Last Monday, June 9,2008, I was able to watch a feature about the “Oprah Winfrey Leadership School “ on Velvet Channel.
It was an hour show documenting how the school was built, how the students were selected and how involved Oprah Winfrey is in the whole process of creating the campus.
The Oprah Winfrey Leadership School is a school that gives hope to young, bright and talented girls from poor families in South Africa.
Sade and Megan are sisters who both got accepted to the school. They were just five and six years old when they lost their parents. Their father shot their mother to death and then committed suicide by shooting himself as well. The whole violent incident was witness by the two youngsters. One of the students selected lives in a community where twelve of their family members have died due to violent related incidents. The student would go to school in the morning praying that as she walked the streets of Alexandra she wouldn’t be killed, raped or attacked. Most of the girls came from neighborhoods with out electricity, water supply and sewerage system.
But despite poverty, abuse and violence, these girls radiate a very positive energy from within them. They know how to dream and believe that better things in life are coming their way through a good education.
Oprah Winfrey is a very giving woman. She took it upon herself the responsibility of giving these girls a chance to have a good life ahead of them by giving them the best education. She gave a promise to all the girls that everyone who graduated from the school will be given college education to any university in whatever part of the world that they wish to enter. Everything the girls need has been provided for them in their school: their food, their uniforms, books, bags, shoes as in everything; all the girls need to do is to study.
Miss Winfrey is not only generous with her resources but also with her time. She would flew in from Chicago to South Africa to personally interview each of the girls, to check if the school is being built to her specification and to choose even the linens to be used for the beds in the dormitories.
The school opened its door to more or less two hundred students in 2007. For the school opening, some of the guests present were Mariah Carey, Chris Brown, Sidney Poitier, Diane Sawyer and Nelson Mandela, former president of South Africa.
Oprah Winfrey is an inspiration. I know I don’t need to be as rich or powerful as she is to make a difference in other peoples lives. A simple act of volunteering my time to an organization or a consistent contribution to charitable institution would mean a lot to other people. The show actually made me think – what organization would I volunteer my time and talent and give my monthly love offering to? Any suggestion? :)