Madonna retourne au Malawi pour poser la première pierre d'une nouvelle école pour filles.
Madonna's mission with Mercy as she returns to Malawi to lay first brick of a new £10million girls' school
Madonna sports bizarre outfit as she arrives in Malawi for charity tour of the country
By Katherine Faulkner
Last updated at 8:05 PM on 06th April 2010
It was a poignant moment, but the significance of which may not be recognised by the four-year-old girl adopted by Madonna at just this moment.
Mercy James joined her mother and sister Lourdes as she returned to Malawi for the ceremony to lay the first brick for the foundations of a £10million school for girls in the impoverished country.
The brick had the inscription Raising Malawi Academy for Girls and the motto Dare to Dream etched into it.
'It has always been my dream to train women leaders who can help develop the country,' Madonna said during the event.
The ceremony, held at the site of the school in Chinkhota village, some 15 kilometres (nine miles) from the capital Lilongwe, was attended by education officials and curious villagers.
'I grew up as a poor girl with my mother, I had no chance for good education. It is my aim to see Malawian girls get the right education,' Madonna said.
Yesterday the pop queen marked the unveiling a new water pump in the Mchinji district of Malawi as part of her charity tour.
And her healthy presence at the event, in a crisp red summer dress and pristine white sandals, was a sign of how far she has come in the months since her adoption.
Cuddling up to her mother, and then her sister, Lourdes, 13, Mercy later watched as her adopted mother pumped fresh water into a bucket to the delight of locals in the district where adopted brother David, four, was born.
Madonna has given millions to the impoverished country, where four in ten live on less than a dollar a day.
Dressed in heavy black boots, the pop queen lent a hand at the UN-backed Millenium Village in the southeast African republic's capital LiLongwe.
Today she will lay the first brick of her £10million school, Raising Malawi Academy for Girls.
But while the villagers might have been glad to have clean running water, the pop queen herself opted for the fizzy stuff, carrying a bottle of what looked like Coca-Cola.
Madonna snubs normal drinking water in favour of special ‘Kaballah water’ as part of her membership of the trendy religious movement.
It has been reported she spends $10,000 a month on the water, which she believes has special healing properties.
It is Madonna’s first visit to Malawi since she controversially adopted a second Malawian child, Mercy James, last year.
The little girl’s grandmother claimed she had been ‘stolen’ from the family and Madonna was criticised for using a private jet to fly exercise machines, expensive wines and a personal trainer into the impoverished country at a cost of tens of thousands of pounds.
Madonna, who has spent millions to help fight poverty in the country, was also accused of using her money and influence to circumvent Malawian law, which stipulates that foreigners must be resident in Malawi for 18 months before adopting a child.
She adopted David Banda from an orphanage in 2006 when he was 18 months old despite opposition from his biological father Yohane Banda.
Mr Banda complained the following year that he had only been allowed to see his son once since the adoption.
Madonna has pumped millions into the impoverished southern African country, where four in ten people live on less than a dollar a day and the life expectancy is just 41.
And she beats the Beatles too...
Two years ago Madonna appeared at number two in an official chart of 100 all-time top pop artists.
That year she was nudged out by The Beatles, but yesterday the queen of reinvention showed it was her music still making the biggest waves.
Figures revealed her to be the most played artist of the past decade - knocking the Fab Four into second spot.
Madonna, who has been clocking up hits since 1984, topped a list of artists who have received most airplay and public performances of their recordings from 2000 to 2009.
The statistics were compiled by royalties body PPL for a Radio 2 countdown which was broadcast yesterday.
Madonna - whose massive hits have included Material Girl, Into The Groove, Hung Up and 4 Minutes - was the only female act to make the top five. The Beatles showed their longevity by being ranked runners-up, despite splitting three decades before the data even began.
Third-placed Robbie Williams was placed ahead of his former bandmates Take That, despite their new-found flush of success and chart domination, finishing fifth.
Fourth place went to Queen who continue to be widely played - with hits such as Bohemian Rhapsody - despite the death of frontman Freddie Mercury eight years before the noughties began.
Radio 2's People's Artist Chart was drawn from recordings played on radio, TV and in public places such as pubs, clubs and shops.
Source: Mail Online.
Landmark moment: Madonna puts the cement mix down as she attends the first brick laying of the Raising Malawi Academy for Girls.
Raising Mercy: Madonna returned to Malawi with daughter Mercy to unveil a water pump and lay the first brick on the £10million girl's school she is building.
Mission: Economist Professor Jeffrey Sachs, special advisor to the UN Secretary General, addresses the audience as Madonna, Mercy and Lourdes listen in.
It works, Mummy: Mercy watches the water flow as Madonna tests a new pump in the Mchinji district of Malawi, where her adopted brother David was born.
Getting physical: Madonna gets the water flowing while Professor Jeffrey Sachs, a development affairs expert and mentor of the Mchinji initiative, looks on.