Visiting Mercy James Pediatric Hosptial........3 Years in and going strong. 💪🏾! Thanks to Dr. Borgstein and the incredible team of health care workers that make it possible to save childrens lives everyday! Thank you folks around the world that continue to support @RaisingMalawi pic.twitter.com/yxW81gwKuf— Madonna (@Madonna) January 3, 2021
Four of the singer's six kids were born in the African nation before she adopted them.
David Banda, 15, Mercy James, 14 and eight-year-old twin girls Stella and Estere were all born there.
Madonna, 62, also shares Lourdes, 24, with former personal trainer Carlos Leon, and Rocco, 20, with ex-husband and film director Guy Ritchie.
Proud mum Madonna snapped one of the twins gazing out of a plane window on her Instagram Stories, captioning the cute photo with "#homecoming."
Once they'd touched down, Madge filmed Mercy playing on a swing out back of their holiday digs.
And teenager Mercy lends her name to the Mercy James Institute For Pediatric Surgery And Intensive Care, run through her mum's charity Raising Malawi.
The institute operates as part of Queen Elizabeth Central Hospital in Blantyre, the country's second city.
It's only one of Madonna's numerous altruistic ventures.
While Malawi's land borders are closed during the pandemic, the US Embassy in the country's capital, Lilongwe, says that flights from the States are permitted.
But Americans who intend on flying in have get tested within 10 days of their flight, and may be greeted with further testing at the airport gate.
From Daily Mirror
Celebrating the 3rd anniversary • of the Mercy James Pediatric Hospital. The first of its kind in Malawi! 🇲🇼 . We have become a role model for other Hospitals around the world. So proud of all the health care workers who make this place so special!! https://t.co/DeEjhEetmq pic.twitter.com/RHzUj9xty4— Madonna (@Madonna) July 12, 2020
As part of her plans to mark her 60th birthday which will fall on 16th August, Madonna is partnering with Ripple in a month-long initiative to raise funds aimed at assisting orphans in Malawi through Raising Malawi, a charity the Queen of Pop founded more than a decade ago.
During the fundraising period that started from July 30 and which will run until August 31, Ripple has committed to matching all the public donations that will be made in support of Madonna’s cause.
According to Madonna, the donations will specifically benefit the work of the nonprofit at the Home of Hope orphanage in Malawi. At the time of writing US$28,783 had been raised via Madonna’s Facebook page.
In a statement released by Ripple, the firm noted that Malawi has close to one million children who have been orphaned after their parents died from HIV/AIDS-related complications.
'We’re honored to be a part of Raising Malawi’s amazing work with some of the world’s most underserved children,' Ripple’s senior vice president of business operations, Eric van Miltenburg, said.
Ripple’s statement did not, however, indicate whether the donations would be matched in XRP or USD.
According to Miltenburg, Ripple was introduced to Raising Malawi by its investors at Sound Ventures, a tech investment fund founded by Hollywood actor Ashton Kutcher and Guy Oseary six years ago.
From CNN Via Yahoo! News
Meeting with His Excellency President Mutharika 🇲🇼!! So grateful to The President of Malawi for his continued support!! We discussed Vulnerable Children, EducAtion, Health Care and Soccer Teams! ⚽️🇲🇼♥️! #raisingmalawi #globalfamily 🌍🌏🌎 @RaisingMalawi pic.twitter.com/L2v7oIrrz1— Madonna (@Madonna) 20 July 2018
The pop star on Monday visited the Mercy James Institute for Pediatric Surgery and Intensive Care at the Queen Elizabeth Central Hospital in Blantyre. Her charity funded the facility, whose highlights include the first successful separation of conjoined twins in Malawi.
Madonna met the mother and aunt of the twins. She says they have been through a lot and it was good to 'give them hope.'
The pop star is considering a new project in Malawi, thanks to adopted son David Banda.
The plan? Establish a soccer academy. David Banda says he dreams of Malawi making it to the World Cup.
