Today in Madonna History: May 28, 2008

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On May 28 2008, Madonna learned that she was officially going to be allowed to adopt David Banda.

The High Court in Malawi granted Madonna permanent adoption of 2-year-old David Banda.

Madonna’s lawyer made this statement:

We are very happy with what the judge has ruled. Finally the court has granted Madonna full adoption rights of the boy…It’s all over, thank God. It is a positive and beautiful judgment that will have an impact on Malawi’s adoption laws.”

Today in Madonna History: January 8, 2013

On January 8 2013, Raising Malawi announced that Madonna’s on-going commitment to Malawi had completed the construction of ten primary schools to support the education of orphans and children of the country. The new schools serve to educate 4,871 children. The new schools were the result of a partnership between Madonna, her charity Raising Malawi and the global non-profit organization buildOn.

The tens schools were built six months ahead of schedule.

Madonna had this to say about the new schools:

“I am overjoyed that my commitment along with buildOn’s to help educate the children of Malawi has come to fruition. In a country where girls have little opportunity for education, it’s additionally inspiring to know that more than half the students attending will be young girls. The fact that more than 4,800 children in Malawi will get to go to school next year is a tremendous step forward for their individual growth and the growth of Malawi.”

Today in Madonna History: October 30, 2006

On October 30 2006, Madonna appeared on the cover of People magazine with the headline: Madonna’s Adoption Drama.

Here’s a snippet of the article:

Bringing Home David By Karen S. Schneider

As Madonna and Her Husband, Guy Ritchie Welcome Home Their New 13-Month-Old Son from Malawi, Local Human Rights Groups—and Some of the Boy’s Relatives—Raise Questions Over the Legality of the Adoption.

Madonna had only seen a snapshot of David Banda and had learned only basic information about him when she and her husband, Guy Ritchie flew to the African nation of Malawi on Oct. 3. But when the singer arrived at the Home of Hope Orphanage Centre and met the 13-month-old boy, says Madonna’s spokeswoman Liz Rosenberg, “It was love at first sight.” Adds a witness: “The look of pure joy on her face was beyond words, not unlike when her children [Lourdes, 10, and Rocco, 6] were born.”

About a week later—even as a storm of controversy was brewing over the planned adoption—Madonna’s happiness was echoed in a dimly lit room of the High Court in the Malawian capital of Lilongwe. The pop superstar, 48, and her director husband, 38, met, for the first time, with David’s dad, a farmer named Yohane Banda. Through a translator who spoke Banda’s Chichewa language, “she asked lots of questions,” says Banda, 32. “How old I am, what I do for a living, everything.”

Madonna also made promises—to provide Banda’s only child with a loving home, and to bring him back to Malawi to visit. For the singer, the face-to-face with Banda marked a turning point in an almost year-long effort to adopt a child from an impoverished nation where she helps fund six orphanages. (She has also pledged to sponsor improvements through the Millennium Promise program.) For Banda—who ekes out a living farming onions and cabbage, and placed David in the church-run Home of Hope when his wife died—it was a chance to give his son, he tells PEOPLE, “a brighter future.” Adds David’s grandmother Asineti Mwale, 56: “God has heard our prayer. May he bless this kindhearted woman abundantly.”

Today in Madonna History: October 25, 2009

On October 25 2009, Madonna released this statement before she arrived in Malawi for the ground breaking ceremony for the Raising Malawi Academy for Girls (the photos here are from the event):

My family and I are on our way to Malawi to attend the ground breaking ceremony for Raising Malawi Academy for Girls. The ceremony will take place on Monday, October 26 at 3:00 p.m. on the future site of the Academy.

Our vision for the school is to empower girls to become Malawi’s future leaders. Our goal is to teach them to challenge themselves, serve their local communities and develop their country.

We created this vision in partnership with the local Malawian Ministry of Education, and other educational experts from Malawi, Sub-Saharan Africa and elsewhere around the world. We are developing and using innovative educational approaches, cutting-edge architectural design methods, and other modern technologies, which we hope, will become a replicable model for girls secondary school education. Research proves that young girls throughout the developing world are often left without opportunities to receive a comprehensive education and the benefits that education can provide.

