Monday, June 22, 2009

Madonna's star power focuses on orphans

Mercy James Ciccone, the little girl Madonna adopted from Malawi, is set to accompany the U.S. pop star when she goes back on tour this summer, sources said.

Eliza Manyoza, a banana vendor in Malawi's colonial-era capital Zomba, says she has never heard a Madonna song. She only knows the American pop icon as an "adopter" of orphaned children.
"I am told she is a nice woman who wants to help our children," Manyoza, 39, told AFP, with her nine-month-old baby strapped at her back and balancing a basket of bananas on her head.

Madonna has established her own charity Raising Malawi, which has built a state-of-the-art hostel at Home of Hope in Mchinji -- the orphanage where she first saw her adopted son David among the 500 children cared for there.
Plan Malawi, an international charity focussing on children, applauded Madonna's good intentions, but urged her to do more to lobby governments and businesses to strengthen community structures on the ground, Plan adds.
"The challenges facing our orphans and other vulnerable children can be handled with a strong social protection structure," said Mcdonald Mumba, Plan's children's rights advisor.

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