Madonna builds 10 schools in Malawi

2012-12-28 21:03

Blantyre - Former Material Girl Madonna has built 10 primary schools in Malawi this year, her charity announced on Friday.

Two years after abandoning a $15m girls academy, the pop diva said projects this year would educate 4 871 children in the tiny southern African country.

The projects were carried out by her charity Raising Malawi and the global non-profit buildOn.

"I am overjoyed that my commitment along with buildOn's to help educate the children of Malawi has come to fruition," Madonna said in a statement issued by her charity.

"In a country where girls have little opportunity for education, it's additionally inspiring to know that more than half the students attending will be young girls.

"The fact that more than 4 800 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," Madonna added.

Controversial adoption

The schools, which had been scheduled to be built over 18 months, were completed six months ahead of schedule.

The charity said six of the schools are already in use and all 10 would be up and running in January 2013 for the first day of school in the New Year.

Madonna is no stranger to Malawi.

In 2006, she adopted toddler David Banda under controversial circumstances and two years later adopted another child, Mercy James.

Her charity, Raising Malawi, has poured millions of dollars in support of orphanages and a network of orphan care service providers.

Malawi is ranked by the UN Human Development Index as one of the world's 20 least developed countries and 39% of its 13 million citizens live below the poverty line, on less than a dollar a day.

Unicef estimates that only 26% of boys and 16% of girls complete primary school because of poverty and the long distances travelled to reach schools.

Madonna controversially stopped the construction of the state-of-the-art $15m Raising Malawi Academy for Girls - RMAG - in Chinkhota village, 15km from the administrative capital Lilongwe, after it was mired in allegations of financial mismanagement.

The academy, styled on the lines of the one built by TV host Oprah Winfrey in SA, had been meant to offer 500 scholarships to girls from poor backgrounds and groom them into future leaders.

In abandoning the project, Madonna said the academy would not be adequate as two-thirds of the girls were not educated beyond primary school. Instead, she said, she wanted to reach "thousands and not hundreds of girls" by constructing several schools.

  • PrettyUsefulArt - 2012-12-28 21:13

    Good for her!

      moriri.mosweu - 2012-12-28 21:35

      Good for malawians.

      PrettyUsefulArt - 2012-12-29 06:47

      Yes, great for them too. Love stories like this.

      sandra.j.rennie - 2012-12-29 11:49

      The Government of Malawi should thank their lucky stars that at least Madonna is building something they should have done a long time ago. Wonder if she would show the South Africans how it's done !

      kortbroek.duplessis - 2012-12-29 15:19

      I don't think Zuma would like it she is colonising minds again

      johan.fou - 2012-12-29 19:05

      "I don't think Zuma would like it she is colonising minds again" LMAO True It's a great thing she's doing just wondering what these schools will look like in about 2 years from now.

      chaapo.sithole - 2012-12-31 05:16

      Don't care for her music but all praises to her for doing this for those children. And Mercy and David are lucky, especially the little girl, for having someone who would fight for her. She puts her money where her mouth is.

  • alwyn.vantonder - 2012-12-28 21:15

    There's NOTHING controversial about adopting a child that needs parents.. Good for her.. Maybe our trashy government can learn from her!

  • mjwild - 2012-12-28 21:23

    What's even better is that less then 5% of her earnings come from Africa.

  • dave.elmore.5 - 2012-12-28 21:25

    The material girl has certainly grown up hasn't she? Investing in education will change the course of people's lives, well done Madonna

  • Sthere - 2012-12-28 21:25

    well done! We need more people like these in the world, not departments that tear down schools

  • khathutshelo.muafrica - 2012-12-28 21:25

    I salute u madona

  • jaydee - 2012-12-28 21:35

    Can the South African Educational Department please take a leaf out of her book and put the learners first and get the education system in order? Well done, to her, after all the criticism, she made complete idiots of her critics and have done much more in less time than Angie Motshega could since her inception as Minister of Basic Education!!! Bravo, Madonna!!

  • fshabangu - 2012-12-28 21:40

    We need such people in our country *not enemies with long tongues*

  • Jessy Mazorodze Musa - 2012-12-28 21:44

    thank god for people like Madonna , she is really makin a difference far mo than what our own rich africans .God bless u Madonna

  • donovan.hendricks.7 - 2012-12-28 22:06

    Ai these whites,these colonialists,these imperialists,these capitalists,these agents,what would Effrica be without them?

      themba.thwala.775 - 2012-12-29 19:49

      What would those imperialists, capitalists, agents be without "Effrica"? Their raw materials are from Africa. Their countries was built on the back breaking slave labour of Africans, Donner-van-moron

  • Mbuso Siera - 2012-12-28 22:15

    Very interesting hope these schools will really benefit the impoverished kids.....unlike the school Oprah built its really a mystery if all those girls are really from impoverished backgrounds...... its a pity that Madonna had to build schools while the Malawi government is busy spending the taxes on their personal lifestyles......

  • Hasani P - 2012-12-28 22:23

    This is commendable

  • werner.luitingh - 2012-12-29 02:52

    What is wrong with Africa, everything must be donated!

      ron.wale.3 - 2012-12-29 07:06

      Unfortunately, Africa doesn't have any real leaders... politicians and political parties are takers, not leaders. We have untold opportunity, but it will never be realised due to the African culture of "Entitlement". It's sad that our people will ALWAYS suffer due to the lack of African leadership.

      Teuneman - 2012-12-29 07:24

      I agree but from what i've heard and read i think the northern parts of africa does better when given opportunities. There they actually want to build. The more south you go the more they expect to get the fish instead of being taught to fish.

      themba.thwala.775 - 2012-12-29 19:50

      What have you donated r-sole? Madonna does not need your permission to donate anything

  • nosimob1 - 2012-12-29 06:48

    It is amazing how she put her thought into action,a job well done Madona.we need people who talks a little nd do wonders ,to the kids who will benefit in this opportunity,they better not take it for granted ,they must push until smthng happens for the sake of their country.

  • ramsey.mzembe - 2012-12-29 08:26

    were still need your help

  • johan.harlaar.9 - 2012-12-29 09:34

    Well done Madonna. Thank you.

  • Tafae - 2012-12-29 09:50

    Thanks you Madonna. The spineless Govts of Africa should hang their heads in shame. . .

  • phiill.matsinhe - 2012-12-29 12:55

    Well done Madonna its a good example to the World over, other millionaires there must follow

  • luna.moon.5243817 - 2012-12-29 15:50

    I did not know that she is a builder.

  • rofhiwa.ronald.1 - 2012-12-29 16:46

    what a good samaritan, thanks for her generosity ::one::

  • singatha.jongihlati - 2012-12-29 17:12

    Now this story has got me thinking...a former trade unionist turned billionaire businessman was bidding for a wild cow,wait,wait,...@18 Million~(lost I believe).Something is wrong here.Well done Madonna we need more of you,but preferable that our governments(in Africa)will see the light and do more.

  • robert.doyle.712 - 2012-12-30 02:31

    Locals will burn them down in no time......Africa

  • wynand.kuypers.5 - 2012-12-30 11:16

    Well done Madonna!Malawi will rise from the ashes.A small country with enormous potential.And the political will is also there with the new president elected.Africa was always crippled by its political leaders.Male dominated dictators, rather then compasionate leaders are on the order of the day.A leader must lead by example.And those ones you can count only on your one hand in Africa.

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