

The institute provides bursary loans and self-development programmes for deserving and talented youth, and assists them to find employment when they graduate.

Through the Maharishi Institute, over 19,070 South Africans have been educated postsecondary school, found employment and moved out of poverty into a more successful life. These young people, 70% of whom are women, now have combined salaries exceeding R1.4bn per year. Over 600,000 young South Africans in schools have also been reached with one-week education and life-skills training courses.

Both Bacher and Blecher have received awards for their work in education and community development. Bacher’s accolades include the Da Vinci Laureate award for architecture in 2013, which acknowledges the singular contribution of individuals towards redefining 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’s “global leader of tomorrow” and “young global leader of the world” awards among other achievements.

Blecher said the partnership between the institute and Bacher will allow the organisation to continue this work in developing the potential of future generations.

“It is critical to continue developing more sustainable means to help unemployed youth in SA 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,” Blecher said.

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