Dr. Taddy Blecher
A pioneer of the free education movement in South Africa, Taddy Blecher was born in 1967, and couldn't ignore the social issues in his country. He wanted to, on a large scale, bring historically disadvantaged poor youth from a place of poverty to a place of confidence and self-sufficiency. In 1999 he founded CIDA City Campus, the first free university, to answer the question of crippling poverty in South Africa. CIDA offers a 4-year business administration degree. Now, over 4,500 CIDA's graduates have gone on to claim promising jobs in the business field. Blecher has helped found several more free educational institutions in South Africa, and because of his work, more than 600,000 young South Africans have been educated in general courses and special life-skills training classes. The university maintains a low-cost system by asking students to utilize their skill and ability in contributing to the operations and management, of their school. Blecher draws down upon the African concept of "Ubuntu," an enthusiastic giving and sharing for the betterment of a community, to establish a work ethic and a sense of responsibility in the students. Blecher has been recognized as one of the 100 young leaders around the world, a Young Global Leader by the World Economic Forum, and was a 2006 recipient of the Skoll Foundation's Social Entrepreneur Award. Thanks to the model established by Taddy Blecher, young people across Africa are realizing the depth of their potential, and poverty is slowly being beat down by good business.
"Everywhere around you there are innumerable opportunities to make a difference."