Oprah Winfrey has come under some unusual fire for her decision to open her Oprah Winfrey Leadership Academy for Girls in South Africa. The academy, which cost $40 million dollars, is built on 22-acres of land, holds a sprawling, 28-building complex, and comes equipped with a yoga studio and beauty salon. (Beauty salon?) Oprah defended her decision to support the school because she felt the money would be greater utilized in a country where children do not take for granted the limited opportunities they have. From the article,
“In an interview with Newsweek, Winfrey revealed that she had been â€œfrustratedâ€ by the way American inner-circle kids did not appreciate the value of a free education, and thought the money would be better spent on kids who had a burning desire to learn, but did not have the means.
“I became so frustrated with visiting inner-city schools that I just stopped going. The sense that you need to learn just isn’t there,” the New York Daily News quoted her, as telling the publication.
“If you ask the kids what they want or need, they will say an iPod or some sneakers. In South Africa, they don’t ask for money or toys. They ask for uniforms so they can go to school,” she added.”
I have to agree with Oprah here. I would rather put my money in a place where children have a strong desire to learn than in a place where they feel they are forced to participate. The article also reports on Oprah’s past commitment to US education saying, ” The talk show queen, who has given millions of dollars over the years to educate impoverished kids in the US through the Oprah Winfrey Scholars program, has handpicked 152 girls out of 3,500 applicants to attend the school.”
So, I’m not angry with Oprah at all. She’s doing some good in the world. Stop bitching about how unfortunate U.S. children are. We have no idea what a gift such an opportunity as this is for other people in the world.
Source: sawfnews.com Photo credit: AP Photo/Pablo Martinez Monsivais