< Oprah Winfrey
TV host Oprah Winfrey opens a school for girls in South Africa. About 450 girls will be accommodated. Those admitted to the school, the underprivileged girls will get everything free.
BBC reports that, “the school – in the small town of Henley-on-Klip south of Johannesburg – cost $40m (£20m) to build. Ms Winfrey herself interviewed many of the 3,500 South African girls from low income families who applied for an initial 150 places at the school.”
The school will admit girls whose parents do not make more than $700 a month.
“The Oprah Winfrey Leadership Academy will eventually cater for 450 girls who show outstanding promise but whose families cannot support their education. The school incorporates 28 buildings, across a 20 hectare (50 acre) site, with hi-tech classrooms, computers and science laboratories.”
The idea of the school came about during a meeting between Oprah and former South African President Nelson Mandela. “Ms Winfrey had promised to build the school six years ago, while visiting South Africa’s former president Nelson Mandela.”
Oprah tells the media, “When I first started making a lot of money, I really became frustrated with the fact that all I did was write cheque after cheque to this or that charity without really feeling like it was a part of me,” she told America’s Newsweek magazine”, adding, “At a certain point, you want to feel that connection,” she added.”
Her story is unique. “Winfrey, whose own background was disadvantaged, says she regards education as the door to freedom and she hopes these girls will be among South Africa’s future leaders. The BBC’s Peter Biles in Johannesburg says that nearly all South African children now enjoy some form of schooling, but there is concern about the standard of education in some quarters.”
The growth of the South African economy is held back due to few leaders with skills. Training the girls as leaders will uplift the economy in future when they start to join the work force. “It is reported that around half of all university under-graduates fail to complete their courses, and a serious skills shortage in the country continues to hold back the growth of the economy.”
She has done what many stars have not thought of doing and that is one way to help Africa to grow and become very independent.
By Korir, African Press in Norway, APN