Madonna to Open Girls School in Malawi

Singer to contribute $15 million for new school

By DANIEL MACHT
|  Friday, Oct 23, 2009  |  Updated 12:38 AM PDT
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Madonna is giving back to the country where she adopted two children.

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Move over Oprah – Madonna can start a school for girls in Africa too.

The “Material Girl” is set to visit the southern African country of Malawi on Sunday and will attend a brick-laying ceremony at the site of a multi-million dollar girls’ school her charity is building, Reuters reports.

On Monday, Madonna will meet the country’s president while laying the foundation stone for her school in Lilongwe, a staffer for the charity, Raising Malawi, told the wire news agency. The school will reportedly cost about $15 million to set up and serve a country where AIDS has orphaned over a million children.

Madonna has adopted two children of her own from Malawi. In 2006, she brought home 13-month-old David Banda; 4-year-old Mercy James joined the brood in June.

Both adoptions were controversial at the time as critics complained that Malawi’s government had ignored its own laws that banned adoptions by non-residents.

Madge is not the only celebrity to push education in Africa.

Talk show queen Oprah Winfrey has opened two schools in South Africa: the $1.6 million Seven Fountains Primary School and the $40 million Leadership Academy for Girls.

But Winfrey has had problems of her own on the continent. In 2007, a dorm matron at Winfrey’s Leadership Academy was fired and charged with sex abuse. Earlier this year, the same school suspended seven students for sexual misconduct.

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