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