Plans for Madonna's Malawi School Collapse

Her charitable foundation pulls plug amid financial mess

By John Johnson,  Newser Staff

Posted Mar 24, 2011 8:36 PM CDT

(Newser) – A plan spearheaded by Madonna to build a $15 million school for impoverished girls in Malawi has been officially scrapped amid charges that the people running the project on her behalf squandered millions, reports the New York Times. In addition, the foundation Madonna founded with other Kabbalah devotees, Raising Malawi, has ousted its board of directors over the mess. The singer is among those stepping in to form a caretaker board.

Madonna issued a statement saying she still intended to focus on the "education crisis" in Malawi—she's adopted two children from there—but didn't shed light on the apparent lack of oversight at her foundation. The girls' school never got built, but those running the project managed to spend nearly $4 million on salaries, designs, and employee cars.

Madonna plants a tree at a ground-breaking ceremony for her Raising Malawi Academy for Girls in Malawi, Monday, Oct.  26, 2009.
Madonna plants a tree at a ground-breaking ceremony for her Raising Malawi Academy for Girls in Malawi, Monday, Oct. 26, 2009.   (AP Photo/Tsvangirayi Mukwazhi)
In this 2009 file photo, Madonna with adopted son David Banda visits the Mphandula Day Care Centre for orphans near Lilongwe, Malawi.
In this 2009 file photo, Madonna with adopted son David Banda visits the Mphandula Day Care Centre for orphans near Lilongwe, Malawi.   (AP Photo/Tsvangirayi Mukwazhi, file)
A file photo of Madonna in Malawi in 2009.
A file photo of Madonna in Malawi in 2009.   (AP Photo/Riccardo Gangale, file)
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