Global studies show that young people are capable of contributing to the economy by working, starting businesses and leading organisations, yet far too many do not have access to the opportunities they need to reach their full potential.
According to the UN World Youth Report, over 71 million young people are unemployed, and many more millions are in precarious or informal work. The stats also show that 156 million young people in low-and-middle-income countries are living in poverty even though they are employed.
We can evidently see this in Africa in the high number of young people who are unemployed and in need of training and development opportunities.
To support and grow communities and uplift underprivileged youth in Africa, South African professional rugby player, Tendai Mtawarira (The Beast) has started The Beast Foundation.
Beast’s heart has always been to help young people reach their dreams and maximise their potential. In starting The Beast Foundation he wants to inspire, unite and build communities by empowering young people through sports, education and life skills development.
“Sport transformed my life, helped me achieve things I could never have imagined possible, and aided me in the development of important life skills.”
“I want to continue my legacy and give young people the same opportunities to thrive on the field and beyond,” says Beast.
Through an annual bootcamp, The Beast Foundation gives talented young people the opportunity to top coaching and skills development. The integrated learning camp not only improves their technical skills but offers life skills, improves leadership, attitudes and behaviours in a safe and structured way.
“We give young people the chance to forge their futures and access to an expanded network.”
“This not only allows them to grow but take learnings back to their communities, become champions on the field and in other areas of life,” explain Beast.
Through various partnerships, The Beast Foundation Annual Bootcamp is an all-expenses paid programme which includes training from top global athletes, playing kits and learning material. The programme also offers candidates opportunities to travel and get scouted on a national and international level.
ASICS South Africa, Sports and Marketing Specialist, Stefano Maiorana says their brand and team is looking forward to partnering with Beast on this amazing initiative.
“We’re proud to be associated with The Beast Foundation and make a contribution to the great work that will be done to empower the next generation and make a difference in our communities,” says Maiorana.
“Our main aim is to empower young people and create a society where the youth is equipped to succeed, employable, academically achieving, healthy and socially connected,” says Beast.
One of the primary obstacles to youth progressing is having the financial resources to continue with a higher education. The Beast Foundation is partnering with higher education institutions and corporates to provide scholarships for education and link beneficiaries to bursary opportunities.
Teach South Africa, Managing Director, Tham Tham De Verteuil says they are excited to support The Beast Foundation as it responds to challenges in the education sector by supporting the African child to improve their quality of education irrespective of their socio-economic background.
“We need more organisations like The Beast Foundation to make a difference in the lives of young people. We need an empowered, educated self-reliant youth who initiate and participate in education development,” says De Verteuil.
“I believe young people have a leadership role. We value their role as tomorrows leaders hence we strive to give them a voice,” said Beast.
Tendai Mtawarira is pursuing his MBA through Henley Business School and a growing entrepreneur. The Beast Foundation has forged a partnership with the business school to offer opportunities to young people and sports players for the development of crucial life skills for success beyond sport.
Henley Business School Dean, Jon Foster-Pedley says “I am proud to announce Henley’s support to Beast Foundation. We have long been concerned with providing lifelong learning pathways to assist people in acquiring business skills and qualifications.
Working with the Beast Foundation we will together assist sportspeople to gain the business skills and qualifications that will help them transition from a playing career into business entrepreneurs, managers and leaders. This will help not only build a stronger sports industry in South Africa but will also make entering sports a more viable career choice since there will be more possibilities and options at the end of playing careers,” continues Foster-Pedley.
The Beast Foundation believes that sport can bring people together for a common goal and can be used to build, inspire and unite communities.