Oprah Winfrey and Starbucks team up to help girls’ school in South Africa

Oprah Winfrey at the academy’s first graduation Picture: Abayomi Azikiwe

A school for girls in South Africa is to benefit from a collaboration between the TV presenter and philanthropost Oprah Winfrey and Starbucks.

Oprah and the iconic coffee company have created a blend of tea which will be sold in Starbucks and Teavana stores across the United States and Canada.

Starbucks will make a donation from each tea sold to the Oprah Winfrey Leadership Academy Foundation to benefit educational opportunities for young people.

The foundation provides funding for the Oprah Winfrey Leadership Academy for Girls – South Africa and is dedicated to helping its graduates attend colleges and universities.

In December 2000, during a visit with Nelson Mandela, Oprah pledged to build a school for girls in the country. The academy opened in January 2007 and has contributed to the empowerment of scores of girls and their families.

Oprah said: “I love tea. To share one of my favourite things with the rest of the world and support youth education at the same time is truly the perfect blend.”

The TV host worked with Teavana’s leading teaologist Naoko Tsunoda to create Teavana Oprah Chai Tea. From April 29, customers will be able to try the distinctive blend, which features a bold infusion of cinnamon, ginger, cardamom and cloves, blended with loose-leaf black tea and rooibos.

Starbucks president and CEO Howard Schultz said: “Partnering with Oprah Winfrey in the creation of this distinctive and remarkable tea is a strong next step forward in accomplishing this objective, while also giving back in a meaningful way through the Oprah Winfrey Leadership Academy Foundation.

“I am personally humbled to work with such an inspirational leader and visionary who shares so many of our core values and beliefs.”

The first graduating class from the academy was in 2012 and all 72 graduates earned full college scholarships.

In a speech to the girls, Oprah said: “We are in the leadership-building business. We want every girl to leave here knowing who she is – and that is what has happened.”

The Oprah Winfrey Leadership Academy Foundation will support additional youth education through Girls Inc., National CARES Mentoring Movement, Pathways to College and the U.S. Dream Academy. For more information on these organisations, visit www.oprah.com/SteepYourSoul.

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