Thought this topic might interest some of you guys. Recently Oprah Winfrey was in the controversy for building a 40 miillion dollar school in South Africa, which indludes Spa-Saloon, Yoga Centre and many other facilities. This has raised eyebrows in US, as she spend lavishly in SA and not in her homeland USA. Apart from that critics have a lot to say in this regard.
Oprah Winfrey is firing back at critics of her decision to build a $40 million school complex in South Africa - saying she didn't build it in the U.S. because inner-city kids here don't appreciate the value of a free education.
"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 TV talk-show maven says in the current issue of Newsweek.
"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."
The tough talk comes as the famously philanthropic Winfrey unveils her Oprah Winfrey Leadership Academy for Girls in South Africa - a sprawling, 28-building complex for impoverished teens that features a yoga studio and beauty salon, among other luxuries.
The 22-acre complex has taken more than five years to build and has raised eyebrows in the U.S. and abroad, she said.
"I understand that many …feel that I'm going overboard, and that's fine," Winfrey said. "This is what I want to do. I wanted to take girls with that 'it' quality and give them an opportunity to make a difference in the world."
Winfrey handpicked the 152 girls who will attend out of an application pool of more than 3,500. Winfrey has also supplied millions of dollars to educate needy children in the U.S. through the Oprah Winfrey Scholars program.
$40 million could have built hundreds of schools. Do schools anywhere else in this world have yoga studios and beauty salons? It's nice that Oprah wants the girls to experience these lavish things, but what could have been done with that money? Lives could have been saved. A million more could have been educated.
Regular, plain sheets are good enough for me and most people anywhere in the world. Why do thread counts matter? $5,000 can support an entire school, salary and all. With $40 million, Oprah could be completely supporting 8,000 schools in Africa. Instead, she is helping all of…152 children. A $40 million investment for a graduating class each year of 152 girls?
For donors who want to help children get an education in Africa, they will think that $40 million and 200 count fiber sheets are needed to make a difference. People will never know how much good can be done with $10 or $30.
Who are the teachers in the school? They are being brought in from other countries for short-term teaching assignments. What about TRAINING THE TEACHERS IN SOUTH AFRICA to create a sustainable source of well trained teachers? Is it really beneficial to rely on foreign teachers? What does this say to the young girls? They will certainly think that teachers from their own country are not good enough. Sure, some foreign teachers could be brought on a short-term basis, but most of the teachers must be local. Flying teachers into this school is unsustainable and dangerous for the perception of education by South Africans. South Africa has excellent universities, and they certainly graduate excellent teachers of the same quality as teachers from other countries.
People favouring Oprah say:
It's her money. If she wanted to build a girl's school on the moon, that's her choice. Oprah is free to blow her money as she chooses. She has done a lot more than the average person to help others. The fact that she has helped 'someone' should be enough. As long as the under-privileged people getting fair treatment, nothing else should count.
What do you say?Edited by Pradarshak - 13 years ago
All we know is she could have bought a luxury yacht from that money. May be next time she would donate her money according to critics.
Yeah but that wouldn't create sensational news..!!!! Oprah is famous but just like any celebrity the urge to do something to (show off money) that hasn't been done before is what this is all about.
Why do non contributors know it best where and how a particular donor should donate his or her donation? .
Article said it all..
Regular, plain sheets are good enough for me and most people anywhere in the world. Why do thread counts matter? $5,000 can support an entire school, salary and all. With $40 million, Oprah could be completely supporting 8,000 schools in Africa. Instead, she is helping all of…152 children. A $40 million investment for a graduating class each year of 152 girls? .
Its Her money, I think that means she gets to decide how to spend it
If altruism is what they care about , it is money not spent well, IMO. This is 90% extravaganza with some help thrown in to only 152 girls..
something is better than nothing
Topic started by Pradarshak
Last replied by Pradarshak