Malawi

A Family Affair!


Madonna describes her struggle to adopt daughter Mercy from Malawi

Madonna shared new insight on the challenges she faced adopting daughter Mercy James from Malawi as she opened a new pediatric surgery and intensive care center in the African country Tuesday.

The hospital, which she named after Mercy, is the first of its kind in Malawi.

Madonna said the judge on her case would not allow her to adopt Mercy because she was divorced, according to People.

'She informed me, as a divorced woman, that I was not fit to raise children and that Mercy was better off growing up in an orphanage,' she told the audience.

But that didn't stop her from fighting for then four-year-old Mercy, who is now 11.

'I am a rebel heart. But I am also a compassionate and intelligent human being,' Madonna said. 'And if you cannot give me a logical reason for the word 'no,' then I will not accept the word 'no.''

Mercy James also gave brief remarks.

'It is a great honor to know this hospital is named after me,' she said, according to CNN. 'But what's more important is that we may help many kids and save many lives.'

From USA Today


All the Biggest Moments From Madonna's Decade - Plus of Charity Work in Malawi

More than a decade of charity work in Malawi came full-circle for Madonna on Tuesday when, after opening a children's hospital wing in the impoverished South African country, its president named the pop star 'the daughter of this nation.'

And while President Peter Mutharika's phrasing was meant to reference Madonna's own adoption of four children from Malawi, the singer has tight enough connections of her own to the country for it to feel like home. Since founding the nonprofit Raising Malawi in 2006, the charitable star has led a continuous effort to support the nation's orphaned or otherwise vulnerable children - whether through hosting benefits, producing a documentary and, now, opening the Mercy James Institute of Pediatric Surgery and Intensive Care, the first of its kind in the country.

The singer's efforts haven't come without inevitable road blocks - not to mention a few controversies. But if our roundup of the landmark moments in Madonna's charity efforts in the African country is any indication, the singer will continue to be a 'daughter' of Malawi for years to come.

To read the rest of the article visit: www.billboard.com


The Day has Finally arrived and so have we!


Madonna takes kids back to Malawi to open hospital

US pop superstar Madonna on Tuesday took her four adopted Malawian children to the opening of a paediatric hospital wing that her charity has built in their home country.

Standing alongside President Peter Mutharika, she unveiled a plaque to mark the completion of the 50-bed facility in Malawi's second city of Blantyre.

The Mercy James Institute of Paediatric Surgery and Intensive Care - named after one of her children - has taken two years to build and includes three specialist operating theatres.

It is the first health unit for children in the southern African nation, and will doubled the capacity for paediatric care at the Queen Elizabeth hospital.

Madonna, who set up her 'Raising Malawi' charity in 2006, was greeted by traditional dancers and given a one-hour tour of the hospital, which was decorated with national flags and bunting.

The wards have been designed with murals including images of Nelson Mandela and archbishop Desmond Tutu, while US actor Leonardo DiCaprio was listed on a wall as a major benefactor.

Mutharika cut a blue ceremonial ribbon, and held it up to the cheering crowd.

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Madonna has not always been welcomed with open arms in one of the world's poorest countries, where some activists accuse her of using her wealth to short-cut the adoption process.

In 2013, she was stripped of her official VIP status in Malawi by then president Joyce Banda's government, which accused her of being 'uncouth' and expecting gratitude for her adoptions.

President Mutharika has since moved to repair the relationship, previously saying his government had 'always been grateful for the passion Madonna has for this country'.

'Malawi needs such kind-hearted people to prosper,' Malita Ndau, a 20-year-old woman selling doughnuts in Blantyre, told AFP. 'Malawian children will now have a chance of survival because of this hospital.'

The new hospital wing opened to patients last week and has already performed its first surgery.

From AFP Via Yahoo! News


On our way to Blantyre!


Madonna at opening of children's wing of Malawi hospital

Madonna is in Malawi for the official opening of a hospital children's wing that her charity funded.

The Mercy James Institute for Pediatric Surgery and Intensive Care, located at the Queen Elizabeth Central Hospital in the city of Blantyre, was built in collaboration with Malawi's health ministry. It has already started some activities and the pop star said last week that the institute had completed its first surgery.

President Peter Mutharika was to attend the official opening Tuesday.

Madonna has adopted four children from Malawi: David Banda, Mercy James, Stelle and Estere. The children's wing was named after 11-year-old Mercy.

Madonna's charity, Raising Malawi, has built schools in the southern African country and funded the new pediatric unit, which began construction in 2015. Madonna, 58, visited the site last year.

From Associated Press Via Yahoo! News


Pediatric unit built by Madonna in Malawi to open July 11

Madonna says the children's wing at a hospital in Malawi she has been building for two years completed its first surgery last week and will officially open July 11.

The Mercy James Institute for Pediatric Surgery and Intensive Care, located at the Queen Elizabeth Central Hospital in the city of Blantyre, had a soft opening and is the first of its kind in Malawi. It was built in collaboration with the Malawian Ministry of Health.

'When you look into the eyes of children in need, wherever they may be, a human being wants to do anything and everything they can to help, and on my first visit to Malawi, I made a commitment that I would do just that,' Madonna said in a statement to The Associated Press.

'I'd like to thank everyone who has joined me on this unbelievable journey. What started out as a dream for Malawi and her children has become a reality, and we couldn't have done it without your support,' she added.

Madonna adopted four children, David Banda, Mercy James, Stelle and Estere from Malawi. The children's wing was named after 11-year-old Mercy.

The pop star's charity, Raising Malawi, has built schools in Malawi and has funded the new pediatric unit, which began construction in 2015. Madonna, 58, visited the site last year.

The children's unit includes three operating rooms dedicated to children's surgery, a day clinic and a 45-bed ward. It will enable Queen Elizabeth hospital to double the number of surgeries for children and will provide critical pre-operative and post-operative care. It also includes a playroom, an outdoor play structure and inspirational murals curated by Madonna and other artists.

Sarah Ezzy, executive director of Raising Malawi, said the charity has been working with Queen Elizabeth hospital since 2008, helping the hospital's chief of pediatric surgery, Dr. Eric Borgstein, develop a training program.

'Pediatric intensive care is not something that has formally existed in Malawi. There hasn't been any training on it. It's not part of the curriculum in nursing school (or) medical school. People had to leave the country to train....now people don't have to leave the country to train,' Ezzy said in an interview. 'This facility is attached to the college of medicine and nursing so it will be a learning, teaching hospital.'

Trevor Neilson, who works at Charity Network and has been advising Madonna's philanthropic efforts for the last six years, said 'only someone like Madonna could do this. If you weren't Madonna, you would have given up a long time ago.'

'Hundreds of thousands, if not millions of lives, will be saved by the hospital in the course of it operating,' added Neilson, who has worked on charity projects with Bill Gates, former U.S. President Bill Clinton, Bono and others.

Madonna founded Raising Malawi in 2006 to address the poverty and hardship endured by Malawi's orphans and vulnerable children.

