Commemorating #OprahWinfrey #WomensHistoryMonth #FMAGSeries #Day5
Updated: Apr 4, 2019
From the start, Oprah Winfrey knew that university study was essential to the students achieving their professional and personal goals, contributing to society and establishing financial independence.
During her visit with the late Nelson Mandela in December 2000, Oprah Winfrey pledged to build a world-class school for girls in South Africa. Two years later, on 6 December 2002, Mr Mandela and the then Minister of Education, Professor Kader Asmal, joined Ms Winfrey to break ground on the site of the Academy - located in Henley on Klip in Gauteng province.
In January 2007, the Academy officially opened its doors to girls in Grades 7 and 8, and now serves approximately 290 girls from Grade 8 to 12.
Through a generous personal donation made by Ms Winfrey, the Oprah Winfrey Leadership Academy Foundation (OWLAF) contributed more than US$40 million towards the Academy's creation. The Foundation continues to fund the school and its boarding facilities. The Foundation is a Section 21 company registered in South Africa, as well as an Illinois not-for-profit corporation and a US 501(c)(3).
MESSAGE from OWLAG Founder
MS. OPRAH WINFREY
I can hardly believe that more than 10 years ago we officially opened the Oprah Winfrey Leadership Academy for Girls and welcomed our first class of itty bitty students, they were like young pups.
I'm so proud of all the incredible accomplishments of the students and of our alumnae. I am proud of our faculty who work tirelessly, giving up long hours; sacrificing their own families and engagements in their own lives to give to our girls. I am thankful to the OWLAG Board for their support and their guidance. I am grateful for all the families and communities that have supported our vision of creating a safe space to educate, to nurture, to empower and, of course, to inspire this next generation of leaders for South Africa and for the world.
As most of you know this school was my idea of a gift, not just to South Africa but in particular to Madiba. During my first visit to Nelson Mandela's home, back in 2002, I pledged to build a school for girls in South Africa because he and I both discussed and agreed that education was a way to end poverty in the nation of South Africa. The Academy opened its doors five years later, in 2007.