The press on Madonna not building school in Malawi

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La presse sur Madonna ne construisant pas l'école au Malawi.


Madonna won't be building Malawi school
25/03/2011
bangshowbiz.com

Madonna's plans to build a school for girls in Malawi have been "discontinued".
The 'Celebration' singer pledged to build an academy in the African country following her adoption of now five-year-old son David in 2006, but the $3.8 million she has put into the project through her charitable foundation Raising Malawi has so far not developed into an educational establishment.
In an email to contributors to the school fund from the Kabbalah Centre International in Los Angeles, Michael Berg - who co-founded the charity with the pop star, who is a follower of the mystical faith, and the centre - claimed original plans were not to be finished.
According to the New York Times newspaper, he said: "A thoughtful decision has been made to discontinue plans for the Raising Malawi Academy for Girls, as it was originally conceived."
The board of directors at the charitable organisation has been replaced and a caretaker board, including the 52-year-old singer, has taken over.
Madonna - who also adopted now six-year-old Mercy from Malawi in 2009, joining children Lourdes, 14, and Rocco, 10 - admits she is "frustrated" at the development because of the lack of education in the country.
She said in a statement: "There is a real education crisis in Malawi, 67 per cent of girls don't go to secondary school.
"Our team is going to work hard to address this in every way we can."
It has not been determined exactly what has happened to the $3.8 million, with Trevor Nielsen from the Global Philanthropy Group - who Madonna recruited last year when initial signs of trouble were brewing at her charity - claiming funds have not all been "accounted for".
He said: "Despite $3.8 million having been spent by the previous management team, the project has not broken ground, there was no title to the land and there was, over all, a startling lack of accountability on the part of the management team in Malawi and the management team in the United States.
"We have yet to determine exactly what happened to all of that $3.8 million. We have not accounted for all the funds that were used."

Source: BANG Media International.


Madonna's Malawi school for girls a fail
Posted by Tucker Reals
March 25, 2011 5:22 AM

Few would argue Madonna's skills on the stage as a performer, but her abilities in the area of third world development appear to be lacking.
The New York Times reports Friday that the pop superstar's charity project to build a $15 million school for girls in the impoverished African nation of Malawi has not only failed miserably, but managed to waste $3.8 million in the process.
"Raising Malawi," as the education development project co-founded by Madonna is known, was grossly mismanaged by it's board of directors, who have now been dismissed and replaced by a care-taker group including the Material Girl herself, the Times says.
Madonna donated $11 million of her own money to co-found the organization with Michael Berg, the co-director of the mystic Jewish movement known as Kabbalah, of which Madonna is a member.
A global philanthropy pro, Trevor Neilson, was recruited by Madonna in November 2010 when the singer realized her organization was being poorly managed. According to the Times, Neilson and his Global Philanthropy Group warned Madonna that trying to build a multi-million dollar school for about 400 girls in a desperately poor nation was a poor use of resources.
"Despite $3.8 million having been spent by the previous management team, the project has not broken ground, there was no title to the land and there was, over all, a startling lack of accountability on the part of the management team in Malawi and the management team in the United States," Neilson tells the Times.
He added that his group has thus far been unable to figure out "exactly what happened to all of that $3.8 million. We have not accounted for all the funds that were used."
Some of it, according to the newspaper's report, went to funding golf club memberships, private homes and vehicles, and lofty salaries for Raising Malawi's staff in Africa.

Source: CBS News.


Madonna's plans to build Malawi school 'discontinued'
Updated 10:30am on 25 Mar 2011

Madonna's plans to build a school for girls in Malawi have been "discontinued".
The singer pledged to build an academy in the African country following her adoption of now five-year-old son David in 2006, but the $3.8 million she has put into the project through her charitable foundation Raising Malawi has so far not developed into an educational establishment.
In an email to contributors to the school fund from the Kabbalah Centre International in Los Angeles, Michael Berg - who co-founded the charity with the pop star, who is a follower of the mystical faith, and the centre - claimed original plans were not to be finished.
According to the New York Times newspaper, he said: "A thoughtful decision has been made to discontinue plans for the Raising Malawi Academy for Girls, as it was originally conceived."
The board of directors at the charitable organisation has been replaced and a caretaker board, including the 52-year-old singer, has taken over.
Madonna - who also adopted now six-year-old Mercy from Malawi in 2009, joining children Lourdes, 14, and Rocco, 10 - admits she is "frustrated" at the development because of the lack of education in the country.
She said in a statement: "There is a real education crisis in Malawi, 67 per cent of girls don't go to secondary school.
"Our team is going to work hard to address this in every way we can."
It has not been determined exactly what has happened to the $3.8 million, with Trevor Nielsen from the Global Philanthropy Group - who Madonna recruited last year when initial signs of trouble were brewing at her charity - claiming funds have not all been "accounted for".
He said: "Despite $3.8 million having been spent by the previous management team, the project has not broken ground, there was no title to the land and there was, over all, a startling lack of accountability on the part of the management team in Malawi and the management team in the United States.
"We have yet to determine exactly what happened to all of that $3.8 million. We have not accounted for all the funds that were used."

