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2010 Achievements


Please share in our joy by viewing the highlights and achievements of 2010

At the end of 2010, the students who have received bursaries want to express their deepest gratitude to all our donors and partners for your incredible support. We will always remember 2010 as the year we won a Global Education Award voted on by 10 national Ministers of Education and 500 leading educators around the world. This and the other great achievements of the year could not have been possible without your support! Read more here.

January - February

Datatec Foundation donate R1.5 Million to install Computer Networks!
Datatec Foundation made an incredibly important investment in the future of the Institute, by installing a major computer network with 450 network points on the 5’th and 6’th floors of the building. This was part of a R1.5 million donation from the Foundation which included 50 brand-new Proline computers, a server, 50 telephones and 50 headsets for Invincible Outsourcing.

Maharishi Institute becomes the third Cisco Entrepreneur Institute in Southern Africa
Maharishi Institute was registered as a Cisco Entrepreneurship Institute, a program developed for Cisco by Princeton and Stanford Professors. Over 200 students have been trained on these entrepreneurship courses, which include every syndicate group of students starting a business and selling their products on an open market-day. The students had great fun, and every syndicate group to date has paid back 100% of the small loan funds given by the Institute - a worthy achievement!

National Youth Forum: Five students were selected to attend the 4-day National Youth Forum, March, 2010 [The President's Award for Youth Empowerment]

Mr. David Corbin and ‘Bright Lights’: International motivational speaker and best-selling author spent one week at the Institute and trained students on leadership skills and public speaking. Mr Corbin’s visit was part of the launch of an exciting new Ambassador Programme called ‘Bright Lights’ to train ambassadors to represent the Institute.


Over 4,000 youth have attended training programmes at Ezemvelo

Throughout the year MI students attended courses at Ezemvelo Nature Reserve offered by Endangered Wildlife Trust. Another 50 MI students completed their two-week Conservation and Leadership training in March. Students have consistently found the experience life-changing. Within the last 3 years, over 4,000 youth from a variety of schools, youth groups, and universities have attended programmes and courses at the Nature Reserve, since the Oppenheimer Family made the incredible donation of Ezemvelo to the Maharishi Institute in 2008. Ezemvelo is part of the Diamond Route which won the NedBank Green Mining award this year.

ICAS (Integrated Campus Administration Software) donated by Strive
Maharishi Institute offers it's eduational partners a world-class campus administration software system “ICAS”, which was donated by Strive International, valued at over R300,000, with rights to be used for any number of replications of our distance education model: with 25 modules, it is a fully scalable administration tool to keep all data securely hosted, with comprehensive analytical tools and reporting.


Skoll Foundation Funds Replication Work and Invitation to the World Forum
CEO, Taddy Blecher was invited to attend his fifth consecutive Skoll World Forum for Social Entrepreneurship in Oxford. Skoll Foundation provided funding to our main NGO, Community Individual Development Association, to develop a replication model that will allow scaling-up of the Institute and replication of our education model, developed over the past 10 years. This funding is to cover the creation of our ‘University in a Box’: which includes the comprehensive packaging of 20 academic course modules, the development and packaging of our information systems, databases, and all academic and other policies. We are grateful to MUM’s Business Faculty for all their assistance with writing modules. Read more here.

Abu Dhabi Entrepreneurship Symposium
CEO invited as a guest speaker for Cisco’s 1’st Entrepreneurship Symposium in Abu Dhabi, in honour of Barak Obama’s initiative launching the same day in the USA. Many individuals expressed interest in opening up the education model in their home countries: Iraq, Palestine, and Sudan to name a few.

CEO, Taddy Blecher and Annie Falk, with Cisco Team in Abu Dhabi

44-Students Take Advanced Meditation Course
44 students were trained in an advanced Transcendental Meditation course at Ezemvelo, creating an incredibly positive and happy feeling on campus, contributed to by the daily meditation and Yoga classes. Read more here.


New Web-sites and Social Media Launched!
It was exciting to stop and reflect on the 30-years of achievements of our main non-profit structure, the Community & Individual Development Association, founded and in operation since 1979. This incredible 30-year history and all our current projects were beautifully captured in a new web-site which went live! The website has received very positive support from around the world. 

To celebrate its third birthday June 2010, a new web-site was launched for the Maharishi Institute, which has also had tremendous response as measured in the traffic with 65,117 total combined page hits, within 6 months of its launch.

Twitter feed went live capturing our weekly news: Join us on Twitter to see all the incredible progress happening:!/MI_SouthAfrica

MI’s Facebook account launched: Join us!


Maharishi Institute Turns Three!
On 18 June the Maharishi Institute (‘MI’) turned 3-years old!! It was wonderful to reflect on the progress we've made over the past 3-years in providing funding and access to education through our international and local partners.

Establishment of 21st Century Learning Labs: Maharishi Institute is supporting the development of a remedial bridging program (to bridge the gaps in English and Maths) with partners Media-Works and Learning Resources through the creation of 21’st Century Learning Labs, designed to create a completely personalized learning experience for each student, which allows individualized growth in the fastest possible manner. In routine admissions tests, only 1 out of 100 students will score Grade 9 or above on English and maths, even though all have Grade 12 certificates.

