Madonna ends her second visit to Malawi
• Madonna, Malawian child end 6-day visit
From the Associated Press.
Madonna jetted out of Malawi on Sunday after a six-day visit to the impoverished homeland of the toddler she wants to adopt, carrying the boy in her arms as she boarded her plane.
The 20-month-old toddler waved to the bodyguards and driver who had escorted him during the visit. Madonna, wearing her now familiar straw hat, did not look back as she disappeared into the silver jet, with her daughter Lourdes following.
The star and her entourage spent their time visiting orphanages, projects for street children and agricultural development programs as well as opening a new day care center funded by her charity, Raising Malawi.
Madonna, who lives in London, made one visit to the Home of Hope orphanage, where David lived after his death of his mother in childbirth. There was no sign that Madonna had met with Yohane Banda, the peasant farmer who placed his son in the orphanage saying he was too poor to care for him.
It was also unclear whether Yohane Banda met alone with his son, as he had hoped.
David’s mother died of complications in childbirth and his two siblings died of malaria in infancy.
Although a coalition of human rights groups challenged Madonna’s adoption plans in the courts, many locals says they are happy that the celebrity has drawn attention to Malawi, which usually makes news because of drought, hunger and the occasional political scandal.
Madonna’s childcare center aims to provide education, food and health care for up to 4,000 children. It is based on Kabbalah, Judaism’s mystical sect, which counts the singer among its devotees.
Malawian child welfare officials are expected to file a report on the suitability of Madonna and Ritchie, as adoptive parents after two trips to their London residence in May and December.
• Madonna leaves Malawi after charity visit
Madonna jetted out of Malawi on Sunday after a six-day visit focused on her charity work in the impoverished southern African country.
Madonna, wearing dark glasses and carrying the one-year-old Malawian boy she is adopting, boarded a private jet at Lilongwe airport at the end of her visit, a Reuters witness said.
Officials said she spent Saturday meeting people involved in the charities she set up in Malawi.
Raising Malawi, a charity co-founded by Madonna, provides food, education and health services to 32,000 orphans in the country through seven community-based organizations.
This is Madonna’s second visit to Malawi six months after she and her film director husband Guy Ritchie signed interim adoption papers for custody of local toddler David Banda.
David will stay with the couple for 18 months at their home in London before a decision by the Malawian government on whether to finalize the adoption.
Rights groups have accused Madonna of using her fame and wealth to circumvent the country’s adoption rules, but the singer has insisted she is following the law.
Madonna’s spokeswoman has denied media reports the American star plans to adopt a second child and said she is focusing on her charity work in Malawi during this visit.
On Thursday Madonna visited the Home of Hope orphanage where David once lived, and where witnesses said he met his biological father.
HIV/AIDS has killed millions in Malawi, leaving more than a million orphans.
• Madonna leaves Malawi after six-day visit
From the AFP.
Madonna and the Malawian baby boy she is trying to adopt flew out of Lilongwe on Sunday bound for London after a six-day visit which saw her tour orphanages that she is helping fund.
The US pop star’s private jet, parked far away from the main terminal of Kamuzu International Airport, took off at 2.25 pm (1225 GMT).
Holding one-year-old David Banda and accompanied by her biological daughter, Lourdes, Madonna arrived at the airport with her entourage in two vehicles before getting in the plane.
She gave no comment to reporters who had gathered at the airport on the outskirts of the Malawian capital.
The singer is in the process of adopting David and was awarded interim custody in October. It was the first time that she and the youngster had been back to Malawi.
During her trip, Madonna took David back to the orphanage where he had been living until she began the adoption process last year and also met with street children and prostitutes at a government-run rehabilitation centre.
The singer attracted large crowds and widespread media attention during her trip to Malawi, one of the poorest countries in Africa.
While her move to adopt David has prompted widespread criticism outside Malawi, locals have been overwhelmingly positive about her visit, seeing it as a chance to put their country on the map.
“I am quite sure many people outside the country started to know about Malawi because of her,” said Mest Sinati, a gardener who lives close to the luxury lodge where Madonna stayed during her visit.
“People who have money to spare should emulate her example of helping poor people like us,” he added.
Although David’s mother died shortly after giving birth, the visit saw an emotional reunion between David and his father Yohane.
There had been speculation that Madonna, whose British film director husband Guy Ritchie was not on the trip, was planning to adopt a Malawian girl but the reports were later denied by her spokeswoman.
Source: AP/AFP/Retuers via Yahoo! News.