Madonna’s plan to build school in Malawi collapses
March 25, 2011 News

Madonna’s plan to build school in Malawi collapses

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Raising Malawi, the foundation started by Madonna after she adopted son David from the African nation, is in regrouping mode amid complaints that $3.8 million has been funneled into a now-defunct plan to build a girls’ school and there is absolutely nothing to show for it.

The charity’s cofounder, Michael Berg, said in a statement…

“A thoughtful decision has been made to discontinue plans for the Raising Malawi Academy for Girls, as it was originally conceived”

According to the New York Times, Raising Malawi’s board of directors has been replaced by a caretaker board that includes Madonna and her manager. The foundation’s executive director, Philippe van den Bossche, left his post in October after allegedly racking up expenditures for personal comforts, like a car and driver and a golf club membership.

In a statement last Thursday, Madonna said…

“There’s a real education crisis in Malawi.
Sixty-seven percent of girls don’t go to secondary school, and this is simply unacceptable.
Our team is going to work hard to address this in every way we can.
While I’m proud of [other] accomplishments, I’m frustrated that our education work has not moved forward in a faster way.”

Global Philanthropy Group founder Trevor Neilson, who Madonna consulted last year after learning of trouble within her foundation, told the Times that it’s unclear where exactly all of the $3.8 million that was frittered away went, but that much of it was spent on commissioning designs, hiring an architect and other preliminary measures.

The foundation has raised a reported $18 million over the last several years, with Madonna contributing upward of $11 million of her own money to get the effort off the ground.
Now that plans for the school have been scrapped for the time being, Raising Malawi officials say that they will start distributing money in new ways to benefit children’s education in the country.