DLF Honors The Communiversity of South Africa with its First Global “EnterPrize” Award

by Bibi Tran on December 16, 2015

The Communiversity of South Africa was selected as the first social enterprise worldwide to receive the David Lynch Foundation (DLF) “EnterPrize”Award.

The Communiversity is a cutting-edge, community-based, effective, low-cost enterprise providing unemployed and unemployable young people with life-changing learning experiences to enable them to successfully enter the workplace, start their own businesses or continue further education to pursue a career.

The Communiversity is located in the Sir Elton John and Annie Lennox-sponsored Vrygrond Community Centre in Cape Town.

Watch a video about the Communiversity below.

The EnterPrize Award honors innovative institutions which are helping to fulfill the mission of the DLF by offering Transcendental Meditation (TM) to at-risk populations to help eliminate the negative effects of trauma and toxic stress while improving cognitive abilities and developing self-sufficiency.

The EnterPrize was presented to the Communiversity creator, co-founder and executive director Dr. Melanie Brown by David Lynch Foundation executive director Bob Roth at a public ceremony at  the DLF New York City offices on Thursday, December 3.

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DLF presents Dr. Melanie Brown with the “EnterPrize” Award.

“The Communiversity of South Africa is now in its fourth year and the results have been truly magical — beyond our most optimistic vision,” said Dr. Brown. “Thanks to a small but stellar team, the Communiversity has succeeded in taking unemployed young people off the street who had lost hope for themselves and their families, and in only five months, prepared them both practically for higher education and jobs and also cognitively and emotionally to step into a future where they can once again believe in their dreams and goals.”

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Students practice Transcendental Meditation in Cape Town at the Communiversity of South Africa.

Young people, mostly high school dropouts, account for more than 73% of the unemployed in South Africa and a large portion of the country’s gang violence and crime. Since 2012, the Communiversity has provided more than 300 young men and women with a unique “pre-professional” education, including personal development courses such as TM and Living on Purpose, introductory experiential, work-related courses in underserved fields such as culinary skills, solar technology, electrics, and computer coding, and rigorous academic courses in math, critical thinking and English communication.

As a result, 87% of the Communiversity graduates are either now in college, have started their own businesses, or have jobs or internships. Most graduates are readily admitted to local colleges or are regularly employed at top national companies. “I absolutely boast about the Communiversity graduates I now have the pleasure of calling my employees. I get goose bumps when I talk about these humble, respectful, responsible, amazing people I have had the joy of employing,” says Michelle King, national marketing director for Cinnabon, South Africa.

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Students graduate from the Communiversity of South Africa, Cape Town.

“The Communiversity of South Africa has proven to be a highly beneficial, time-efficient and low-cost model with strong outcomes that we believe could be used successfully throughout the world. The David Lynch Foundation is delighted and proud to honor their remarkable achievement – the creation of a ‘bridge to somewhere’ – for disadvantaged, at-risk youth,” said Bob Roth. “The David Lynch Foundation is so inspired by the work of Dr. Brown that we have renamed the award in her honor: ‘The Dr. Melanie Brown EnterPrize Award.’ This is only fitting because she embodies all the qualities of a wise, enlightened, enterprising leader who is dedicated to changing the world for good.”

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Dr. Melanie Brown and Bob Roth, Executive Director of DLF

About Communiversity of South Africa

The Communiversity of South Africa is a community-based social enterprise – a unique educational model created to successfully address high unemployment and the need for personal growth and relevant education among the country’s young adults. For more information, please click here or contact: info@communiversitysa.org.

About the David Lynch Foundation

The David Lynch Foundation, a 501(c)(3) organization, was established in 2005 to fund the implementation of scientifically proven stress-reducing modalities including Transcendental Meditation, for at-risk populations such as underserved inner-city students; veterans with PTSD and their families; women and girls who have been victims of violence, rape, and abuse; American Indians suffering from diabetes and high suicide rates; homeless adults and teens participating in reentry programs; and incarcerated adults and juveniles. For more information, click here.

Learn More:

Help Support the Communiversity of South Africa
About the Communiversity of South Africa
About David Lynch Foundation
Help Support DLF this Holiday
 

2 Comments

  1. So very proud of the work Melanie Brown has done. Talk about a dedicated soul. Great for the Foundation to recognize her.

    Cheryl Bianchi
  2. We are so often bombarded through media and daily experience with the apparent decay of our global community. It’s easy to lose heart. Then comes news of The Communiversity of South Africa with scenes of young faces shining with optimism as they see their bright futures unfolding before them. All heart is restored. Dr. Melanie Brown is unique among us for her willingness to move beyond concern for humanity and into the rigors of serving its greater good. How fitting that this award has been created in her name. Now future generations can honor her as we do—one of history’s greatest benefactors to the world.

    Cynthia Reece

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A message from David Lynch

I started Transcendental Meditation in 1973 and have not missed a single meditation ever since. Twice a day, every day. It has given me effortless access to unlimited reserves of energy, creativity and happiness deep within.

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