25 May 2015 - Meyerton, South Africa: Global express transportation company, FedEx Corporation, has pledged its support for the Oprah Winfrey Leadership Academy Foundation (OWLAF) through a generous donation of $80 000 (R950 000).
Founded on Oprah Winfrey’s belief that education is the passport to independence and a life of fulfillment, OWLAF’s focus is on empowering academically talented girls who come from disadvantaged backgrounds. Following the establishment of the Oprah Winfrey Leadership Academy for Girls – South Africa (OWLAG) in 2007, the foundation’s focus has expanded to supporting the school’s graduates acquire higher education.
The FedEx donation will contribute to the funding of OWLAF’s university scholarship support programme, which has been instrumental in helping more than 250 OWLAG graduates with funding for university. FedEx Corporation also will assist the girls, who are benefiting from the aid, to find internship opportunities once they graduate from university.
Rebecca Sykes, President of the Oprah Winfrey Charitable Foundation, said; “We are delighted by the enthusiasm and commitment demonstrated by FedEx Corporation in supporting the educational needs of talented, young South African women. The power of higher education as a catalyst for positive change cannot be understated.”
David Ross, Middle East, Indian Subcontinent and Africa Region president at FedEx Corporation, said; “At FedEx we believe in giving back to the communities we serve and recognize the value of education as a catalyst for economic growth. The students supported through OWLAF have a passion to learn and are determined to become future leaders. We therefore hope our partnership will help them achieve those goals and enable them to contribute positively to the growth and prosperity of South Africa, and beyond.”
Sharing the sentiment, Sykes concluded; “We look forward to a fruitful partnership that will continue to present life-changing opportunities to our deserving students.”
During her visit with 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, we officially opened with 7th and 8th Grade girls. The Academy will grow by one Grade each year until it reaches full capacity in 2011, with approximately 380 students in Grades 7 through 12.
Through personal donations made by Ms. Winfrey, the Oprah Winfrey Leadership Academy Foundation contributed more than US$40 million toward the Academy's creation.
The Foundation will continue to operate the school and its boarding facilities. The Foundation is a Section 21A company registered in South Africa, as well as an Illinois not-for-profit corporation and a US 501(c)(3).
"When you're changing a girl's life it's not just that life. You start to affect a family, a community, a nation."Ms. Oprah Winfrey