'Malawi has enriched my family more than I could have ever imagined. It's important for me to make sure all my children from the country maintain a strong connection to their birth nation, and equally important to show them that together as humans we have the power to change the world for the better,' Madonna said.

From Associated Press Via Yahoo! News


#WeAreRaisingMalawi #July11 #OpeningDay #Countingdown

After many years of hard work and support from partners and donators from around the world, Madonna and Raising Malawi are delighted to announce that The Mercy James Centre for Pediatric Surgery and Intensive Care will officially open on July 11, 2017!

Join the event now and start sharing the info, posts and photos weโ€™ll be adding throughout the week and until July 11 with your friends, family and fellow Madonna fans!

#WeAreRaisingMalawi #July11 #OpeningDay #Countingdown


The Mercy James Centre To Open July 11

After two years of hard work and support from partners and donators from around the world, Madonna and Raising Malawi are delighted to announce that The Mercy James Centre for Pediatric Surgery and Intensive Care will officially open on July 11, 2017!

Thanks to every nurse, doctor, company, construction foreman (the list goes on) who have dedicated time, energy and effort to making this project a success. The facility will be the countryโ€™s first and only pediatric surgery and intensive care unit.

To celebrate her birthday back in 2016, Madonna launched a fundraising campaign with Omaze, inviting her fans to help create a 'Rebel Heart' playroom in the pediatric facility. The new space is now ready to provide a calm, joyful space for the children to play and learn, which will help improve both their physical and emotional health. Later that year, Madonna hosted a special event at Art Basel Miami to benefit Raising Malawi and the Mercy James Centre. Profits from the evening were used to fill the hospital with equipment, surgeons and medical personnel.

Stay tuned to Raisingmalawi.org and Madonna.com, within the next days for more info and interesting facts about the hospital, its doctors and nurses, and for ways to get involved and to be a part of this historical and fantastic event!

From Madonna.com

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Madonna faced sharp questions in Malawi adoption process

Madonna was asked 'uncomfortable questions' by a judge in Malawi during the pop star's successful application to adopt more children from the southern African country, according to a court document obtained Wednesday by The Associated Press.

Judge Fiona Mwale detailed her reasons for letting Madonna adopt the 4-year-old twin girls in a ruling on Tuesday, saying she was satisfied that Madonna 'is motivated by her desire to offer a home, love, protection and guidance.'

Madonna, who has two other adopted children from Malawi, previously described reports of a new adoption process as false, saying she was in the country for charity work. But on Wednesday she said in an Instagram post that 'I can officially confirm I have completed the process of adopting twin sisters from Malawi and am overjoyed that they are now part of our family.'

The singer filed for adoption in a high court in Lilongwe, Malawi's capital, on Jan. 25, court and government officials said. The Associated Press last month reported that she was seeking the adoption, but at the time she denied that any such proceeding was underway.

'The petitioner is a professional performer and I guarded myself against the danger of her merely reciting a well-rehearsed speech by asking her some rather uncomfortable questions to which she gave very candid answers,' Mwale said in her ruling.

Mwale said she didn't challenge Madonna, 58, on Malawi's residency requirements for adoption, saying the country's Supreme Court of Appeal had addressed the issue in the pop star's previous adoption.

'In determining her motives, I questioned the petitioner at length about the impact of her decision which could be construed as robbing Malawi of its most precious resource, its children,' the judge wrote.

Madonna said the children will keep their birth names as part of an effort to preserve their identity as Malawians, and a Malawian carer will travel with the children to the United States to ease their transition, according to the ruling.

The twins were delivered by cesarean section and the mother died within a week because of complications from the birth, the court document said. The children have five older siblings and the father, who was at the Jan. 25 court hearing attended by Madonna, had remarried and was unable to provide for all his dependents, it said.

In 2006, Madonna founded the charity Raising Malawi to address the poverty and hardship endured by the country's orphans and vulnerable children.

In 2013, Malawi accused Madonna of exaggerating her contributions to the impoverished country and unreasonably demanding special treatment during a tour there. The pop star denied the accusations. On a visit to Malawi in late 2014, she met newly elected President Peter Mutharika as well as the father of her adopted, Malawi-born son.

Mwale noted that the pop star has raised $7.5 million for her latest project in Malawi, the construction of a pediatric surgery ward at Queen Elizabeth Central Hospital in Blantyre. The ward is scheduled to open early next year.

From Associated Press Via Yahoo! News


Madonna Confirms Adopting Twin Girls From Malawi

Madonna has officially confirmed her adoption of twin girls from Malawi posting this picture and message on her Instagram page.

'I can officially confirm I have completed the process of adopting twin sisters from Malawi and am overjoyed that they are now part of our family. I am deeply grateful to all those in Malawi who helped make this possible, and I ask the media please to respect our privacy during this transitional time. Thank you also to my friends, family and my very large team for all your support and Love!'


Madonna granted permission to adopt twins from Malawi

Malawi's High Court on Tuesday granted Madonna permission to adopt twins from the Southern African country, a judiciary spokesman said.

The U.S. singer has previously adopted two children from Malawi, stirring anger among some Malawians who accused the government of allowing her to skirt laws that ban non-residents from adopting.

Madonna was inside the courtroom when the approval ruling was delivered, judiciary spokesman Mlenga Mvula said.Reuters could not reach representatives for Madonna for comment.

'Madonna has demostrated over the years that she has passion for Malawi and her children and therefore the court was satisfied and could not stop the adoption of the twins,' Titus Mvalo, a lawyer for Madonna in Malawi, told Reuters.

Mvula said that one of the conditions of the adoption was that Madonna should provide a report showing that the home in which they lived was suitable.

He could not provide details on the children she will be adopting, saying it was against the law to divulge such particulars at this stage.

Madonna, 58, adopted Malawian children David Banda and Mercy James in 2006 and 2009. She has two other children, Lourdes and Rocco, from previous relationships.

Madonna denied reports that she wanted to adopt again after she visited Malawi last month, at the time saying her trip was for her charity work.

From Reuters Via Yahoo! News


Finishing touches on the Mercy James Hospital in Malawi

Madonna posted this message about the Mercy James Padiatric Surgery Hospital in Malawi being built with Raising Malawi:

'Putting the finishing touches on the Mercy James Pediatric Surgery Hospital in Malawi!! Thanks to everyone for your support so far!! Totally AWESOME!! ๐Ÿ˜‚๐ŸŽ‰Now we have to fill it with Equipment, Surgeons, Medical Personal and create an endowment for the years to come. Thats what the fund raiser in Art Basel is all about! ๐ŸŽจ๐ŸŽจ๐ŸŽจ!! ๐ŸŽˆTears.Of A Clown!๐ŸŽˆ ๐Ÿ˜‚๐ŸŽ‰๐ŸŽ‰๐ŸŽ‰๐ŸŽ‰๐ŸŽ‰๐ŸŽ‰'

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Madonna's Instagram: More from Malawi

Madonna met with President Peter Mutharika and is asking for sponsors for nurses and clinical officers at the new Paediatric hospital:

'Join Mercy, David and myself at the NEw Pediatric Surgery Hospital in Blantyre adjacent to Queen Elizabeth hospital. First of all help us think of a name for the hospital and Secondly. Would you like to sponsor a nurse or a clinical officer?? If so check out our website Raising Malawi โค๏ธ'

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'Met with His Excellency President Peter Mutharika! We discussed food security, education for girls and staffing for our new Pediatric hospital in Blantyre with Nurses And Clinical Officers.'

