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.

Today in Madonna History: April 5, 2011

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On April 5 2011, Madonna’s publicist Liz Rosenberg released this statement:

“In recent days a number of wild and totally false rumors about Madonna’s philanthropy–spread by bloggers and tabloids–have begun appearing on the internet. As we have said previously, Raising Malawi is currently undergoing a series of positive changes in an effort to serve more children. Neither Madonna nor Raising Malawi is being investigated by the FBI or the IRS. It is unfortunate that people have chosen to say things about Raising Malawi and Madonna that are not true. Madonna remains committed and focused on what matters helping the children of Malawi.”

Today in Madonna History: February 6, 2008

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On February 6 2008, Madonna and Gucci hosted A Night to Benefit Raising Malawi and UNICEF at the United Nations in New York City.

Here is the press release for the event:

Madonna and Gucci will host an exclusive fundraising event on February 6, 2008 to celebrate the opening of Gucci’s largest store in the world, the New York 5th Avenue Flagship. Co-chaired by Gucci’s Creative Director, Frida Giannini, this event will benefit Raising Malawi and UNICEF, and will consist of dinner followed by a guest speaker, musical performance and an after party. This special evening will be dedicated to raising funds and awareness for orphans and children made vulnerable by HIV/AIDS in Africa.

Joining Madonna and Frida Giannini is a list of distinguished co-chairs, including Adrien Brody, Arpad Busson, Salma Hayek and Francois-Henri Pinault, Tea Leoni, Lucy Liu, Demi Moore and Ashton Kutcher, Gwyneth Paltrow, Professor Jeffrey Sachs, and Sting and Trudie Styler.

Both together and individually, Gucci and Madonna share a history of commitment to the fight against AIDS, as well as support for orphans and children affected by HIV/AIDS. Beginning in 1997, Madonna served as Honorary Co-chair of the record-breaking Gucci fundraising event for Aids Project Los Angeles. Ten years later, Gucci and Madonna have both responded to the global circumstances of the AIDS pandemic, pursuing interests on behalf of orphans and children affected by HIV/AIDS in Africa.

“I am grateful that Gucci is joining forces with me to bring attention to a country with millions of children in desperate need of our help” said Madonna. “Raising Malawi has already done tremendous work in helping these children. But we have much more to do and this event will surely bring us closer to our goal.”

Since 2006, Raising Malawi has been dedicated to bringing an end to the extreme poverty and hardship endured by Malawi’s one million orphans, over half of whom have been orphaned by AIDS. Co-founded by Madonna, Raising Malawi provides thousands of children with physical assistance, long-term sustainability, and psycho-social programs to address their emotional needs through several community-based projects including orphan care centers, orphanages, medical clinics, crisis nurseries, feeding programs and a soon-to-come girls’ boarding school.
Gucci has been a UNICEF corporate partner since 2004, starting with a local holiday event in Los Angeles, and growing to a global campaign in over twenty countries in 2005. The Gucci campaign supports UNICEF programs in Malawi and Mozambique, where over one million children have been orphaned by the HIV/AIDS pandemic. Gucci’s support has enabled UNICEF to provide lifesaving healthcare, protection, clean water and education to orphans and children affected by HIV/AIDS. “AIDS is one of the most devastating public health problems in recent history,” said Caryl Stern, President and CEO of the U.S. Fund for UNICEF. “Every day, 6,000 children lose a parent to AIDS, and 1,400 children die from AIDS. We can’t thank Gucci and Madonna enough for their commitment to helping UNICEF fight the battle against HIV and AIDS. By helping us raise funds, they are helping children in Africa to survive and thrive.”

“We are honored to have Madonna host this very special event with us, celebrating the opening of our New York Fifth Avenue flagship store while generating funds for Raising Malawi and UNICEF,” said Mark Lee, Chief Executive Officer of Gucci. “At this significant moment in Gucci’s history, we are proud to continue our commitment to a cause of great importance to the company. We are inspired by the work of Raising Malawi and UNICEF – organizations that are improving life in communities devastated by HIV/AIDS, and helping thousands of children in their daily struggle to survive.”

The event is being entirely underwritten by Gucci, so every dollar raised will go directly to the important work of Raising Malawi and UNICEF.

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: April 6, 2010

Madonna pumps water from a hand pump next to her adopted Malawian child Mercy James during a visit to Gumulira village m-mercy-2 m-mercy-3 m-mercy-4

On April 6 2010, Madonna and 4-year-old daughter Mercy James pumped water, during a visit to the Millennium Village, an anti-poverty project in Lilongwe, Malawi.

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