At a special gathering on board Nieuw Statendam following the special Girls’ Getaway sailing in partnership with O, The Oprah Magazine, Holland America Line bestowed its Shared Humanity Award on Oprah Winfrey. At the event, Holland America Line presented a $40,000 donation to Oprah Winfrey’s Leadership Academy for Girls to commemorate the award and honoured her as official godmother of the new ship.
Born from a pledge by Oprah Winfrey to former South Africa president Nelson Mandela, Oprah Winfrey’s Leadership Academy for Girls provides a supportive education system that encourages high standards of academic achievement, service leadership and provides cultural enrichment for girls who show outstanding promise, despite disadvantaged backgrounds.
Holland America Line chose Winfrey for her commitment over the last three decades to bringing people together, breaking down barriers and inspiring greater understanding among people from all backgrounds, belief systems and walks of life.
“Oprah has worked tirelessly throughout her career to enrich the lives of others, and she is globally recognized as a leader who has inspired millions to live their best lives and embrace that we are more alike than different,” said Orlando Ashford, president of Holland America Line.
“Oprah embodies the spirit and reason why we created the Shared Humanity Award, to reflect our higher purpose value of building connections and fostering understanding among people from different cultures as we sail the world. Oprah is exceptionally deserving to be honoured and we are proud to support her work with a donation to Oprah Winfrey’s Leadership Academy for Girls in South Africa.”
As a recipient of the Shared Humanity Award, Oprah joins esteemed company. The award, established by Holland America Line in 2018, recognises leaders who have dedicated their life to inspiring and uniting humanity. The first award was presented to Archbishop Desmond Tutu, the former archbishop of Cape Town.
Oprah’s Angel Network has raised more than $80,000,000 and she has donated approximately $400 million to educational causes, including more than 400 scholarships to Morehouse College in Atlanta, Georgia. In 2013, Winfrey became the biggest single donor with a contribution of $13 million to the Smithsonian’s National Museum of African American History and Culture.
“I’ve spent my life trying to be a missionary and a visionary of spreading peace in the world. The one prayer that I pray most often is ‘God, use me for something greater than myself,’” said Winfrey in accepting the award.
“There is nothing better than having acknowledgement that the work that you are doing is being affirmed by people who notice what you do. I appreciate that from you. Thank you very much and I’m grateful for the contribution to Oprah Winfrey’s Leadership Academy for Girls.”
What do you think of Oprah Winfrey? Were you aware of her incredible charitable acts?