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Madonna's Instagram: Visiting Blantyre Hospital

Madonna has been sharing more pictures from her trip to Malawi on her Instagram page, this time from her visit to The Queen Elizabeth Central Hospital in the southern city of Blantyre.

'Talking to one of my heroes, Dr. Eric Borgstein in the newly erected Pediatric. Hospital in Blantyre, specializing in surgery and Intensive Care. With love and support we will be up and running in 2017!!'

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'Checking in with Mavuto, Sinode and Joyce from the film I Am Because We Are! Happy to see they are all healthy and happy 8 years later. ๐ŸŽ‰๐Ÿ˜‚โค๏ธโค๏ธ'

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'Love is All we Need! ๐Ÿ’›๐Ÿ’š๐Ÿ’™โค๏ธ'

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'Taking a tour of the new Pediatric Hospital. The first of its kind in Malawi! ๐Ÿ˜‚๐ŸŽ‰๐ŸŽ‰๐ŸŽ‰โค๏ธโค๏ธ'

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Madonna in Malawi visits hospital she has supported

Madonna in Malawi on Sunday visited the construction of a children's wing at a hospital that her charity is funding in this southern African country's largest city, Blantyre.

The pop star has been in Malawi for a week and is to meet President Peter Mutharika and health minister Peter Kumpalume. Madonna went to visit Queen Elizabeth Central Hospital to view the paediatric unit where construction started in May 2015 and which is expected to open in early 2017.

'This new facility is the first paediatric surgery and intensive care unit in any Malawi hospital. It will have an enormous impact on saving the lives of children,' said Madonna, in a statement to The Associated Press. 'In addition to raising the quality and availability of health care, we are also preparing for the future by training more Malawian medical staff in specialized paediatric care.'

Answering questions from the press, Madonna said that she does not yet have a name for the new children's wing.

'We don't have a name,' she said, 'but we have a building and we have dreams and they are going to be manifested very soon.'

Madonna is accompanied by her two children adopted from Malawi, David and Mercy, and her son Rocco. Madonna said she will continue to work to get the unit the staff and equipment needed.

'It's going to be my responsibility to make sure that this place has the equipment and is fully operational on a regular basis,' she said. 'So I have a big job ahead of me. Wish me luck.'

Asked if she has any more projects for Malawi, she said: 'I would like to do one thing really well than many things half-assed, as they say in America.'

The children's unit will include Malawi's first paediatric intensive care unit, three operating rooms dedicated to children's surgery, a day clinic and a 50-bed ward. It will enable Queen Elizabeth hospital to double the number of surgeries for children and will provide critical pre-operative and post-operative care.

From AP Via Yahoo! News

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Madonna takes adopted children on visit home to Malawi

Pop diva Madonna and her two adopted Malawian children have flown into the impoverished southern African nation to inspect a hospital project she is funding there, her charity Raising Malawi said Friday.

It is the first time in nearly two years that Madonna has visited the country, where she has at times been embroiled in controversy after her adoption of David Banda in 2006 and Mercy James in 2009.

She is reportedly the biggest individual donor to childrenโ€™s projects such as orphanages in Malawi, which is ranked by the UN Human Development Index as one of the world's 20 least developed countries.

Her latest project is a 50-bed surgical unit for children at the Queen Elizabeth hospital in the commercial capital Blantyre, complete with three operating theatres, a day clinic and the countryโ€™s first paediatric intensive care unit.

'The facility being funded by Madonna will greatly assist us because it will be particularly equipped for children's surgery,' paediatric specialist Eric Borgstein told AFP.

Borgstein, who is a partner in Raising Malawi and one of just three paediatric surgeons in the country, said the unit would double the hospital's capacity for surgery on children.

The current intensive care unit of the poorly-equipped hospital, which was built in 1958 and serves the 600,000 population in Blantyre, has just four beds.

Madonna, who has reportedly rented the entire upmarket Kumbali Country Lodge near the capital Lilongwe to ensure her privacy, will visit the project on Sunday. It is due to be completed by the end of the year.

From AFP via Yahoo! News


Madonna heads home after Malawi visit

Madonna left Malawi on Monday after a visit that included meetings with the president and the biological father of one of her adopted children.

Sarah Ezzy, director of the U.S. pop star's charity Raising Malawi, confirmed Madonna's departure on her private jet.

Madonna has been visiting Malawi since 2006. She funds a number of orphanages and schools in the country. On Thursday, she helped open a new 50-bed pediatrics ward in the commercial capital, Blantyre, that she helped fund.

On this visit, Madonna met President Peter Mutharika as well as Yohane Banda, father of her adopted son, 9-year-old David Banda. Madonna has another Malawi-born child, Mercy Chifundo James.

Associated Press Via Yahoo! News


Madonna meets Malawian President Peter Mutharika

Madonna is seen at State House in Lillongwe Malawi, Friday, Nov, 28, 2014, during her meeting with the Malawian President Peter Mutharika at State House.

Mutharika thanked Madonna for agreeing to fund the construction of a new state of the art Paediatric Surgery and Intensive Care Unit in the country.

Madonna is currently visiting Malawi, where she has been working since 2006 with her non profit organization, Raising Malawi.

Pictures from Associated Press via Yahoo! News


Madonna wins new Malawi president's praise

Pop diva Madonna met Malawi's new president Friday after her VIP status was restored in the country where she adopted two children but then fell foul of the former government.

President Peter Mutharika hailed Madonna for her charity work in the poor southern African nation, saying "my government has always been grateful for the passion Madonna has for this country."

It was Madonna's first visit in more than a year after she was stripped of her VIP status by former president Joyce Banda amid controversy over the cancellation of her plans for an academy for girls.

'Her VIP status has been restored,' presidential press secretary Frederick Ndala told AFP.

Mutharika said the singer's passion was directed 'especially towards addressing poverty and hardships endured by Malawi's orphans and vulnerable children through her charity Raising Malawi'.

Madonna has adopted two children - Mercy James and David Banda - from the country, which officially has more than a million orphans and vulnerable children.

'During our discussion, Madonna displayed much commitment in helping to build more classrooms in schools across Malawi,' said Mutharika, who described himself as 'a fan of her music'.

He thanked her for honouring her promise to bring her two adopted children along for the week-long visit.

The singer did not speak to the assembled journalists and was whisked away by her security detail soon after meeting the president at Kamuzu Palace in the administrative capital Lilongwe.

