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Oprah's gift to disadvantaged girls

The Oprah Winfrey Leadership Academy for Girls will begin curriculum from January 2007.

india Updated: Aug 22, 2006 19:50 IST

American talk show host Oprah Winfrey has set up a "leadership academy" for disadvantaged girls, which will begin its curriculum from January next year.

"I wanted to do this school for disadvantaged girls because I was disadvantaged myself," she said on Sunday as she welcomed 75 students to the 'Oprah Winfrey Leadership Academy for Girls.'

"I'm going to ensure that every girl who wants to go to university will go, either in South Africa or anywhere in the world. All you have to do is work hard," Oprah told the girls.

The senior secondary school will accommodate 75 learners per grade, making it a total of 450 students from Grades 7 to 12. The 26-building campus boasts a library, a gymnasium, a hostel and a theatre.

Winfrey had donated more than 100 million rands (local currency) four years ago to start this school for girls from economically-disadvantaged communities.

The institution is set to provide a "rigorous" yet supportive educational environment to ensure high standards of academic achievement and service leadership for girls who show outstanding performance, despite their social circumstances.