These state-of-the-art learning labs pioneer the concept of mass personalization in learning: harnessing the ‘Human Technology’ and ‘Information Technology’ revolution to bridge students from poor high school education. 


Unlimited High speed Internet through Neotel
Thanks to Neotel’s generous 75% reduction in installation fees and 67% reduction in monthly fees, Maharishi Institute installed high-speed broadband to be accessed by all students for their international and local distance studies. Neotel has guaranteed 99.9% up-time. This created huge excitement for students, many of whom had never used the internet.


Major Campaign to Get 350+ Computers
With broadband in place, a major campaign was held to raise the funds for more computers for the Institute, for both distance education programmes and Invincible Outsourcing call centre. An overwhelming result was achieved when the marketing department successfully raised R300,000 in only 3 days to purchase 350 computers from the UK. We were so incredibly excited when 25 donors, both individuals and companies, came forward to support . Thank you very much to major donors in the campaign: Trencon Construction who sponsored 130 computers and Saville Foundation, our founding funders, who sponsored 100 computers!


21 Cisco routers were donated by Cisco and the Datatec Foundation. These arrived in August providing the final piece of the puzzle necessary to get the computer networks fully up and running.

CEO of Don Group visits his Kitchen
Thabiso Tlelai, CEO of the Don Hotel Group, had lunch in his R300,000 industrial kitchen that was donated by The Don and Legacy Hotel Groups last year. Before that we were cooking for 200 people daily on 2 small R100 hot plates! Maharishi Institute provides a hot meal at lunch daily.


Registered Microsoft Academy
A registered as a Microsoft Academy was established with access to over 100 Microsoft e-learning courses and another 50 Microsoft office licenses

Income-Generation Programme
With the correct infrastructure in place it is now possible to begin work on our Income Generation programmes. We signed a partnership for new data capture work with a US-based company “Samasource”. Ongoing data-capture will flow out of this partnership, and will supplement income from the ‘voice-side’ of Invincible Outsourcing. Several very exciting possibilities for income generation through Invincible Outsourcing are in process and will be announced soon!

BEE Empowerment Fund Gets Full Black Ownership Status
Our first Black-Economic Fund, Community Individual Development Trust (C.I.D.T.), the BEE Fund for Community Individual Development Association, was awarded full black ownership status by NERA rating agency. This is great news and provides full black-ownership scores to the companies in the Trust, including amongst others, The Performance Hub (51% owned) and POD (25% owned). Some wonderful BEE deals coming up soon. Stay tuned!

Bromide-EOH and HP Donate 50-New HP Computers
Huge excitement ensued as our computer-lab immediately doubled in size, with these beautiful new high-speed machines with large flat plasma screens and software installed. Thank you to Delfim Alves of Bromide and Brian Gubbins of EOH!


Maharishi Institute Wins Global ‘Seedlings of Success’ Award
Maharishi Institute wins the Global Award, ‘Seedlings of Success’ in Bahrain at the Education Project hosted by the Crown Prince. The award was voted on by National Ministers of Education from 10 countries and 500 leading educators from around the world. This unprecedented achievement appeared on CNN, CNBC, Wall Street Journal, and over 100 press agencies around the world.

Bahrain EDB Brings Global Summit to a Close
 CNBC Published: Sunday, 10 Oct 2010 | 11:57 AM ET
“The Maharishi Institute, South Africa, presented by Dr Taddy Blecher, picked up the accolade as voted by the audience. The award recognizes new educational models that have the potential to improve education outcomes significantly through an innovative, scalable and replicable business model that can work in different countries and regions. It is hoped that by recognizing these seedlings they may be propelled into the broader public domain so that they receive continued funding and support.”

Global Hero Award
Our CEO, wins the first Global Hero award from The Global Center of Social Entrepreneurship, at the University of Pacific in the USA for work in founding the Maharishi Institute, and is invited to sit on the Board of the Global Center. This award was precipitated through the positive experience three UoP interns have had at the Institute over the last 2 years. 

Extensive National Radio Publicity for Maharishi Institute
After winning the Global Education Award in Bahrain, Maharishi Institute members were invited to speak on 11-different radio stations for 30-minute interviews, a total of 310-minutes of radio publicity, including: Ikwekwezi FM (Zulu), Ukhozi FM (Zulu), Phalaphala FM (Venda), Thobela FM (Sotho), Lesedi FM (Sotho), YFM (English), Kaya FM (English), Lotus FM (English), Umhlobo Wenene (Xhosa), Munghana Lonene (Xitsonga), and Ligwalagwala FM (Swati).
A flood of calls from the general public was received after these radio shows.