Madonna lost favour with the previous government after cancelling the construction of a $15 million academy which was meant to offer 500 scholarships to girls from poor backgrounds.

The academy was mired in allegations of mismanagement and the project was replaced by plans to build schools in order to reach more children.

From AFP Via Yahoo! News


'I'd like to be serenaded by a minister's son'

Madonna met Malawian hip hop star Tay Grin at a party to celebrate her first visit to the African country for 18 months.

Tay Grin was invited to the party by his mother - Malawi's health minister Dr Jean Kalilani - who asked Madonna if her son could attend. Madonna is reported to have said: 'I'd like to be serenaded by a minister's son - please invite him.'

Madonna and Tay are said to have talked for a while and briefly sang together at the party infront of guests.

Tay Grin, also known as 'Nyau King', is Malawi's number one hip hop star and this year scooped the Best International African gong at the Black Entertainment Film Fashion Television and Arts awards in London.


Madonna's Instagram: Pictures from Malawi

Madonna has been posting pictures on her Instagram page since her arrival in Malawi on Wednesday:

'Surgical Trainees at Queen Elizabeth Hospital! In the business of Miracles! @raisingmalawi #livingforlove'

'Mabvuto thrives against all odds! The Future of Malawi! #livingforlove'

'Werking on my skilzz @missionariesofcharity #raisingmalawi #rebelheart'

'Getting pushed around by Mercy James at Kondanani Orphanage! #livingforlove'


Madonna returns to Malawi with David and Mercy

Madonna has returned to Malawi for the first time since she had a public spat with the southern African country's former president Joyce Banda over her charitable projects, as the new president extended an olive branch.

The pop star landed in the capital Lilongwe at around 11am on Wednesday, accompanied by David Banda and Mercy Chifundo, two children she adopted from the country, and her 14-year-old son Rocco along with an entourage that included advisers and bodyguards.

On Friday, Madonna is due to meet Malawi's new president Peter Mutharika, who took over from Joyce Banda at the last elections.

Madonna and Mrs Banda had a series of public disagreements after the pop star sacked her sister, Anjimile Mtila-Oponyo, as head of her Raising Malawi charity.

Madonna tried to meet Mrs Banda during a visit to Malawi last year, but the president said the star was simply trying to get 'poor people to dance for her' and refused, also accusing her of 'blackmail' and 'bullying'.

She then stripped the Material Girl singer of her VVIP status, forcing her to check into her private jet at Kamuzu International Airport as an ordinary passenger.

On Wednesday, Madonna was restored to VVIP status.

'We were asked to clear the airport's cargo bay for a special guest,' said an airport official.

He said Madonna was whisked into a fleet of SUVs and driven into town to Kumbali Lodge, a farm lodge where she always stays on her visits to Malawi.

The American star is due to hold talks with Mr Mutharika on Friday at his official resident, the Kamuzu Palace.

'We welcome Madonna as guest of the government and people of Malawi,' said State House Press Secretary Frederick Ndala. 'The President appreciates the charity work she is doing for the people of Malawi.'

Trevor Neilson, president of the Global Philanthropy Group which works with Madonna, said her charitable endeavours in Malawi have included building schools for over 1,000 students and funding clinics and orphanages.

From Daily Telegraph


Madonna criticises Malawi president amid vote chaos

Pop diva Madonna has weighed in on Malawi's chaotic election, criticising embattled President Joyce Banda, who has tried to nullify the vote amid allegations of irregularities.

The superstar, who adopted two children from the southern African nation, has been involved in a long-running spat with Malawi's government over her charity work in the country.

In a statement posted on the website of her charity Raising Malawi, Madonna accused the government of corruption and of failing its people.

'I am so sad to see that because of the actions of their president Malawians will continue to suffer,' the American singer said.

'In my philanthropic work I have seen the depths of corruption in Malawi's government. I can only hope that change will come, Malawians deserve so much better.'

The remarks come after Banda attempted to declare the presidential election 'null and void', prompting fierce legal wrangling over her right to do so.

Madonna's charity says it has poured millions of dollars into the support of children, including orphans in Malawi, which is ranked by the UN Human Development Index as one of the world's 20 least developed countries.

But after a visit to the country last year Banda's government accused the 55-year-old of inflating the value of that help, demanding VIP treatment, being 'uncouth' and bullying state officials.

In a long statement it said that if Madonna had her way 'the Malawi government and its leadership should have rolled out a red carpet and blast the 21-gun salute in her honour.' When leaving the country, Madonna was for the first time denied use of the VIP section at the airport in Lilongwe.

A government spokesman claimed the singer 'wants Malawi to be forever chained to the obligation of gratitude' for having adopted two Malawian children. But Madonna denied 'these ridiculous allegations'. 'I did not ever ask or demand special treatment at the airport or elsewhere during my visit,' she said.

During the trip she visited schools her charity has built, flanked by her four children, including David Banda and Mercy James who she adopted from the southern African nation.

'I will not be distracted or discouraged by other people's political agendas. I made a promise to the children of Malawi and I am keeping that promise' she said.

From AFP Via Yahoo! News


Help Madonna help her hero for her birthday

Madonna posted this picture and message on her Instagram page, thanking fans for their birthday love and asking them to support one of her heroes.

'Thank u all for your #birthday love! Help me celebrate my birthday, by donating to Raising Malawi to support the work of one of my Heroes, Pediatric Surgeon Dr. Eric Borgstein: http://bit.ly/mbdayborg. Revolution of LOVE!'

Madonna also posted a longer message on the Raising Malawi website:

Many of you know Dr. Eric Borgstein, one of Raising Malawiโ€™s long-standing partners and one of my personal heroes. Dr. Borgstein is a pediatric surgeon who provides care to thousands of children in Malawi. When I met with him earlier this year in Malawi, we discussed expanding the pediatric training program that Raising Malawi supports to train more young surgeons in Malawi.
To learn more, watch the below video from our teamโ€™s latest trip to Malawi. If you are as inspired as I am, please donate. Every dollar donated through this link: http://bit.ly/mbdaymalawi will go to Dr. Borgsteinโ€™s program to train more surgeons who are saving the lives of children in Malawi.

