Madonna school-building claim rubbished
MALAWI - Agence France Presse
US singer Madonna performs during her first of two scheduled concerts in Colombia at Atanasio Girardot Stadium in Medellin, Colombia, 28 November 2012, as part of her MDNA Tour. EPA/LUIS EDUARDO NORIEGAMalawi education authorities on Thursday challenged a claim by American pop queen Madonna that her charity last year built 10 new schools in the poor southern African nation.
"The schools Raising Malawi claims to have constructed were already in existence," Education Minister Eunice Kazembe said.
"Raising Malawi only built 10 classroom blocks and not schools. People should know the difference between the two." In December Madonna's charity in tandem with global non-profit buildOn, announced the completion of 10 schools, claiming they would provide education to 4,871 children.
"I am overjoyed that my commitment along with buildOn's to help educate the children of Malawi has come to fruition," Madonna said in a statement issued at the time.
Malawi's education minister said the country wanted to "clarify any misconceptions that may arise." It is not the first time the diva has had trouble with education projects in the country which is the native home of two of her adopted children.
In 2010 Madonna laid the foundation stone of an academy for girls in Chinkota village, outside the capital Lilongwe.
A year later the school project was cancelled because of mismanagement and local employees sacked.
The academy was replaced by plans to build schools, in order to reach more children.
Madonna's charity also supports child care centres in the country where nearly one million children are orphaned by AIDS.