Madonna, Malawi's Angel of Hope
Once a Material Girl, today’s Madonna appears to be leading a lifestyle that is diametrically opposed to her 80s persona, which is naturally happens when a person reaches a certain age and they take stock of their life. While the 27-year music veteran continues to enjoy many of the spoils of an affluent life and still dabbles in high profile pop-culture-friendly projects like her upcoming Macy’s fashion line with daughter Lourdes (called appropriately enough “Material Girl”), she has in recent years become deeply entrenched in more charitable endeavors.
Much publicity has been given to Madonna’s 2006-founded Raising Malawi non-profit charity organization which she described as “pretty much tak(ing) over my life, and I’m so grateful it has”. In an effort to help Malawi’s 2,000,000 orphans, many of which are casualties of Africa’s AIDS epidemic, the singer not only funds six separate orphanages in the area (which help 25,000 children), she also just laid the first brick in the foundation of a new $15 million Malawi girl’s school called Raising Malawi Academy for Girls in Lilongwe. Engraved with the phrase “dare to dream,” the brick seems symbolic of her desire to rebuild the region by laying the groundwork for a hopeful and “bright future”.
Realizing this lifelong dream is perhaps cathartic for the singer who herself lost her own mother at the age of 5. Her “close connection” to Malawian orphans might explain why she chose to adopt daughter Mercy James and son David Banda, both of whom appear to be thriving under her care. The seemingly tireless do-gooder is also in the process of establishing a telecommunications and fundraising initiative called the United Nations Millennium Village which provides internet access to school children in 11 developing nations (thanks to donated Ericsson computers) along with academic scholarship opportunities. Rock on, queen of pop…long may you reign!
via Female First