The Make A Difference Leadership Foundation (MAD Leadership Foundation) was founded in 2003 by 1995 Rugby World Cup winning captain Francois Pienaar and a group of like-minded individuals who shared a vision to develop academically talented scholars with leadership potential into future leaders for South Africa.
The Foundation implements a comprehensive, personal and long-term scholarship programme which provides academically-talented scholars with exceptional leadership development opportunities through education and mentorship. Its vision is an alumni of MAD Leadership Foundation Fellows who will invest back in South Africa and who will be a powerful force for positive change in their own unique way and leaders in their own right.
With this vision, the Foundation aims to develop carefully selected scholars as leaders in their chosen fields – they define the parameters of leadership applicable to their lives, but all scholars are expected to step forward whenever there is a need to drive positive change. These leaders do what is right, not just what is popular; they inspire others, and they “Make A Difference”, whatever their job title. The foundation for this vision is their personal integrity, plus the core leadership values the Foundation seeks to instill – ambition with hard work, passion with discipline, courage with honesty, and confidence with humility.
The Foundation’s scholarship programme offers selected scholars support in the areas of mentorship, career guidance and personal, academic and leadership development. The Foundation gives scholars the freedom to choose a career in any field and industry, depending on their strengths and passions and offers long-term, comprehensive support. By focusing on the individual needs of each scholar, it maintains a personal connection to their requirements, providing comprehensive support for the duration of their academic career.
The scholarship is more than just a contribution towards scholars’ academic costs. The Foundation supports each scholar from Grade 8 throughout their tertiary degree, not only by providing financial assistance but also by encouraging the individual in his/her personal and professional development as they prepare for their future. A multi-disciplinary team, skilled in various professions, supports this process by dealing with any barriers the scholars may face so they can continue focusing on completing their studies and achieving their dreams.
The Foundation focuses on forming long-term professional partnerships with corporates, trusts, other organisations and individuals who are committed to its vision and assists in hosting dynamic fundraising initiatives locally and abroad. Some of these partners include Cape Executive Parking, City Lodge, Cricket South Africa, Edge Capital, Estée Lauder Foundation for the Nation, Garrison Group, Heart of Gold Trust (Pam Golding Properties), MAD2Adventures, Meridian Wine Merchants, Momentum Kallis Bursary Programme, MySchool | MyVillage | MyPlanet | Dream2Teach, Noblesfontein, Rialheim, SAB Proud member of the ABInBev family, Sage, Sunfoil, Telkom, The City Lodge Hotel Group, and The Federated Employers Mutual Assurance Company.
Since inception, the Foundation has strived to commit to an education period spanning up to 12 years, including scholars’ tertiary studies. It operates in all nine provinces in South Africa, with more than 200 scholars currently supported by the Scholarship Programme. It is proud to celebrate 47 exceptional alumni, with a total of 62 tertiary qualifications since 2003, who are actively pursuing a range of careers. Since 2006, 105 scholars have matriculated, with a total of 254 distinctions and 31 Matrics who passed with an A average.
As with any non-profit organisation in South Africa, the Foundation faces similar challenges in seeking and securing sustainable funding channels that will ensure the longevity of its initiatives. In addition, sourcing suitable candidates for its volunteer mentor programme can at times be challenging, as many individuals do not want to commit the time and energy required. The Foundation also faces the challenge of ensuring that it seeks and retains interested and reoccurring event attendees for its national and international fundraising platforms.
Unfortunately, there are vast numbers of deserving candidates all over South Africa that desperately need an opportunity such as this scholarship programme, not only to achieve an education but to unleash their leadership potential. Without the long-term and reoccurring sustainable financial support from corporates and individuals, the biggest challenge it will continue to face is the inability to help more and more candidates each year.
Click here to make a donation to the MAD Leadership Foundation.
Tel: +27 21 948 9871
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