I am a huge Madonna fan. I mean huge!!! I purchased yesterday the latest issue of Vanity Fair. The issue was co-edited by Bono himself, and it is entirely on Africa. When I saw the article below, I was happy to see that one of my idols shares one of my passions. To help others in need, especially in Africa. Now what makes it remarkable, she admits in this article to a discovery. So read on, and discover Madonna’s Malawi…
(Psss…I suggest you purchase this issue of Vanity Fair…is fantastic…).
Madonna lends a hand.
by Punch Hutton July 2007
Madonna has done her homework. And her fieldwork. She first visited Malawi in April 2006 after Victoria Keelan, a native Malawian businesswoman, reached out to her because of the work Madonna has done with Spirituality for Kids, a nonprofit organization which aids children in impoverished and devastated areas across the globe. Madonna recalls that Keelan advised, “Look, if you’re in the business of helping children, we have over a million orphans here in Malawi and the problem is insane. It’s an emergency. And they need your help.”
“I want to see girls with educations. I think women are the future of Africa,” says Madonna.
This past October, Madonna took her second trip to Malawi—one of the poorest countries in the world, with 42 percent of its citizens living on less than a dollar a day—and adopted her son David, almost two, who, at the time, was suffering from malaria and pneumonia. In this nation of about 13 million, one million are children who have lost at least one parent to aids.
Madonna was spurred to action. She met with medical anthropologist Dr. Paul Farmer, who has dedicated his life to raising the standard of health care for the world’s destitute, and had conversations with Dr. Jim Yong Kim, the director of the FXB Center for Health and Human Rights, at the Harvard School of Public Health. Through her Raising Malawi organization, she joined a team that began setting up Millennium Villages, which provide maize seed and fertilizer to households, build water and sanitation infrastructures, help start schools, and make medicine more accessible.
Currently, she is working with film director Nathan Rissman on a documentary which aims not only to heighten awareness and effect change in Africa but also to explore what goes on in the heads and hearts of orphaned children. “I’m making my own discoveries as I go,” she says. “You have those great moments of despair and inspiration simultaneously.”