April 5, 2010 / 7:46 PM / 8 years ago

Madonna returns to Malawi on charity trip

NEW YORK (Reuters) - Pop star Madonna has returned to Malawi where she adopted two children to see construction of a school for orphaned girls she funded and launch a new education campaign using mobile technology, her spokeswoman said on Monday.

U.S. pop star Madonna holds her adopted Malawian child Mercy James during a visit to Gumulira village, about 80 km (50 miles) from the Malawian capital Lilongwe, April 5, 2010.REUTERS/Mike Hutchings

The singer is on a trip with her Raising Malawi charity she began in 2006, and will watch the first bricks laid down at her school, The Raising Malawi Academy for Girls, located in Chinkhota village about 15 kilometers outside the capital, Lilongwe, according to the charity’s website.

Madonna also will visit the Millennium Village — a United Nations-backed project to fight poverty — along with economist Jeffrey Sachs and CEO of consumer electronics firm Ericsson Hans Vestberg. She and Vestberg will formally announce an education campaign on Tuesday.

“I look forward to seeing the amazing progress being made in that community as well as several other projects that are currently underway including the creation of a Girl’s Academy,” Madonna said in a statement.

In 2006, Madonna adopted a son, David, from the nation, and faced an outcry of public opinion when she was accused of getting special treatment from the Malawi government for skirting laws that ban nonresidents from adopting children.

Her 2009 adoption of a daughter also raised eyebrows, and last November the school became the subject of controversy in Malawi when villagers demanded more money for the land the government has leased to Madonna’s charity.

Pop star Madonna sits with her adopted Malawian child Mercy James and daughter Lourdes during a bricklaying ceremony at the site of her Raising Malawi Girls Academy, near the capital Lilongwe, April 6, 2010. REUTERS/Mike Hutchings

Reporting by Christine Kearney, editing by Bob Tourtellotte

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