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Mercedes-Benz SA hosts YES Graduation at its East London plant

Nov 13, 2017
Mercedes-Benz SA hosts YES Graduation at its East London plant

Mercedes-Benz South Africa (MBSA) and the Laureus Sport for Good Foundation South Africa hosted the Youth Empowerment through Sports (YES) graduation for the first time at the award-winning MBSA East London plant on the 10th of November 2017.

MBSA Executive Management including Chairman of the Board, Dr Joachim Schmidt; Laureus ambassadors, Zanele Mdondana and Natalie Du Toit; Laureus Chairman, Morne Du Plessis; Laureus trustees, Ian Banner, Ntambi Ravele, Marlene Coetzee-George, Deshun Deysel and Akani Simbine, in his capacity as the Mercedes-Benz Friend of the Brand, came together to applaud the18 graduates on their successful completion of the year's programme.

The YES programme is one of the exciting ways that the Laureus Sport for Good Foundation South Africa is empowering and inspiring youth leaders in Africa to use sport for the good of their communities. Launched in 2012, the programme focuses on equipping youth with the technical, vocational, entrepreneurship and life skills needed to develop sustainable livelihoods. The programme targets school leavers between ages 18 to 25, with particular focus given to young people who are passionate about sport and the upliftment of local communities.

Drawing inspiration from one of the company values, passion, Co-CEO Mercedes-Benz South Africa and Executive Director Mercedes-Benz Cars, Johannes Fritz said, "It is your passion that has brought you here. I am inspired by all the work and challenges that you have overcome. Continue supporting positive social change in your communities, keep the momentum going. Do not give up! Be our Beautiful news!"

Youth development is one of the key pillars of MBSA's Corporate Social Responsibility (CSR) this is why partnerships aimed at inspiring future leaders and creating positive social change with a stronger focus on youth and leadership development are an integral part of MBSA's Corporate Social Investment (CSI) strategy. The success of the YES programme is evident in the calibre of leaders it has produced over the years.

Addressing the graduates, Laureus Sport for Good Foundation South Africa Chairman, Morne du Plessis drew inspiration from a Chinese proverb, "if you give a man a fish you can feed him for a day, but if you teach him to fish and you give him an occupation that will feed him for a lifetime." He added that, "I hope that you take everything that you have learned on this programme and go out there and sow back the seeds that you have grown from your Laureus journey."

Powerful messages were expressed at the celebration, highlighting the immense impact that the YES programme has on YES graduates.

"The YES Programme gives young people the opportunity to discover their inner abilities, define their future, conquer their fears and defy their limits. It has empowered and upskilled myself and other young leaders to continue driving change in our communities," enthused, YES Graduate and Grassroot Soccer Coach, Thabile Nene.

For further information on the Laureus Sport for Good Foundation projects, please visit http://www.laureus.co.za/.