Wednesday, April 18, 2007

Madonna Visited Malawian Kids’ Center

Madonna and her 9-year-old daughter, Lourdes, visited a center for street children that benefits from the charity work the pop star is doing in this impoverished southern African country. Madonna, wearing her now familiar straw hat, and Lourdes arrived at the center Wednesday and were whisked into the compound of three buildings. The 47-year-old singer is visiting Malawi to check on projects run by her Raising Malawi organization.

She arrived Monday with Lourdes and David Banda, the Malawian toddler she is hoping to adopt. Singing and clapping were heard coming from children inside what is called a social rehabilitation center in the capital. The center cares for about two dozen children, providing them with food, clothing and schooling before reintegrating them into their communities.

A crowd of onlookers cheered “Madonna, Madonna” when she arrived. “Well done, Madonna. We love you. Adopt more,” read the sign carried by Richmond Muchina.

“I love Madonna and she is most welcome,” he said. “I wish she would come every week. She must adopt more and more because she has got the power.” The Spirituality for Kids program, based on Kabbalah, Judaism’s mystical sect that counts Madonna among its devotees, is involved with the center.

Madonna took custody of then 14-month-old David during a visit to Malawi in October. The move sparked controversy and raised concerns that regulations were being swept aside to benefit a pop star who has been generous to the country. Madonna maintains she has followed the law.

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