With Gratitude and Love,
Madonna


Malawi's president 'furious' after Madonna criticised

Malawi's President Joyce Banda was 'incandescent with anger' over a statement labelling US singer Madonna a bully, the BBC has learnt.
She was unaware of the harshly-critical statement that was issued by her office following Madonna's recent visit to the country, senior officials have said.
The statement accused Madonna of exaggerating her contribution to the country and demanding VIP treatment.
Madonna, who was visiting her charity in Malawi, hit back at the criticisms.
She described them as lies and said she began her involvement in Malawi seven years ago 'with honourable intentions'.
A well-placed source told the BBC that President Banda was 'incandescent with anger' when she heard about the statement, and a senior official has confirmed she knew nothing about it.
The statement, issued on Wednesday, accused the star of wanting Malawi 'to be forever chained to the obligation of gratitude'.
It claimed Madonna believed the government should have 'rolled out a red carpet and blast the 21-gun salute' upon her arrival in Malawi.
'Granted, Madonna is a famed international musician. But that does not impose an injunction of obligation on any government...to give her state treatment. Such treatment, even if she deserved it, is discretionary not obligatory,' the statement said.
And, in reference to a row over whether she is building schools or classrooms, it said she 'needs to learn as a matter of urgency...the decency of telling the truth'.
Emily Banda, head of Malawi's NGO board, said that although President Banda 'did not approve' or indeed know about the statement, there would be no apology for the mistake.
Some of the criticism of Madonna's charity work was justified, she said.
Madonna, who has adopted two children from Malawi, originally planned to build an $15m (ยฃ9.9m) girls' academy.
But two years ago she closed down the Malawian office of her charity Raising Malawi, which was headed by President Joyce Banda's sister, Anjimile Mtila-Oponyo - who now works at the education ministry - and opted to fund 10 schools instead.
Earlier this month, Malawi's education minister Eunice Kazembe said Madonna was building classrooms, not entire schools, in the country.
'She has built classrooms at existing schools...really it's a difference in terminology,' the minister said.
Trevor Neilson, who is now managing Raising Malawi projects, said $400,000 had been spent on building the 10 school blocks allowing some 4,000 children, who had been learning under trees, to be taught in classrooms.
On Thursday, Raising Malawi put out a statement saying that Madonna 'did not ever ask or demand special treatment at the airport or elsewhere' during her visit.
She said she saw 'with my own eyes the 10 new primary schools in Kasungu province that Raising Malawi...completed this year'.
'Madonna is not letting politics stand in the way of her deep commitment to help build schools there and educate as many children as possible,' the statement also said.

From BBC News


Madonna Remains Deeply Committed to Children of Malawi

There have been many reports regarding Madonnaโ€™s recent visit to Malawi. Some of these reports include inaccurate information and accusations by the Malawian Government on Madonnaโ€™s character and the work of her foundation Raising Malawi. Despite the accusations, Madonna and her organization Raising Malawi remains committed to the health and education of the children of Malawi.

'I was very happy to visit with the children of Malawi earlier this month and to see with my own eyes the ten new primary schools in Kasungu province that Raising Malawi and buildOn completed this past year. These schools are now educating more than 4,800 children with girls attending in equal numbers. These children who were formerly learning outside on the ground, in unsafe buildings or not at all, now get to attend classes on a daily basis.
My children and I were overjoyed to visit these schools and see what amazing progress has been made. I will continue to follow through on my commitment to help educate the children of Malawi. Iโ€™m saddened that Malawiโ€™s President Joyce Banda has chosen to release lies about what weโ€™ve accomplished, my intentions, how I personally conducted myself while visiting Malawi and other untruths. I have no intentions of being distracted by these ridiculous allegations.
I came to Malawi seven years ago with honorable intentions. I returned earlier this month to view the new schools we built. I did not ever ask or demand special treatment at the airport or elsewhere during my visit. I will not be distracted or discouraged by other peopleโ€™s political agendas. I made a promise to the children of Malawi and I am keeping that promise' commented Madonna.

Madonna originally planned on building a Girls Academy in the impoverished country but realized that a more sustainable model would be to build smaller schools in villages around the country with buildOn who have had 20 years of success building schools in Africa. The original team that Raising Malawi first put in place included Anjimile Oponyo, the sister of Malawiโ€™s current President Joyce Banda. Due to major organizational problems that occurred during that time, the original team was disbanded. President Banda has since appointed her sister to a senior post within the Ministry of Education.
Madonnaโ€™s decision to change course on her education projects has subsequently been met by deep resistance from Oponyo, the President, and the Ministry of Education. But Madonna is not letting politics stand in the way of her deep commitment to help build schools there and educate as many children as possible.
In addition to the school projects, Raising Malawi has spent millions of dollars in Malawi to support orphans and vulnerable children through multiple community-based organizations. This includes Home of Hope which supported 595 beneficiaries including orphans, vulnerable children and their caregivers in 2012 alone. Raising Malawi also supports Dr. Eric Borgstein, one of three pediatric surgeons in Malawi. Dr. Borgstein performed more than 500 surgeries in 2012 alone and he sees thousands of children each year.

From Raising Malawi Press Statement


Madonna leaves Malawi after visits to schools

Madonna has left Malawi after visiting the projects she has helped support through her Raising Malawi charity.
The pop diva and her four children arrived in the southern African country Monday and left Saturday. Madonna visited the 10 school blocks that her charity has helped build or renovate in collaboration with BuildOn.
The singer also visited a hospital's pediatric ward and several orphanages, including the Home of Hope, where she adopted David Banda in 2006. She also adopted Mercy James from Malawi in 2009.
Madonna initially planned to build a $15 million 500-bed Raising Malawi Academy for girls, before changing plans to help fund several community schools, which led to some controversy in Malawi. She also closed the Malawi office of Raising Malawi and fired staff for misappropriating funds.

From Associated Press Via Yahoo! News


Madonna In Malawi To Visit Son's Orphanage

Madonna has returned to the orphanage where she adopted one of her Malawian children.
The pop star was welcomed with song and dance from youngsters at the Home of Hope, from where she adopted David Banda in 2006.
She said she was pleased to visit the orphanage, in the western district of Mchinji near the Zambian border.
'I'm happy that David is back to see his brothers and sisters,' she said.
David, now eight, was accompanied by his sister Mercy James, also eight and adopted from Malawi, and Madonna's natural children, Rocco and Lourdes.
The visit saw him taken to see his former crib, which has been preserved in his memory.
It was not known if the family would also visit the Kondanani Children's Village, where Madonna adopted Mercy in 2009 after a protracted court battle.
The singer arrived in Malawi on Monday to visit projects she has supported.
She had initially planned to build a $15m (ยฃ10m), 500-bed Raising Malawi Academy for girls, before changing plans to help fund several community schools.
Meanwhile, the singer expects to raise more than $5m (ยฃ3.3m) to support education for girls in Afghanistan, Pakistan and other countries by selling an abstract French painting she has owned for more than 20 years.

From Associated Press Via Yahoo! News


Madonna visits children's ward in Malawi

Pop diva Madonna, spending her fourth day in the southern African country of Malawi on Thursday, picked up ailing children and joked with them when she visited an overcrowded children's ward in Blantyre, the country's largest city.
'Muli bwanji? (How are you?)' she greeted them in Malawi's main language, Chichewa.
Madonna, with her son, Rocco, went to Queen Elizabeth Central Hospital, which she has been supporting for five years through its chief pediatrician, Dr. Eric Borgstein.
'Eric Borgstein is a hero of mine' said Madonna. 'He is doing a wonderful job.'
The ward performs at least 500 surgeries per year on poor children, said Borgstein.
Madonna is the largest individual donor to the hospital and funds programs run by Borgstein that include treating children with cancer, said Trevor Neilson, president of the Global Philanthropy Group that is managing Madonna's projects in Malawi.
Born and raised in Malawi, Borgstein said he studied medicine at the University of Groningen in the Netherlands before to returning to his home country. Borgstein said he has been working in children's health for 15 years, treating up to 40 patients daily. Malawi has only three pediatric surgeons, said Borgstein.
He is currently a partner of Raising Malawi, the non-profit organization Madonna co-founded with Michael Berg in 2006 to help Malawian children.
On Friday, Madonna is scheduled to visit Consol Homes Orphan Care Centre, 50 kilometers (31 miles) outside the capital, Lilongwe.

