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Madonna to launch construction of Malawi girls school

Pop queen Madonna will lead a groundbreaking ceremony next week for a girls academy she is building in Malawi, where she has adopted two children, officials from her charity said Friday.
Madonna is expected to arrive in Malawi on Sunday and the ceremony for the construction of the school, which will be named Raising Malawi Academy for Girls, will take place on Monday, they said.
'The academy seeks to provide a model of relevant and effective education in Malawi while advancing gender equality and women's empowerment,' said an official who requested anonymity.
The school on the outskirts of the administrative capital Lilongwe will prepare girls from poor backgrounds for careers in medicine, education or law, the official said.
The school is modelled on a similar academy built by US television talk show host Oprah Winfrey.
Madonna's trip was confirmed by Anjimile Mtila Oponyo, a local academic who has been hired by the American star to head the academy.
'Madonna believes that given opportunities, these girls will become scientists, lawyers and doctors. She believes in them. Having someone believe in you is important to a girl,' Oponyo said.
In 2006, the chart-topping musician adopted a baby boy, David Banda, who is now three-years-old. She returned to Malawi this year to adopt a girl, Mercy James.
Madonna is also funding several charities in the small southern African country, including homes for children with AIDS.

From AFP Via Yahoo! News

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