Oprah’s world of philanthropy reaches US living and classrooms
Never one to shy away from a challenge Oprah Winfrey, America’s queen of day-time television, is developing her O Philanthropy charity and foundations to embrace new educational initiatives and reality TV.
Winfrey has launched a programme with her O Ambassadors initiative, a partnership by Oprah's Angel Network and Free the Children, which pairs schools in North America with people in developing nations around the world. Efforts will focus on one of the United Nations' four Millennium Development Goals: poverty, education, health, and sustainable development.
Two schools, part of MicroSociety Inc., a US-based education non-profit organisation, will participate. In the MicroSociety programme students create a microcosm of the real world within the classroom, with each student taking a role in running that world.
Through classroom activities or extra curricular after-school programming, selected O Ambassador Schools will focus on one of five regions in the world most affected by poverty, hunger, and disease. Students will plan and undertake activities to help raise funds for development projects in their chosen region, and to increase awareness within the school community about difficulties facing the regional communities.
Winfrey’s more exuberant side is to find a philanthropic outlet with the philanthropy-themed reality show Oprah's Big Give. UK celebrity chef and philanthropist Jamie Oliver will be on the show’s judging panel.
Due to premiere in the US on 2nd March, the show will feature 10 contestants competing in charitable projects to become the "biggest giver".
Each challenge will take place in a different city, and contestants will be judged on creativity and effectiveness of their respective projects.