From Associated Press Via Yahoo! News


Madonna takes children to native home in Malawi

US pop icon Madonna on Wednesday took her four children to a famous orphanage in central Malawi, from where she adopted one of them, seven-year-old David Banda.
Madonna, who adopted David in 2006, last visited the Home of Hope three years ago.
The singer also received reports on how the financial support she has provided the orphanage since 2007 have helped the up to 500 children there.
When she adopted David, Madonna promised that she would be bringing him home 'to stay connected to his Malawi culture...to keep connected to his cultural heritage'.
In 2009, Madonna also adopted Mercy James, now aged seven, from another Malawian orphanage.
Trevor Neilson, philanthropy manager for Madonna, told AFP the pop diva was 'continuing her commitment to ensuring the children feel connected to this beautiful country'.
Madonna is also travelling with her two biological children Lourdes and Rocco.
'There is incredible joy and enthusiasm. The children of Madonna are dancing together with fellow children here. It brings connection to the people of Malawi,' he said.
Madonna arrived in the poor southern African nation, sandwiched between Mozambique, Zambia and Tanzania, on Monday to visit the schools she has built with an organisation called BuildOn.
The schools can currently accommodate 4,800 students, but many others still learn under trees.
The megastar is also inspecting other charity projects she is funding, including those involved in child care.
Madonna, according to Neilson, is the single largest international philanthropic donor to Malawi.
Malawi, where nearly half of the 13 million citizens are poor, has over one million orphans and vulnerable children.

From AFP Via Yahoo! News


Malawians hail Madonna project

Schoolchildren joined by hundreds of villagers have danced around pop diva Madonna and serenaded her with praise songs as she inspected school blocks she helped to construct in Malawi.
'Zikomo (Thank you),' said the singer as the Malawians rejoiced at Nkoko Primary School in the central Kasungu district, where she worked with non-profit organisation BuildOn to construct classrooms.
Madonna initially planned to build a 15 million US dollar (ยฃ10 million) 500-bed Raising Malawi Academy for girls, before changing plans to help fund several community schools to benefit more Malawians. She arrived in Malawi yesterday to tour the 10 school wings she has helped to build.
'I love Malawi, I am committed to help end poverty here,' she said.
Madonna is the 'biggest global philanthropist' Malawi has had, said Trevor Neilson, president of the Global Philanthropy Group that is managing the pop star's projects in Malawi.
She is exploring more projects she can work on in Malawi, said Mr Neilson.
Madonna's efforts have provided new classrooms for more than 4,000 children who were previously learning under trees.
'Madonna is happy that the communities are appreciating her efforts,' he said.
She has been joined on her tour by her two adopted Malawian children, David Banda and Mercy James, both now eight.

From Press Association Via Yahoo! News


Madonna in Malawi to inspect schools project

American pop queen Madonna is in Malawi to inspect the schools she has built in the impoverished African country, the native home of her adopted two children, her manager said on Tuesday.
'We are coming to visit the 10 schools that she recently finished building with an organisation called BuildOn,' said Madonna's philanthropy manager Trevor Nielson.
'Those schools which are now open and operating are serving 3,800 students,' he told AFP.
The schools were built over the past nine months.
Education minister Eunice Kazembe had last year challenged a claim by her charity Raising Malawi that it built 10 schools, saying they were rather classroom blocks, and not schools.
But Nielson said the structures were schools complying with national standards.
'There's no controversy, the schools are built to the exact national standards of Malawi, like every other Malawian school,' he said.
'The bottom line is that 3,800 children are going to school now who were not going to school before.'
Initially she wanted to build a large $15-million girls academy, but the plan was abandoned after 'a large amount of money went missing'.
The academy was replaced by plans to build schools, in order to reach more children.
Madonna, said to be the single largest international philanthropic donor to Malawi, also supports childcare in the country which is home to nearly a million children orphaned by AIDS.
On Sunday she visited one of the orphanages she sponsors in the capital Lilongwe.
Madonna arrived on Sunday with David Banda and Mercy James, the two children she adopted from the small landlocked African country sandwiched between Tanzania, Mozambique and Zambia.

From AFP Via Yahoo! News


Madonna touches down in Malawi

The American pop diva Madonna has arrived in Malawi for an unannounced visit, local residents say.
An aviation department worker said Madonnaโ€™s jet landed at the Kamuzu International Airport in the countryโ€™s capital, Lilongwe, early Monday. It was not clear if she came with her children. The aviation worker spoke on condition of anonymity because he did not have permission to speak to the press.
The singer previously has stayed at the exclusive Kumbali Lodge in Lilongwe, and an employee there says all other guests were checked out. The employee spoke on condition of anonymity because he didnโ€™t have permission to speak to the press on the matter.
Madonna has adopted two children from Malawi. She promised the court she would bring her adopted children twice 'every two or three years.'

From The Washington Times / AP


Madonna dismisses 'reckless' Africa claims

The singer, along with the actress Angelina Jolie, was the subject of criticism from Mozambique-born supermodel Tasha de Vasconcelos.
Ms de Vasconcelos, who was forced to flee to Canada after the outbreak of civil war in her country of birth, said: 'You don't take a child out of Africa. If you want to help them, you help them inside their country.'
She added: 'This is why I do not advocate adoption out of Africa to a Hollywood lifestyle, as Madonna and Angelina Jolie have done.'
But a spokesman for Madonna, who has adopted two children from Africa, called the comments 'reckless'.
'Her children are thriving and well cared-for and are certainly being educated about their culture and where they came from,' the spokesman added.

It is rumoured that Madonna was inspired to adopt from Africa after a conversation with Jolie, who adopted Ethiopian baby Zahara Marley to her family in 2005.
Ms de Vasconcelos, who was recently made an honorary consul for the G8 to help bridge the gap between Europe and Africa, also attacked Madonna and Jolie for 'throwing money' at Africa without getting involved on the ground.
Her charity Amor is set to open an eye clinic in Malawi this year, the charity's second such project.
She said: 'They don't know how it is to be an African. In a tribe there's a chief, he's got a community. You have to respect the chief first, then meet with the elders.'
'You have to become close to the people on the ground: the ministers, the chief of the village, the people who are running the projects on the ground, and that means being hands-on. It is not enough just to send cheques.'

