Special to the NNPA from the Global Information Network –
A pledge by superstar Madonna to invest $15 million in an academy for underprivileged girls in Malawi has been scrapped by the recording artist.
The pop star known for racy videos had offered the “gift” after her adoption of two Malawian children. The $15 million “Raising Malawi – An Academy for Girls” would have taken in 500 young women to prepare them as future leaders. The school was scheduled to open this year.
Her revised plans have embarrassed government officials who had evicted some 200 villagers from their ancestral lands for the school. The villagers were reportedly paid about $1,500 each for their houses, gardens, and trees but offered no other land.
"We'd like to know why," said education minister Peter Mutharika. "Yes, we do appreciate that it is her project; she devised it and she knows best how to implement it. But still, as government, we'd be interested to know why there is this change."
Children’s rights activist Maxwell Matewere chided Madonna for "dumping" the project. "You educate a few to educate others,” he said. “She must borrow a leaf from others like Oprah [Winfrey] who did it in South Africa."
According to her publicists, Madonna has teamed up with the Global Philanthropy Group to "shift the strategies so that we can accomplish our goals with more efficiency as we continue to consult our government partners in Malawi". A pilot school is on the cards “that will address the barriers keeping girls from secondary education".
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