Invincible Outsourcing wins the ‘Monyetla’ contract though The Business Trust
Invincible Outsourcing won a R1.8 million ‘Monyetla’ contract though The Business Trust for 100 youth to complete national Level 2 and Level 4 call centre training qualifications (accredited by the SERVICES SETA) and receive a significant stipend for 4-months. The training which includes extensive practical experience alongside theoretical learning, is being conducted by the Performance Hub (formerly CIDALearning). This is a significant development as it allows the call centre to begin with fully trained student-staff and sufficient team leaders.

400+ World-Class Training Courses Donated
Learning Resources Group, with certification from the SERVICES SETA, has provided 400 Skillsoft elearning training courses worth over R3million. These courses are used by employees at Discovery, Standard Bank, VW, De Beers, MTN, and many more.

TEDx Johannesburg
CEO invited as a speaker for TEDx Johannesburg to speak on the organisation’s development work over the last 15 years. ‘Free Education can Free a Nation’ Watch the video here.


Invincible Outsourcing Goes Live!!!
Invincible Outsourcing Goes Live with first calls December 4’th! Invincible Outsourcing is a new model of high impact outsourcing where clients will be able to get a world-class service at globally competitive prices while transforming the education-levels of South Africa’s youth. In Invincible Outsourcing students will “Learn & Earn”, to repay their study bursaries our university partner institute, and earn extra money to support their families. Our goal is to get to the point of economic self-sufficiency.

The approach to learning is very exciting for the students as it combines both practical experiential learning in the day in Invincible Outsourcing, and academic theory every afternoon via distance education.

We just cannot thank enough those companies and Foundations who have helped us get Invincible Outsourcing established so that we can build self-sufficiency for the long term. Most specifically we wish to thank Datatec Foundation and Chuma Foundation.

South Africa Institute of Management (SAIM) Accreditation and Endorsement

The SAIM, South Africa’s oldest business management education body, provided their full endorsement to Maharishi University of Management USA distance education programmes at Bachelors Degree, and MBA level. An extensive review was conducted, which included the collation of hundreds of pages of accreditation information. The Certificates of Endorsement were presented officially by Dr Norris Dalton, CEO of the SAIM at the end of year celebration. Read more here.

Anti-virus Software for 500 PC’s was donated from Computer Associates in the USA through South African agency (EOH) and went live, finally protecting all PC’s from viruses.

350 Computers Arrived from UK
The computers for the Learning Labs arrived from UK on 10 December 2010: all the computers are virtually new and have flat plasma screens. The students were truly ecstatic!! This tremendous boost in our information technology infrastructure over the year will allow the Institute to increase the intake of distance education students enrolling in Feb 2011. We are ready for the New Year!

Infrastructure Development Throughout the Year
Throughout the year infrastructure work and refurbishment has continued in the Institute, including:

  • Invincible Outsourcing on the 5’th floor completed. A huge thanks to Chuma Foundation for their very generous donation of R1million
  • Ground floor lobby and reception refurbished
  • Computer labs and library: 6’th floor has been completed with a library of over 50,000 books. Thanks to McGraw Hill, Pearsons, Exclusive Books for the book donations, Succeed Magazine, Financial Mail and Finance Week. Huge thanks to Optiplan for the shelving, and Neotel for putting in an Internet Cafe.

Closing Celebration

The Directors would love to take this opportunity to acknowledge the heroic role played by the Maharishi Institute during 2010:

What a truly incredible year!


The number of Maharishi Institute partners has expanded to over 70 organisations and individuals by 2010, many of whom are new supporters who gave to the computer campaign:
The Oppenheimer Family (De Beers and EO & Sons); Datatec Foundation; Kellogg Foundation; Chuma Foundation; Educating Africa/ Saville Foundation (founding funders); Skoll Foundation [through Community Individual Development Association]; Trencon Construction; CIDA Learning (The Performance Hub); Errol Grolman; Monitor Company; Don Group; Legacy Hotel Group; Community Individual Development Trust [C.I.D.T.]; Aegis; Bayport; DSG (Digital Solutions Group); Visio Capital; Servochem; Ownership Solutions; POD Communications; Grail Research; EOH; Idea Engineers; Bromide (EOH); HP; Cisco Systems; Cisco Entrepreneur Institute; Umela; Ashoka Africa; PHD (division of RTT Group); Integreon; Index Ventures; OneLeap; Bain Capital, LLC; McKinsey & Co; Datanet; Modrac; Dazz Consulting; BPeSA; Inovo; Getty Images; Dauphin; Turnkey Interiors; Deneys Reitz; ROBO Accountants; Raymond Israellsohn & Associates; Uniprint; Neotel; Strive Software; Cometsa; Quirk e-marketing; Huddle Mind; Legal & Tax; Planet Works; Personal Concept; Media works; McCain Foods; Plascon; Perfectus; SA Image Institution; WK Wilton; Tennille Wilkinson; Timothy Maurice & Associates; Vicki & Richard Broome; CIDA Foundation USA; Trialogue; BlueSheep Studios; Firestring; DEX IT; SAB [supporting the Maharishi Institute outreach program in KZN]

We express our deepest gratitude to our wonderful, amazing, kind, and loving supporters. Thank you, thank you, thank you, for offering this incredible educational gift to students in South Africa.