From www.telegraph.co.uk


buildOn Schools Constructed in Partnership with Raising Malawi

buildOn partnered with Raising Malawi have released this statement to respond to quotes in the press from Malawi Education Minister Eunice Kazembe who argued that Madonna's charity didn't play such a big part in the project. She says: 'The schools Raising Malawi claims to have constructed were already in existence. Raising Malawi only built 10 classroom blocks and not schools. People should know the difference between the two and Malawi government officials were keen to clarify any misconceptions that may arise.'

Here is buildOn's response from http://buildonfromthefield.org:

In January of 2012, buildOn partnered with Raising Malawi to build ten two-classroom schools for rural villages of the Kasungu District of Malawi. Each school was built with a corrugated metal roof and poured concrete floor.
The locations for each school were chosen in partnership with the District Education Managerโ€™s Office in the Kasungu District. Each village that was selected had no adequate school structure; priority was given to villages with no school infrastructure at all. Prior to buildOn and Raising Malawi, children in these villages attended classes in either a temporary structure or outside under a tree. Each classroom is built to hold 50 children at any given time.
Each school was constructed in partnership with the communities who will benefit from the structures. buildOn and Raising Malawi provided the construction materials, transportation, skilled labor, project management, and construction plans. Each partnering community provides a gender-balanced leadership team, volunteer labor, land, local building materials, and authorization from the government to have a school. Each community also agrees that boys and girls will attend schools in equal numbers.
The District of Education Managerโ€™s Office in Kasungu has provided 44 educators for the schools who are now teaching the Ministryโ€™s approved curriculum. Once completed each community and school leadership team manages the use of each structure.
buildOn has constructed 72 two-classroom schools Malawi since 1993. In 2013, we plan to build 23 additional two-classroom schools in the Kasungu and Neno District of Malawi in partnership with each regionโ€™s District Education Managerโ€™s office.


buildOn & Raising Malawi Complete 10 Schools in Malawi

This year buildOn partnered with Madonna and Raising Malawi to build ten schools in villages chosen from a list of communities in need of new infrastructure. We said we would build all ten schools within 18 months. We did it in 12!
Malawi is one of the economically poorest countries on the planet; only 12% of women complete secondary education and nearly half of adult women are illiterate. Literacy is a life-changing gift that will transform the futures of girls and boys across Malawi and that will change the economic future of their nation.
Over 4,800 children in Malawi will receive an education at a buildOn school in their own village. Six of the schools are already in use and all ten will be up and running in January 2013. These students will no longer have to walk miles to reach a school in a neighboring village. They no longer have to learn math under a tree, or study their ABCโ€™s under a thatched roof. They can go to class even when it rains. And because of our focus on gender equality, girls will attend the schools in equal numbers to boys.
'I am overjoyed that my commitment along with buildOnโ€™s to help educate the children of Malawi has come to fruition. In a country where girls have little opportunity for education, itโ€™s additionally inspiring to know that more than half the students attending will be young girls. The fact that nearly 5,000 children in Malawi will get to go to school next year is a tremendous step forward for their individual growth and the growth of Malawi,' commented Madonna in a press release.

To read more about the schools visit http://buildonfromthefield.org


Madonna in new fundraising venture in Malawi

US pop diva Madonna, who is worth $650 million, has launched a new fund-raising drive to support the work of a Malawian paediatric surgeon, her charity announced, two years after she abandoned a girls' academy project in a cloud of alleged mismanagement.
Through her US registered charity Raising Malawi, the 'Queen of Pop' has emailed hordes of her well-wishers and fans, addressing them as Dear Friend, and asking: 'Will you consider donating $5 or more to support people like Dr. Erick Borgstein, for many years the only paediatric surgeon in Malawi, who are helping orphans and vulnerable children in Malawi?'
Malawi, where 39 percent of the 13 million citizens are poor, has over one million orphans and vulnerable children, and less than 200 doctors, creating huge shortages in the medical system.
The charity said Borgstein 'treats thousands of paediatric patients every year, performing hundreds of life-saving operations.'
He also trains medical students in general and in paediatric surgery, thanks to the financial support from Raising Malawi.
'He will now formally train a young Malawian doctor to follow in his footsteps as a paediatric surgeon,' the charity added.
Raising Malawi said for the past six years, it has 'remained committed to supporting orphans and vulnerable children in Malawi...This would not be possible without the support of people like you, who share in our mission to end the poverty and hardship endured by the country's estimated one million orphans.'
Calling itself the Raising Malawi Team, the charity thanked its supporters 'for your support...we look forward to sharing future updates with you about the inspirational work of Dr. Borgstein and others.'
It was not clear how much money Madonna is seeking in this new venture, coming more than a year after her charity controversially cancelled the construction of a state-of-the-art $15 million Raising Malawi Academy for Girls -RMAG- in Chinkhota village, 15 kilometres from the capital Lilongwe.
The academy, meant to offer 500 scholarship to girls from poor backgrounds and train them into doctors and future leaders of the country, was mired in allegations of mismanagement, including excessive spending on offices and cars. An audit had found $3.8 million had been misused.
Madonna, who has adopted two children from Malawi - Mercy James and David Banda - said she had realised the academy would not be enough as two-thirds of Malawian girls are not educated beyond primary school and she wanted to reach 'thousands and not hundreds of girls' by constructing several schools.
She said she was focussed on an approach to build 10 schools within communities across the country, that would educate at least 1,000 children a year, half of them girls.
The charity has teamed up with the non-profit group buildOn, which has constructed 54 primary schools in Malawi in the last 19 years.

From AFP Via Yahoo! News


Madonna: Happy Joyce Banda is Malawi's president

Madonna says she's happy that Malawi's former vice president is now leading the country.
Joy Banda became president Saturday and is the country's first women leader. Former president Bingu wa Mutharika died of a heart attack on April 5.
Madonna adopted two Malawian children and started the charity, Raising Malawi, in 2006. It assists orphanages and other aid programs in the country.
The singer called Banda 'amazing' and said she interviewed the 62-year-old for her 2008 documentary, 'I Am Because We Are,' about Malawian orphans who lost family members to HIV/AIDS.
'She was really into girls being educated in Africa, which is a good thing,' Madonna said in an interview Thursday night. 'So, I'm glad.'