Source: Evening Standard.


Madonna Won't Be Building Malawi School
25 March 2011 09:25:54

Madonna's planned Raising Malawi Academy for Girls has will not be completed ''as it was originally conceived''.
Madonna's plans to build a school for girls in Malawi have been "discontinued".
The 'Celebration' singer pledged to build an academy in the African country following her adoption of now five-year-old son David in 2006, but the $3.8 million she has put into the project through her charitable foundation Raising Malawi has so far not developed into an educational establishment.
In an email to contributors to the school fund from the Kabbalah Centre International in Los Angeles, Michael Berg - who co-founded the charity with the pop star, who is a follower of the mystical faith, and the centre - claimed original plans were not to be finished.
According to the New York Times newspaper, he said: "A thoughtful decision has been made to discontinue plans for the Raising Malawi Academy for Girls, as it was originally conceived."
The board of directors at the charitable organisation has been replaced and a caretaker board, including the 52-year-old singer, has taken over.
Madonna - who also adopted now six-year-old Mercy from Malawi in 2009, joining children Lourdes, 14, and Rocco, 10 - admits she is "frustrated" at the development because of the lack of education in the country.
She said in a statement: "There is a real education crisis in Malawi, 67 per cent of girls don't go to secondary school.
"Our team is going to work hard to address this in every way we can."
It has not been determined exactly what has happened to the $3.8 million, with Trevor Nielsen from the Global Philanthropy Group - who Madonna recruited last year when initial signs of trouble were brewing at her charity - claiming funds have not all been "accounted for".
He said: "Despite $3.8 million having been spent by the previous management team, the project has not broken ground, there was no title to the land and there was, over all, a startling lack of accountability on the part of the management team in Malawi and the management team in the United States.
"We have yet to determine exactly what happened to all of that $3.8 million. We have not accounted for all the funds that were used."

Source: Contactmusic.


Madonna Abandons School in Africa After Hand-Picked Team Squanders Donations, Report Says
Published March 25, 2011
| FoxNews.com

Madonna has abandoned plans to build her boarding school for girls in the impoverished African country of Malawi after discovering that team she installed to build it had squandered millions.
Despite $3.8 million having been spent by the previous management team, the project has not broken ground, there was no title to the land and there was, over all, a startling lack of accountability on the part of the management team in Malawi and the management team in the United States,” Trevor Neilson, a philanthropic advisor hired by Madonna, told the New York Times. “We have yet to determine exactly what happened to all of that $3.8 million. We have not accounted for all the funds that were used.”
Neilson’s investigation into the mismanagement of funds revealed that millions were spent on lavish salaries, free housing, a golf club membership and a car and driver for the director, Philippe van den Bossche.
A thoughtful decision has been made to discontinue plans for the Raising Malawi Academy for Girls, as it was originally conceived,” Michael Berg, a co-director of the Kabbalah Centre and the co-founder of Raising Malawi, said Thursday.
I’m frustrated that our education work has not moved forward in a faster way,” Madonna said in a statement.
Van den Bossche, who is the boyfriend of Madonna’s former trainer, Tracy Anderson, left Raising Malawi last October upon the discovery of his mismanagement of the funds.
Philippe’s level of mismanagement and lack of oversight was extreme in both aspects of the project,” Neilson said in his report, “and the lack of success of the players on the ground is in large part a result of his inability to effectively manage project plans, people and finances.”
Neilson’s report was also critical of Anjimile Oponyo, who was chosen as the head of the Raising Malawi Academy for Girls.
Her charisma masks a lack of substantive knowledge of the practical application of educational development,” read the report, “and her weak management skills are a major contributor to the current financial and programmatic chaos.”
Back in November, Neilson had warned Madonna that building an expensive boarding school in a desperately poor nation like Malawi was impractical, and suggested the money would be better spent on financing existing education programs.
Madonna, who has adopted two children from Malawi, gave $11 million of her own money to the Raising Malawi charity, which has raised $18 million with help from donations from Tom Cruise, Gwyneth Paltrow and Alex Rodriguez. She said she intends to refocus the direction of the organization and improve education in Malawi.
There’s a real education crisis in Malawi,” Madonna said in a statement. “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.”

