Tuesday, January 16, 2007

Oprah's $40 million African school

There's been lots of commentary recently on Oprah Winfrey's funding of a $40 million prep school for girls in South Africa, in both the media and online. And online, and online, and online....it's hard to decide how to feel about what she's done, on balance. For example buried deep in most media coverage was her comment about American inner-city kids, she basically did a Cosby on them by way of explanation for building her school overseas rather than here. Was that fair? Accurate? Smart? I dunno.

Easily the most-interesting and most inspirational blog post I've seen in this context comes courtesy of a pointer from Harold Henderson ("World's First Blogger"). Cal Skinner, a former Republican state legislator in Illinois, posted a long well-illustrated account of school-building by an American Christian non-profit called RISE International. I'm not a member of their congregation either literally or politically but that's got nothing to do with forming an opinion about what they're doing and how they're doing it, as I bet a lot of desparately-poor folks in Angola would agree.

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