In all the world there is perhaps no more recognizable champion for the underdog than Oprah Winfrey. She has made a career out of being an understanding, sympathetic listener. On her talk show, guests told their stories, no matter how harrowing or difficult. Something about Winfrey makes people feel comfortable. It’s easy to relate to her because of her own public struggles and failings. It’s easy to admire her because she is a humanitarian dedicated to philanthropy and making the world a better place.
Her dynamic school The Oprah Winfrey Leadership Academy for girls supports the development of a new generation of dynamic women leaders. By virtue of their unique education, this generation will lead the enduring transformation of their communities and country.
“We bring the principles of Ubuntu/Botho to life with a focus on four core values” (Says the websites commentator)
“Respect: Respect for the inherent dignity of every individual is a fundamental tenet of the Academy’s teachings. This respect is manifested through an acceptance of the diversity of cultures, backgrounds, beliefs and ideas represented by the Academy’s community of students, staff and friends.
Honour: Honour is the foundation upon which students’ thoughts, actions and interactions are based. Students undertake their actions guided by a sense of trust, integrity and responsibility for the decisions that they make.
Service: Students are expected to develop a lifelong commitment to service to others. This commitment is actively nurtured at the Academy through students’ engagement in service projects that aim to improve the lives and circumstances of individuals and communities.
Compassion: Students are expected to demonstrate compassion for the less privileged, the vulnerable and others in need. This sense of compassion is made active through service projects and other activities that students undertake to offer assistance and support to their fellow human beings whenever possible.
The theme of leadership and leadership development is integrated throughout the Academy in both its academic and social activities. This emphasis is rooted in the South African principle of Ubuntu/Botho which encompasses the ideals of humanity, compassion and service to others. The spirit of Ubuntu/Botho is incorporated throughout the Academy, and is central to the way in which students think, speak and interact with others.
Throughout their years at the Academy, students learn to embody the spirit of Ubuntu/Botho and are able to harness their leadership skills to serve and inspire those around them. Their self-confidence is balanced by compassion and their assertiveness by a sense of responsibility to others.
Most importantly, we strive to raise future leaders who are able to navigate a variety of social and cultural contexts, and who will remain committed to the development of South Africa and the African continent.”