Yohan Blake is famous as a world-class athlete and double Olympic champion. Lesser known is his tireless charity work through his YB Afraid Foundation, which supports organisations and develops programs addressing the educational, physical and mental health and social needs of underprivileged youth. His sponsor, Richard Mille, supports these projects.
The Jamaican sprinter started the foundation in 2011. On the 17th of December this year, he posted a video showing a new luxurious multi-purpose residential facility nearing completion in Mandeville, Jamaica. This will be the new dormitory for the boys of Mount Olivet Boys' Home. The YB Afraid Foundation fervently support the local organisations who own and run the premises.
It’s an example of the foundation’s long-term work and perfectly illustrates what they set out to achieve. The home provides residential and social services for boys aged 8 - 18 years who are orphaned, abandoned, homeless, or reside with families who cannot adequately provide for them. Residents receive education, recreation, employment training and spiritual guidance to help them to develop.
Over the years, Yohan and his team have helped the home in so many ways. These include upgrading classrooms with computers, setting up a new library and donating gaming and leisure equipment. As Yohan stated recently:
“Kids should always have a dream, to dream big. This (new facility) is the dream. The Mount Olivet Boys' Home has transformed into something different. The YB Afraid Foundation is changing the game…”
Yohan Blake shows heartfelt passion for underprivileged and impoverished young people. He knows they suffer through no fault of their own and he uses his status and wealth to help them live better lives. His foundation aims to give them the support and stability to flourish as adults. In his own words, they are the future.
LeMans - The YB Afraid X Richard Mille Car
His prodigious work ethic on the athletics track is mirrored in his charity work. His foundation supports many local organisations through donations, participating in events etc. They partner with government agencies, local charities, businesses and other services to try and end the suffering he witnesses.
For example, they support Food For The Poor, Jamaica, who provide relief in areas including housing, food, medical, water, sanitation, education, agriculture and outreach. They were also involved in a project at the Pringle Home for Girls, in St. Mary, completely transforming the playing area and leisure facilities for the residents there.
The sprinter nicknamed ‘The Beast’ is passionate about his projects, stating: “I am happy and proud and humbled to do what I do. It's for the kids. There is a lot of fight left in me. I will never stop.”
He has also thanked Richard Mille, among others, for their sustained support. This included a charity auction in Tokyo, in 2013, for the YB Afraid Foundation and the local Hatachi Kikin Foundation for kids back.
The partnership between the legendary athlete and Swiss watchmaker goes far beyond just the historic timepiece designed for him. Created just after the London 2012 Olympics, the RM59-01 Tourbillon Yohan Blake is a limited edition of 50 pieces. Its design reflects Yohan’s personality and country, featuring the Jamaican flag colours. Plus, the four streaks spread across the face reflects the sprinter’s hand.
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Richard Mille replaced the collection with the RM61-01 Manual Winding Yohan Blake. They supplemented their partnership with Yohan when unveiling a racing car for Le Mans 2016. The supercar was made in honour of his charity.
Yohan Blake knows the feeling of going hungry. Coming from humble beginnings, he went to the very top of his sport, becoming the second fastest man in history. He puts it all down to hard work and unwavering determination.
That same energy, passion and commitment goes into his quest to make the world a better place, not just for his cherished Jamaican compatriots but, across the world. Yohan Blake is an impressive human being, relentless for success, both on and off the track.
We have a fantastic range of Richard Mille watches available, including these beauties (stock subject to change):
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