We envision a world in which purposeful people strive in faith, hope and love to bring an end to extreme poverty and to cultivate conditions for everyone to enjoy health, peace and prosperity.
BOOST is an acronym which stands for “Building Opportunities on Student Talent”. The BOOST Fellowship was founded in the year 2000 through the support of a dynamic team of enthusiasts from Zimbabwe, the UK and the USA. Together, we observed that while most schools and universities across the world generally provide a wide-ranging academic education, many students find themselves inadequately prepared for the opportunities and the challenges of the world beyond the classroom. Students graduate as experts in relatively narrow fields of study, but arrive at the gateways of their future without a robust foundation in those disciplines that help people to establish successful futures for themselves and others including: a sense of purpose; an ability to communicate and make effective decisions; a capacity to nurture wholesome relationships; an appreciation of community responsibility; an understanding of the nature of the global economy and the business world; and an aptitude in the disciplines of financial intelligence.
We took the view that the success of future generations is not solely the responsibility of schools and universities. A very substantial onus lies upon society as a whole. We set out to develop a program that would offer students holistic preparation for life after school. With the support of Clutterbuck & Associates, Barclays Bank PLC, The Summit Foundation, Templeton College Oxford, the Amos Tuck School of Business, the University of Zimbabwe and Africa University, we launched our pilot program in Zimbabwe in March 2000.
Based on the success of the pilot program, we received grants from the Rockefeller Foundation in 2001 and 2002, which enabled us to launch the full BOOST Fellowship program in Zimbabwe. In 2003, we received a three year grant from the Kellogg Foundation.
We designed the BOOST program around our two central concepts “Entrepreneur Intelligence” and “Possibility-oriented Living”. Entrepreneur Intelligence is the mindset that enables a people to see the possibilities rather than the problems of life and to exploit the opportunities that arise in the changing dynamics of their lives. Possibility-oriented living is the approach to life that puts Entrepreneur Intelligence into practice.
OUR STRATEGIC FOCUS: POSSIBILITY-ORIENTED LEADERSHIP
Having observed the radical transformation in the lives of our Fellows during their tenure on the program, we have come to realize that we have a unique opportunity to make a difference to the lives of people in Zimbabwe and in Africa on a broader scale. In light of this understanding, we have concluded that the primary responsibility and the foremost strategic objective of the BOOST Fellowship must be to help young people to become “effective leaders and to cultivate a sustainable culture of leadership in the families, communities, institutions and countries of sub-Saharan Africa.”
We believe that a concentrated pursuit of this objective will result in the development of a global community of intelligent entrepreneurs and possibility-oriented leaders. When they see hunger and thirst, these entrepreneurs will plant bread baskets and develop reservoirs. When the violence manifests itself as homelessness, these leaders will respond by building shelter. Where joblessness abides, these entrepreneurs will create opportunities. When disease destroys, these leaders will bring comfort, support and medication. Where illiteracy marginalizes, these entrepreneurs will establish schools and mentor children to bring hope. When war erupts, these leaders will fly like doves to promote peace and reconciliation. These are the opportunities that we must exploit and we must become possibility-oriented in relation to our future, that of our continent and that of our world. Perhaps then “hopeless Africa” will become a redundant phrase because its true renaissance will have begun. This is the life work to which the BOOST Fellowship is dedicated.