Madonna-Backed Charity Drops Plans to Build School in Malawi

School children in Malawi. Rising Malawi, the organization founded by singer Madonna has come under fire and its plans to build the school is dropped. Photo by: Michael Bianchi / CC BY-NC-ND

A high-profile organization co-founded by the singer Madonna to build a school for poor girls in Malawi, has come under fire, with its board replaced by a caretaker team and its plans to build the school, dropped.

Michael Berg, a co-director of the U.S.-based Kabbalah Center International and Madonna’s co-founder in the foundation, announced the board’s replacement and the decision to “to discontinue plans for the Raising Malawi Academy for Girls, as it was originally conceived” in an email to members of the center who contributed to the project, The New York Times reports.

The former executive director of Raising Malawi, who left in October 2010, has been criticized for his management style and some $3.8 million in cost overruns for the proposed school, which has not yet started construction.

The New York Times, citing foundation officials, reports that Raising Malawi will not disband and will use money intended for the school in different ways to help the poor. In a statement, Madonna said she still intends to use Raising Malawi to push for improvement in the African country’s education sector. 

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About the author

  • Ivy Mungcal

    As former senior staff writer, Ivy Mungcal contributed to several Devex publications. Her focus is on breaking news, and in particular on global aid reform and trends in the United States, Europe, the Caribbean, and the Americas. Before joining Devex in 2009, Ivy produced specialized content for U.S. and U.K.-based business websites.