Before Oprah: Scholar’s Philanthropic Work Has Huge Impact on Africa

Upper part: a Gulen-inspired school; Lower part: Oprah's Leadership Academy
Upper part: a Gulen-inspired school; Lower part: Oprah's Leadership Academy


Date posted: September 12, 2013

Dr. Lachin Hatemi

Centuries of colonization, slavery and diseases ravaged the sub-Saharan Africa. The entire continent was left with a desperate need for an educated and skilled workforce, which can transform the economy and improve the daily lives of Africans. Education is the key to such a transformation and ending poverty in Africa. What are we doing to educate the African youth?

Oprah Winfrey had some recent media coverage for her school for girls in South Africa (Oprah Winfrey Leadership Academy for Girls), where under-privileged girls can receive world-class education. Successful students from poor families are admitted after an intense application process in which Oprah is personally involved. Oprah visits her school in South Africa regularly to counsel and encourage her students. Some of these girls were able to get accepted into American universities with Oprah Winfrey’s support, which would not be possible otherwise.

This charitable activity from Oprah is very admirable, but she is hardly alone in her mission. A well-respected Turkish scholar, Mr. Fethullah Gulen, who currently resides in Pennsylvania, inspired legions of Turkish volunteers to establish schools in many Sub-Saharan African countries over the last two decades. These secular schools provide education from nursery school to high school with greater emphasis on math and science education. Many graduates of these schools can easily proceed to prestigious American and European universities for their future education.

For starters, this movement, also called Hizmet, is a loosely connected group of individuals and NGO’s inspired by the ideas and ideals of Fethullah Gülen – a Turkish Muslim scholar and thinker. The movement’s activities span some 140 or so countries occupying an important place in the field of education, intercultural dialogue, healthcare, and relief activities. The major emphasis is a selfless approach to serving others and providing education to people in need.

Mr. Gulen’s movement signals the start of a new era of world-class secular education and self-empowerment in the poorest African countries. Many graduates of these schools proceed to become teachers in their alma maters. Gulen’s schools in Africa are the best antidote to the extremism and civil war which threatens the future of many African nations.

Other philanthropists should also follow the example of Oprah and Gulen by providing an education and a better future for the African youth and their integration into the global work force.

Lachin Hatemi is a physician located in Buffalo, New York. His interests include human rights, racial equality and interfaith dialogue. You can reach Dr. Hatemi at Lachinhatemi@gmail.com.

Source: Your Black World , September 2013


Related News

Turkey’s Maarif schools to be funded by Saudi and IDB money

The Maarif Foundation, established by the Turkish government in order to compete with Turkish schools abroad established by Gülen movement sympathizers, has received approval from Saudi authorities and the Islamic Development Bank (IDB) for financial support for Maarif schools abroad, a Turkish news portal reported on Friday.

Turkish School Awarded ‘Ukraine’s Best School’

Simferepol International School opened by Turkish entrepreneurs in the Autonomous Republic of Crimea in Ukraine has been listed the top school in the list of the country’s best 100 schools. The school, which opened in 2003, will now appear in a catalogue promoting Ukraine’s best 380 schools. A total of 1,881 schools took part in the competition held in nine branches across the country.

Afghan education minister pledges to open more Turkish schools

The Afghan education minister pledged to increase the number of Turkish-Afghan schools in Afghanistan, opening at least a school in each province as an educational role model.

Central West Africa shows up for TUSKON event

In the event, titled the Turkey-Central West Africa Trade Bridge, which was hosted by the Association of Aegean and Mediterranean Industrialists and Businesspeople (ESİDEF), a member of TUSKON, 250 businesspeople from Niger, Nigeria, Ghana and Burkina Faso — representing 100 firms — had the opportunity to meet with 300 Turkish businesspeople from the Aegean region.

Pakistan’s Sindh High Court restrains Turkish teachers’ deportation

The Sindh High Court (SHC) on Monday restrained the concerned authority from deporting former employees of Pak-Turk International School, ruling that they can live in the country but only as refugees.

Why is Erdoğan hostile to Turkish schools?

The Hizmet movement has had considerable successes in the field of education. While its share in the Turkish education sector is not colossal, the quality of its services stands out.

Latest News

Fethullah Gülen’s Condolence Message for South African Human Rights Defender Archbishop Desmond Tutu

Hizmet Movement Declares Core Values with Unified Voice

Ankara systematically tortures supporters of Gülen movement, Kurds, Turkey Tribunal rapporteurs say

Erdogan possessed by Pharaoh, Herod, Hitler spirits?

Devious Use of International Organizations to Persecute Dissidents Abroad: The Erdogan Case

A “Controlled Coup”: Erdogan’s Contribution to the Autocrats’ Playbook

Why is Turkey’s Erdogan persecuting the Gulen movement?

Purge-victim man sent back to prison over Gulen links despite stage 4 cancer diagnosis

University refuses admission to woman jailed over Gülen links

In Case You Missed It

Fethullah Gülen versus Ayatollah Khomeini?

Erdoğan’s scapegoats: the West and Gülen

PakTurk School lauded for serving a wide range of students

Portrait of the Gülen Brotherhood, sworn enemy of Turkey’s President Erdogan

Turkish Imam: Enjoy the properties of Gulen Movement as ‘spoils’

Syracuse celebrates Turkish culture, cuisine at City Hall event

Erdoğan isolates himself in power

Copyright 2024 Hizmet News