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CIDA City Campus receives $1,015,000 award
by Steuart Pennington and Brett Bowes

South Africa
The Good News
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20 March 2006

Dr Taddy Blecher, co-founder of CIDA City Campus CIDA City Campus, South Africa's first virtually free tertiary institution today announced it is the recipient of a $1,015,000 (approximately R6,3 million), three-year award from The Skoll Foundation to establish a replication centre which will strengthen the Johannesburg campus as a centralised hub for further expansion. It will also be used to develop a franchise model and build a Master's degree programme for CIDA and other graduates to be trained for leadership, teaching and administration for future urban and rural campuses.

The award is one of 16 Skoll Awards for Social Entrepreneurship presented by the Skoll Foundation to honour the most innovative and effective approaches to resolving critical social issues world-wide. Dr Taddy Blecher, CEO and co-founder of CIDA City Campus is the only social entrepreneur who was recognised in South Africa.

Dr Blecher explains, 'We have always wanted to strengthen and expand our campus so it can meet the tremendous need for the social and economic development of the continent. The money will be used initially to create a stronger and more stable educational platform at the Johannesburg campus from where we can replicate. We will however continue working to reach our funding goals for the future sustainability of the campus.'

According to Sally Osberg, President and CEO of the Skoll Foundation, 'Taddy reflects the essence of a Skoll social entrepreneur: an innovator who resolves social problems and builds civil society's infrastructure and effectiveness. Each organisation in our portfolio of Skoll Awards for Social Entrepreneurship is tackling a complex social problem in order to promote healthy, sustainable communities. CIDA City Campus is no exception. Together with our other social entrepreneurs, Taddy represents an incredibly powerful force for systemic social change.'

Dr Blecher will be going to Oxford University, England at the end of this month along with Dr Melanie Brown, president of CIDA Foundation USA who was instrumental in getting this grant. He will be presented with the award by Jeff Skoll, the co-founder of E-Bay and chairman of the Skoll Foundation.

Since its creation seven years ago, CIDA has had a tremendous impact. It has more than 1800 graduates and students working, earning over R83 million per annum in salaries. CIDA provides financially disadvantaged South African youths an opportunity to earn a bachelor of business administration degree and offers other vocational and educational programmes.

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Copyright © 2007, SA The Good News

Global Good News comment:

'CIDA has opened our eyes to new ways of thinking and supporting our young people in education. To see the energy and the commitment of CIDA students, to experience their joy and hunger for knowledge, to feel their passion for building South Africa—that makes me very happy indeed. CIDA's model combines self-awareness, self-reliance and Ubuntu. The students expressly address issues of poverty, education and health in their home communities and pass on their knowledge to others in ways that are meaningful, whether in Limpopo or Cape. I know that CIDA students can be a major force for transformation in whatever field they work in—technology or agriculture, as entrepreneurs or accountants. I am inspired by this extraordinary reach across our nation, and am proud to be associated with its vision.' —Nelson Mandela

For information about Maharishi's six-point programme to create a healthy, happy, prosperous society, and a peaceful world, please visit: Global Financial Capital of New York

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