Sharpening a school business project proves to be revolutionary

 

The MOR Foundation was founded in 2019 by a young 16-year-old, Eryquin Ferguson, who felt a deep connection to her community and knew that her whole life had prepared her for initiating long term solutions. Her commitment to reaching as many people as possible and making a significant difference in their lives contributed to her success.  Eryquin recognised an opportunity to utilise her love for education to initiate change, believing that by educating and providing tools for the community to embrace change, the foundation could touch many lives.

At 16 years old and fascinated with business, Eryquin grew dissatisfied with the fact that she would most likely only be able to learn about entrepreneurship during, or even after, university. She was eager to acquire entrepreneurial skills and learn more about the functioning of a business and so she set out on a journey to find the best solution.  The idea for her company was born from a business plan that she had created for a Debutante project, that wasn’t quite what the project was looking for at the time.  Eryquin would not give up, she was determined and once she had completed the Debutante project, she began to build and sharpen the original concept into something that would be the foundation of her next project and was sure to make the difference that she had originally hoped to achieve.    “I wanted the MOR Foundation to be a liaison for businesses to help change people's lives for the better and serve as a bridge between corporate and social responsibility, even if the people around me at the time did not see the value in it.” Eryquin explains.

Sadly, Eryquin realised that not many people share the same vision and concluded that although growth is a vulnerable process, she would need to risk rebelling against the static and narrow-minded norm to find herself in a place of inspiration, leadership, and growth.  To upskill herself to be noticeably positioned to link her passion and have a philanthropic effect on people's lives, she embarked on completing Brene Brown’s leadership Dare to Lead coaching certification in South Africa and was the youngest person to complete this programme.  Eryquin has found a sustainable way to present her non-profit organisation to the world and expand her reach beyond South Africa into many needy communities across the globe.  The MOR Foundation has been a key role-player in various other projects, like presenting Business Simulation programmes to children through a partnership with a company in Poland. Eyquin’s inspirational story is often shared from a stage where her views on real leadership help others discover their own inherent power.

The MOR Foundation partnered with healthcare company EQiGate, that sponsored HIV Rapid Test Kits to the value of R5.2 million.  The foundation facilitated the distribution of 26 000 tests to clinics and hospitals around the Soweto, Diepsloot and Alexandria areas.  These were successfully circulated with the help of supporting distribution channels and the Johannesburg City Council.  This project was beneficial to the community two-fold as it was educating the community members about HIV/AIDS and Covid-19.  “I think that it is important not to lose sight of the severe implication of the Covid-19 virus and the role that underlying health conditions like HIV/AIDS can play in worsening a person’s condition when infected.”  Eyquin goes on to say that, “Hopefully, these rapid tests will aid in promoting Covid-19 testing in townships whilst educating the community on both HIV/AIDS and Covid-19.”

The MOR Foundation’s impact won’t end at the HIV Rapid tests. Eryquin is currently working on her next big project of distributing a product called Clinic-in-a-Box to healthcare clinics within townships.  The MOR Foundation hasn’t employed additional staff as yet, so Eryquin often gets up before sunrise to study for tests, also exceeding in her studies as a grade 12 scholar at Cornwall Hill College.  She spends the day attending school, which is then countered with late nights of writing project proposals and countless hours of research to identify the flaws within the current South African Healthcare System to empower her to present to Government the best implementation strategy for her programme.  Her commitment and discipline towards her goals have finally helped her reach the Presidency, and she hopes that hand in hand, the MOR Foundation and government can ensure that the product really addresses the needs in rural areas.  From her involvement in the rural communities at grassroot level she understands that Government is severely under-resourced. Covid-19, amongst other issues in our country, has impacted all and she identified the need to approach private companies for sponsorship to reach more people.  “I know that government’s hands may be full, with juggling the effects of the Covid-19 pandemic, which is why I am looking to the private sector for sponsorship as I don’t believe in waiting for others, but rather in driving your own success.”

Eryquin is certainly a rare and genuine gemstone; she is committed to flourishing within every aspect of her life whilst also focusing on her studies and friendships.  She enjoys playing the Double Bass, which has allowed her to perform with various orchestras like the University of Pretoria Symphony Orchestra.  Her talents also include sport, she has outperformed herself in various Ballet competitions and performances, locally and internationally. She performed in London, Miami, and Russia, and has more recently discovered the joy of long-distance athletics events, making Eryquin something of an outstanding achiever.

In a world where teenagers are often expected to colour inside the lines, thinking within the box is often the very thing that keeps the youth contained inside it.  Rejecting this notion, Eryquin started colouring outside of the lines.  She founded something much larger than a non-profit organisation – she founded an uprising.  A transformation for change that is inspiring teenagers and young adults like herself to dust off their own business plans and build enterprises that will do them and their investors proud through everything that she undertakes, reminding us all that no goal is unreachable when you have the passion for making a difference and bring about change!