Is this really charity?
I have the same sentiment after reading this article about Oprah's new school. It is a $40 Million dollar school for girls in South Africa, designed to help those from "deprived backgrounds". So, how much education does $40,000,000 buy? Well, it boasts 28 buildings, lying on 52 acres, and has the finest equipment, a laboratory, theatre, and 'is said to resemble a luxury hotel.' However, it will apparently be used to educate only 152 girls!
For those of you without a calculator handy, that $40 million works out to over $260,000 per student! The class was selected from 3,500 applicants; $40,000,000 spread amongst that number would be over $11,000, which is comparable to US education costs, and thus, should be enough to provide a solid education for all of the applicants. According to the article, "Oprah said she decided to build her own school because she was tired of charity from a distance." Thus, the decision to only help a small number of lottery winners is, apparently, due to Oprah's close involvement. Anyone without an ego or image to worry about likely would have chosen to help a greater number of people. Yet, Oprah chose to be grandiose.
Mandela was invited to be among the dignitaries at the opening of the lavish Oprah Winfrey Leadership Academy for Girls in the small town of Henley-on-Klip, south of Johannesburg, as well as a string of international celebrities -- though the guest list was kept secret.
With a grand opening that boasts a celebrity guest list, I would hardly consider this charity. It would appear that will serve more to enhance Oprah's image and ego than it will to educate the children of South Africa.