From Associated Press Via Yahoo! News


Madonna says charity plans 10 schools in Malawi

Nearly six years after it was created, Madonna's Raising Malawi charity is set to break ground on the construction of schools in the impoverished country, but they will be run by the local community, not the superstar's organization.
According to organizers, work on the first school will start on March 30 in the Kasungu area, about 80 miles from the capital of Lilongwe, and all of the schools should be built by June 2013. Raising Malawi is providing $300,000 to the non-governmental organization buildOn to develop the schools. They'll serve about 1,000 boys and girls in the southern African nation.
'This remains a very big priority in my life and I am excited that with the help of buildOn we can maintain our ongoing commitment to move forward efficiently,' Madonna said in a statement provided to The Associated Press.
Raising Malawi had originally intended to build all-girls schools that the organization would run. But it faced several obstacles in its goal, including complaints from some local farmers that they had been moved off land that Raising Malawi intended to use for its mission. Raising Malawi also had difficulty getting title to the land and there were concerns about the high costs of construction.
The new plan calls for 'simple structures' that will be more practical and better serve Raising Malawi's original mission, said Trevor Neilson, who is helping to direct the project as partner of the Global Philanthropy Group. The approach will allow the program to serve twice as many children as before, Madonna said.
'I have learned a great deal over the last few years and feel so much more confident that we can reach out goals to educate children in Malawi, especially young girls, in a much more efficient and practical way,' she said. Madonna has adopted two children from Malawi.
BuildOn has already built more than 50 schools in Malawi and 427 schools worldwide.
'For schools to be successful, they need to have community ownership and leadership,' Neilson said in an interview Friday. 'Raising Malawi shouldn't be running schools in Malawi. Local communities in Malawi should be running those schools, so that's a big part of the shift.'
BuildOn has been working in Malawi for almost 20 years, said spokeswoman Carrie Pena. The organization works closely with the community, and locals even volunteer the labor to build the schools, according to Pena.
'It's absolutely a community-owned school,' she said.
Neilson praised Madonna for sticking with her plan to build schools for Malawi's children despite several setbacks for the star, who is the director of the new movie 'W.E.,' out next week, and is this year's Super Bowl performer. Madonna brought in Global Philanthropy to work with Raising Malawi more than a year ago and removed the involvement of the Kabbalah Centre. She has practiced Kabbalah, a form of Jewish mysticism.
'When the previous management team had those problems, I think a lot of people thought Madonna would give up,' Neilson said 'It would have been understandable, but instead she's going to reaching twice as many kids.'

From Associated Press Via Yahoo! News


Madonna 'to open Malawi orphan care centre'

Madonna has revealed plans to open an orphanage in Malawi.
The '4 Minutes' singer, who adopted son David and daughter Mercy from the impoverished South African country, explained her charitable goals in an interview for Ovation's new series American Revolutionaries: The Hitmakers.
Madonna explained: 'My short term goals are to build an orphan care centre that will service and reach at least 1,000 children and I'm also actively involved in funding several orphanages that already exist.'
It was reported in March that Madonna's charity Raising Malawi had squandered more than ยฃ2.4 million ($3.8m) over plans for a school that was never built, leading to an upheaval in the foundation's board of directors.
Madonna was later said to be considering taking legal action against the directors following the financial mismanagement.
She revealed in January 2011 that she planned to restructure Raising Malawi so that the charity could operate on a 'bigger scale' in the coming years.

From Digital Spy


Madonna's Malawi orphan scheme facing money crisis

A program in Malawi which helps feed orphaned children is facing a financial crisis after Madonna's charity cut funding, according to a U.K. report.
The pop superstar, who has adopted two children from the African nation, helped set up an organisation called Raising Malawi to aid residents of the poverty-stricken nation.
The charity was thrown into chaos earlier this year when plans to build a girls' school collapsed amid allegations of financial mismanagement, prompting Madonna to dissolve the foundation's board of directors.
The head of a charity scheme in Malawi called Consol Homes Orphan Care, which feeds more than 24,000 children across the country, has now claimed the program is in jeopardy after money from Raising Malawi was stopped.
Elicy Chapomba, co-founder and head of operations at Consol, tells Britain's The Times, 'Since July last year, no money has been sent and we have resorted to borrowing from the banks.'
Madonna's publicist has alleged funding was cut because a Raising Malawi audit allegedly found evidence of poor financial management at the organisation, explaining, 'Simple financial procedures need to be put in place ensuring that cheques are authorised, disbursements are accounted for and financial documents and resources are....handled by financial staff. Basic monitoring and evaluation of programs....is not implemented.'

From contactmusic.com


Madonna charity subpoenaed

Madonna's charity Raising Malawi and the Kabbalah Centre were hit with subpoenas this week as part of an IRS investigation. But don't expect Madonna - or Kabbalah bigwig Karen Berg - to appear before a grand jury soon. The subpoenas are for documents, not testimony, we are told. Also subpoenaed was Kabbalah charity Success for Kids.
Sources say that behind the scenes, Kabbalists still blame a 'disgruntled former member' for the media storm surrounding the organization, as well as the IRS investigation. Feds are probing the religious non-profit status of the Kabbalah Centre, according to sources. Kabbalah outside litigation council Mathew Rosengart said in a statement, 'The centre and SFK intend to work closely with the IRS and the government, and are in the process of providing responsive information to the subpoenas.'
'Raising Malawi is actively cooperating with all investigations and will continue to do so,' Madonna's publicist, Liz Rosenberg, told The Associated Press in an email saying it would be her only comment.

From the New York Post


Madonna opens legal defence against Malawi workers

US pop icon Madonna has begun her legal defence in a Malawian court as workers at one of the singer's charity projects attempt to sue for unfair dismissal, a tribunal official said Monday.
Eight staff at the failed $15 million Raising Malawi Academy for Girls (RMAG) lodged the action at the end of March claiming they were let go without proper procedures.
The star said 'there is nothing unfair about the termination of the applicants' employment given the termination of employment was necessitated by genuine economic reasons,' in documents filed last week by lawyer Davis Njobvu.
Madonna said the decision not to continue funding the academy project was taken by by her charity Raising Malawi Inc 'after carefully reviewing its financial commitments and future plans and was made in good faith.'
Led by Anjimile Oponya, the former head of the school, the workers allege they were forced to sign a termination agreement they describe as 'unfair and unconstitutional'.
Madonna, who adopted children David Banda and Mercy James from Malawian orphanages, said the charity had proposed to pay them more than they were due on the condition they signed a 'confidentiality agreement.'
The pop star also said Raising Malawi, a US-registered foundation providing funds for the school's construction, was not directly implicated in the affair and it was RMAG that 'would be responsible for any matters relating to the applicants' employment.'
She said RMAG was 'ready and willing to pay the applicants their retrenchments and redundancy benefits calculated in accordance with the Employment Act and the laws of Malawi.'
A hearing of the application to strike out Raising Malawi as a party to the action has been set for Wednesday in Blantyre.
Madonna announced in January that she was reviewing the direction of Raising Malawi, which had originally planned to establish an academy offering 500 scholarships to girls from impoverished backgrounds.
In a statement, she said she had realised the academy would not be enough as two-thirds of girls are not educated beyond primary school and she wanted to reach 'thousands and not hundreds of girls' by constructing several schools in the area.

From AFP Via Yahoo! News


Liz Rosenberg makes Malawi statement

In recent days a number of wild and totally false rumors about Madonna's philanthropy - spread by bloggers and tabloids - have begun appearing on the internet. As we have said previously, Raising Malawi is currently undergoing a series of positive changes in an effort to serve more children. Neither Madonna nor Raising Malawi is being investigated by the FBI or the IRS. It is unfortunate that people have chosen to say things about Raising Malawi and Madonna that are not true. Madonna remains committed and focused on what matters helping the children of Malawi.

From Raising Malawi - thanks to Damon