It’s an honor for me to be able to help as many of these girls as I can achieve their dreams. I’m also incredibly proud of all the projects Raising Malawi is involved in and I look forward to visiting a number of them during my visit.

Today in Madonna History: August 2, 2008

On August 2 2008, Madonna appeared on the cover of Woman & Home magazine.

Here’s a snippet of Madonna talking about her work in Malawi and giving back to the world:

I first became involved with Malawi as I got to know someone who lived in the Ivory Coast. He was friends with Victoria Keelan, who had come to his rescue because there had been a water shortage in the Ivory Coast. She asked if he had an idea of someone who could help with the situation with the orphans in Malawi. He had something to do with the distribution of my children’s books in the Ivory Coast. On the back of the book it says that all the proceeds are donated to a children’s charity. So he thought, “Madonna’s interested in children”. He got in touch with me and that’s how the whole ball got rolling.

I think the criticism that celebrities face when they are tackling humanitarian issues is down to the cynicism of the public. People like to criticise. It’s human nature. But I believe that if you have one iota of compassion, you can’t ignore what’s going on. You have to figure out ways to be a part of the solution.

Everything that’s going on in the world is pretty scary. And people know we are living on borrowed time – whether it’s global warming, the 36 wars that are going on at any given time or terrorism. A lot of people in privileged positions are waking up and thinking it’s a little bit absurd to be thinking about what their next film is going to be. There is a lot of social consciousness going on and that can only be a good thing.

I certainly hope that people realise there’s a lot more to being Madonna than taking off my clothes. I hope that the SEX book [which came out in 1992] is not the only thing that I’m identified with. I have done and plan to do many other things.

Today in Madonna History: April 3, 2008

On April 3 2008, it was announced that Madonna would join Sharon Stone and Harvey Weinstein at the annual Amfar Fundraising Gala in Cannes on May 22:

Madonna, Sharon Stone, Harvey Weinstein, Michelle Yeoh, Michel Litvak, Carine Roitfeld, Caroline Gruosi – Scheufele, and amfAR Chairman of the Board Kenneth Cole will serve as chairs of amfAR’s Cinema Against AIDS, to be held on May 22 during the 61st annual Cannes International Film Festival. The evening will be presented by Bold Films, Chopard, and the Weinstein Company. The annual star – studded event, which will benefit amfAR, will take place at Le Moulin de Mougins and will feature a formal dinner, along with amfAR’s world – renowned live auction and a special performance by Seal.

In addition, this year’s event will feature a short clip of I Am Because We Are, the Madonna – produced and – narrated documentary about children orphaned by AIDS in Malawi. The full screening of I Am Because We Are is scheduled to take place the evening before, May 21, in Cannes and will be associated with amfAR’s Cinema Against AIDS event. Madonna’s long history with amfAR began in 1992, when she received the Foundation’s Award of Courage.

Harvey Weinstein and Sharon Stone, tireless advocates for AIDS research and amfAR, will conduct the highly anticipated live auction with the assistance of several of the event chairs and other celebrities who will be present. In Past years, the auction has seen legendary impromptu performances by Sir Elton John, Robin Williams, Natalie Cole, Liza Minnelli, Sheryl Crow, Ringo Starr, Macy Gray, Milla Jovovich, and Lionel Ritchie. Last year’s live auction raised million, bringing the evening’s fundraising total to million. amfAR’s annual Cinema Against AIDS gala has been an important and successful fundraising event for the Foundation since 1993, generating more than million for essential AIDS research. Past events have been hosted by Dame Elizabeth Taylor, Sharon Stone, Demi Moore, and Sir Elton John.

Today in Madonna History: March 26, 2009

On March 26 2009, Madonna’s I Am Because We Are documentary premiered online via YouTube and Hulu. The documentary was directed by Nathan Rissman and narrated by Madonna.

According to the press release:

I Am Because We Are depicts a journey in the second poorest country in the world, Malawi. In a country of 12 million people, so many children without parents has caused irreparable damage. The film attempts to explore what is going on in the heads and hearts of these orphans, and what the future holds for them. Suffering from AIDS, infections and malnutrition, most of the children in Malawi are in need for food, medical care, but also for proper education and guidance. More than just a story about Malawi, I Am Because We Are provides the audience with keys to help changing the situation but also spreads hope for a better world.

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