Elsewhere online
January 30, 2012

Madonna's Charity Unveils New Plan for Malawi Schools

Ten months after folding a highly publicized project to build an all-girls academy in Malawi, pop superstar Madonna's charity is set to begin work on 10 new schools in the southern African country, in cooperation with local organizations, says the Associated Press

Raising Malawi will provide $300,000 to BuildOn—a nonprofit group that has already erected 50 schools in Malawi and more than 425 around the world—to develop the new facilities, which will be locally run and serve about 1,000 children of both sexes. Construction on the first school is to start in late March.

Last March, Raising Malawi abandoned plans to build and operate an all-girls academy in Malawi after spending $3.8-million, and generating significant local opposition, without breaking ground.

"For schools to be successful, they need to have community ownership and leadership," said Trevor Neilson of Global Philanthropy Group, the giving consultancy Madonna brought in to work with her charity last year. "Raising Malawi shouldn’t be running schools in Malawi. Local communities in Malawi should be running those schools, so that’s a big part of the shift."