From Associated Press / The Detroit News
A Miracle Occurs at Mercy James Centre! 🏥! Twins Conjoined at the Liver successfully separated 🙏🏼Giving Mom a much needed Hug!! A Big Thanks to all who made it possible! 🇲🇼♥️ #miracle #mercyjames #gratitude pic.twitter.com/k5Z0FMBa37— Madonna (@Madonna) 16 July 2018
Writing on her official Facebook account, Madonna said she is excited for the new four schools that will be built in Kasungu.
'So exciting! Ground breaking ceremony in Kasungu district in Malawi. Building four more schools,' Madonna said.
Madonna fell in love with the country as she has been helping in various sectors like health and education.
The US Pop Star is doing the job through Raising Malawi. Founded in 2006 by Madonna, Raising Malawi’s mission is to bring an end to the extreme poverty and hardship endured by Malawi’s orphans and vulnerable children.
Raising Malawi supports community-based organizations that provide these children and their caregivers with critical resources including food, clothing, shelter, education, medical care, and psychosocial support.
Raising Malawi has recently expanded upon its long-standing support to the paediatric surgery program at Queen Elizabeth Central Hospital by building the country’s first paediatric surgery and intensive care unit, The Mercy James Centre for Paediatric Surgery and Intensive Care.
Madonna has four children adopted from Malawi namely David Banda, Mercy James and the twins Estere and Stella.
So exciting! 🎉🎉🎉Ground Breaking ceremony in Kusungu district in Malawi. 🇲🇼🇲🇼Building four more schools with @buildOn 📚📚📚#knowledgeispower #raisingmalawi #education #buildon 🌈📚🌍💕😂🎉🙏🏻🇲🇼🇲🇼🇲🇼🇲🇼🇲🇼🇲🇼♥️ pic.twitter.com/2H9YlpbPjb— Madonna (@Madonna) 21 February 2018
The US singer has six children, four of whom she adopted from Malawi.
Madonna has reportedly had a fractious relationship with authorities from the south-east African nation.
In 2013, Malawi accused Madonna of 'bullying state officials' , exaggerating her contribution to the country and demanding VIP treatment.
Madonna's manager accused Malawi's government of having a "grudge" against the singer's charity, Raising Malawi, which she founded in 2006, the same year she adopted David.
David Banda is the oldest of four adopted children.
His adoption raised a strong public reaction as Malawian law required would-be parents to live in the country for one year before adopting. This requirement was waived for the pop star, who told Oprah Winfrey at the time that there were no written adoption laws that regulated foreign adoption.
In 2009, the country's high court rejected Madonna's application to adopt a girl, on the same grounds she had not lived in the African nation for the now required 18 months.
From BBC News
Beautiful Memories of Yesterday! 🇲🇼♥️🌺🇲🇼🌺♥️at Mercy James Center!! 💘🌈🇲🇼🙏🏻🌈🇲🇼💘🙏🏻🙏🏻 pic.twitter.com/cVFieGmWVi— Madonna (@Madonna) 12 July 2017
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
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
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.
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
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
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
Join the event now and start sharing the info, posts and photos we’ll be adding throughout the week and until July 11 with your friends, family and fellow Madonna fans!
#WeAreRaisingMalawi #July11 #OpeningDay #Countingdown
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 country’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!
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
'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!'
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
'Putting the finishing touches on the Mercy James Pediatric Surgery Hospital in Malawi!! Thanks to everyone for your support so far!! Totally AWESOME!! 😂🎉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! 🎨🎨🎨!! 🎈Tears.Of A Clown!🎈 😂🎉🎉🎉🎉🎉🎉'
'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 ❤️'
'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.'
'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!!'
'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. 🎉😂❤️❤️'
'Love is All we Need! 💛💚💙❤️'
'Taking a tour of the new Pediatric Hospital. The first of its kind in Malawi! 😂🎉🎉🎉❤️❤️'
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
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 children’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 country’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
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
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
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
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.
'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'
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
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
'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 Malawi’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 team’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. Borgstein’s program to train more surgeons who are saving the lives of children in Malawi.
With Gratitude and Love,
From BBC News
'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. I’m saddened that Malawi’s President Joyce Banda has chosen to release lies about what we’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 people’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 Malawi’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.
Madonna’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 Associated Press Via Yahoo! News
From Associated Press Via Yahoo! News
From Associated Press Via Yahoo! News
From AFP Via Yahoo! News