Source: FoxNews.


Madonna abandons Malawi school project
Madonna has abandoned plans to build a boarding school for 400 girls in Malawi despite spending $3.8 million (£2.4 million) on the project.
By Alex Spillius, Washington and Mike Pflanz in Nairobi 5:38PM GMT 25 Mar 2011

The singer and her co-founders, the charity Raising Malawi, cancelled plans to complete the £9.4 million school amid allegations of mismanagement.
The charity has been supported by celebrities such actors Tom Cruise and Gwyneth Paltrow among the attendees at a glitzy Manhattan fund-raising event two years ago, as well as Kabbalah Centre International, the Jewish mystical organisation that Madonna belongs to.
"A thoughtful decision has been made to discontinue plans for the Raising Malawi Academy for Girls, as it was originally conceived," Michael Berg, co-founder of Raising Malawi, told the New York Times.
Madonna said she was intent on continuing the charity, which is now being run by a caretaker board that includes the singer and her manager.
"There's a real education crisis in Malawi. Sixty-seven per cent of girls don't go to secondary school, and this is simply unacceptable," she said.
She has lent £6.9 million of her money to the organisation, which has raised £11 million so far.
Troubles with the school first surfaced in October, when Philippe van den Bossche, the boyfriend of Madonna's former personal trainer, departed as executive director.
Madonna commissioned a report by the Global Philanthropy Group, which, according to its chairman Trevor Neilson, found a "startling lack of accountability" on the part of the management in the Malawi and the US.
It was alleged that there was no land title for the intended site of the school in Lilongwe and that building work had not begun, despite Madonna's attendance at a "groundbreaking" ceremony.
Mr Neilson told the New York Times that he had advised the performer that starting a school from scratch was not the best use of her funds. He recommended providing money to existing educational schemes run by established non-government organisations with expertise in the field.
Madonna' connection with Malawi began when she adopted a child in 2006, and then another in 2009.
International adoptions by Americans has decreased sharply due to the economic crisis and increased regulation imposed after high-profile celebrity cases, agency officials said.
In 2004, almost 23,000 children were adopted from around the world by American families, but by 2010 that figure had more than halved to 11,058, according to US State Department figures.
"We have stopped organising adoptions for overseas clients because it was just too hard to find good families," said Leah Kigutha, director of Maji Mzuri Children's Centre in Nairobi, Kenya.
A surge in enquiries up to 2010 – attributed to publicity surrounding Madonna's case – had stalled as increased legislation governing adoptions was discussed by the US authorities, Ms Kigutha said.

Source: Daily Telegraph.


Madonna's School in Malawi Not Happening as Entire Foundation Falters
24/03/2011 - 8:55 by Natalie Finn

Don't tell Madonna her charitable efforts have failed.
Raising Malawi, the foundation started by the pop icon 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.
"A thoughtful decision has been made to discontinue plans for the Raising Malawi Academy for Girls, as it was originally conceived," the charity's cofounder, Michael Berg, said in a statement.
So where does Madonna go from here?
Well, 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.
"There's a real education crisis in Malawi," Madonna said in a statement Thursday. "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," she added.
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 the Material Girl contributing upward of $11 million of her own money to get the effort off the ground.
A few months after adopting daughter Mercy in 2009, Madonna was back in Malawi for what turned out to be a purely ceremonial groundbreaking at the site of the proposed school in the capital city of Lilongwe.
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.

Source: E! Online.

The press on Madonna not building school in Malawi
Madonna arrives at the Raising Malawi initiative's Mphandula Childcare Center, April 8, 2010 in Lilongwe, Malawi.
Photo: Getty.

The press on Madonna not building school in Malawi
Madonna lays the ceremonial first stone at the site of her Raising Malawi Girls Academy.
Photo: REUTERS.

The press on Madonna not building school in Malawi

Publié dans Charity

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