Entrepreneur and founder of the Upbeat Youth Centre, Amon Maseko received the 2012 Inyathelo Award for Youth in Philanthropy.
After forging a successful career for himself as an entrepreneur and businessman, 31-year-old Amon returned to his hometown of Tweefontein in Mpumalanga in order to help other young people escape the cycle of poverty in which his community was trapped. He set up the ‘Upbeat Youth Centre’ which provides computer training as well as mentorship, support and life skills for dispirited young people struggling to find direction and work, especially in this rural community where nearly 70% of young school leavers are unemployed and unlikely to find a job.
The centre has already produced more than 200 computer graduates, 20 of whom are now employed. A further 300 people in the local community have benefitted from the workshops and job-training programmes held at the centre. Amon, who wants to encourage a passion for education so that disadvantaged youngsters can improve their own lives, also donates school uniforms to the local primary school as well as Christmas gifts to more than 50 orphans and elderly people in the community.