Oprah Winfrey Under Fire Because She Donates Million for a New Girls School in South Africa
As I read in the paper that Oprah Winfrey donated 40 million dollars to open a girls school in South Africa to provide a “first-class school to nurture, educate and turn gifted South African girls from impoverished backgrounds into the country's future leaders” I knew that she would come under fire from those who feel like they have the right to dictate how she spends her own money. To Oprah I must say a loud and very heartfelt “Amen”! I believe strongly that people have to right to support whatever cause they feel led to support. That is the way God motivates us to change this world. I have much more issue with people that criticize what others do when they themselves choose to do nothing to better this world of which they are merely a parasite.
I also agree with Oprah that there are much more worthy causes in other parts of the world outside the U.S. She had to actually defend her charitable donation to all of critics that feel like she should have donated the money to local inner-city programs. My goodness people, have mercy! Oprah has donated so much of her time and money to these kind of worthy domestic programs over the years and has just not seen the significant results that she envisioned. By creating this life-changing school in a place like Africa or Haiti where kids just don’t have a way out of poverty she is sure to see lives changed.
According to the UN, 25,000 people die from hunger-related causes every single day and nearly 16,000 of these people are children. I personally have never been to Africa, but I have spent a lot of time in Haiti and have seen so many beautiful children with the same innocence and dreams as my own children, but due to circumstances completely out of there control, they have no chance to achieve anything but simple existence… if they are lucky.
Living in Haiti has taught me many valuable life lessons. As an ER doctor, I have had the opportunity to see many children and teenagers that are brought to the ER because they are reportedly “suicidal”. I question them to find out what could be so bad that they would want to kill themselves. I am always amazed when I hear things like “I wanted an Ipod for Christmas and my parents didn’t get me one” or “my mom won’t let me get my ears pierced”. I am then reminded of how superficial we have become in this country.
I will be the first to admit that there are many needy children in the US, but, as opposed to other developing countries, we do have some systems in place to provide basic sustenance and medical care and education for these children. They all have access to a free education, and what they do with it is somewhat up to them. There are many success stories about poor children from inner-city environments that are motivated by a true mentor in their life and they take what they have and rise from the ashes to become a great person that contributes greatness to this world. This option for children to rise to greatness just does not exist in many third-world countries, and I absolutely applaud Oprah for doing what she is doing. She is not just sending money to sponsor a child, she is truly creating a system to transform these girls. This school has the potential to take girls that are without hope or dreams and transform them into strong, motivated and empowered women that can become the entrepreneurs that will change their world. You go girl!! (Sorry, but I just could not contain myself.)
Also, for all of you who claim that this is just for publicity, please be aware that Oprah has spent much of her past year in Africa working on this School while most of us were completely unaware. She has personally been involved every part of this project from the design of the buildings to developing the curriculum. She even interviewed the candidates for the school personally. She did this long before the critical public even became aware of this project!
While I temporarily have your attention, I would also like to comment about all the criticism of celebrities who choose to change the life of children in third-world countries through international adoption. I believe that these criticisms are just another example of narrow-minded thinking that I will address in another upcoming article. May God bless you as you seek to change your part of this world.
Joseph Kraft, MD
About the Author: Dr. Kraft is an ER physician in College Station, Texas. He is specialty trained in Internal Medicine and Pediatrics.
He is married and has 8 children, 4 of whom were adopted from Haiti.
He and his family have spent significant time living in Haiti while running an orphanage.
He is currently working to establish coastal medical clinics along the Southern Claw of Haiti.