Malawi government applauds Madonna

Malawi lauds Madonna for helping orphans


LILONGWE (Reuters) - The Malawi government on Tuesday applauded
Madonna's efforts to put the plight of the country's AIDS orphans on
the global stage and raising money to support them.

The American
singer said last week she would work with luxury goods maker Gucci to
raise at least $2 million for Malawi's one million orphans.

Madonna and the Italian firm will host a fundraising event with dinner,
musical performance and a party on February 6 next year to mark the
opening of Gucci's largest store in the world, on New York's Fifth

"What she is doing for orphans of this country very few
super stars like her can do that, she has managed to put their plight
on the world stage
," government spokesperson and Information Minister
Patricia Kaliati told Reuters.

"Madonna has built clinics in
rural areas where government has failed to reach and because of that
she has saved many lives of pregnant mothers who could have died
," she

The pop star and her husband Guy Ritchie's bid to adopt
David Banda from Malawi has hit several snags since they took the
13-month-old boy from the African country last year to their home in

The boy had been placed in an orphanage by his father
after the death of his mother. Madonna is due to return to Malawi next
for a hearing before she can permanently adopt the child.

Madonna said the charity event would benefit UNICEF and the charity she
co-founded in 2006, Raising Malawi, which focuses on trying to help
Malawi's orphans, many of whose parents have died of AIDS.


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