Pop Star Madonna Plans to Build 10 Schools in Malawi

March 2, 2012

Unlocking Word Meanings
Read the following words/expressions found in today’s article.

1. scrap (v.) –
to throw something away or stop doing an activity because it is no longer useful or effective
Example: My friend decided to scrap her old bicycle after it broke.

2. mismanagement (n.) – careless or wrong management
Example: The University lost a lot of money because of the president’s mismanagement.

3. overrun (n.) – to go beyond the limit such as time or budget
Example: We keep record of company expenses in order to avoid overruns in the budget.

4. restore (v.) – to bring something back to an earlier and better condition
Example: The city officials restored the old gymnasium by fixing its broken floors.

5. impoverished (adj.)- lacking wealth or strength 
ExampleImpoverished countries which still struggle with their economy suffered the most during the recession.

Read the text below.

Famous singer Madonna plans to establish 10 new schools in the African nation of Malawi with the help of buildOn, a non-profit international organization that builds schools in developing countries.

In 2011, Madonna and the charity she co-founded, Raising Malawi, planned to build a school capable of educating 400 girls, but the project was scrapped due to mismanagement and cost overruns. Madonna had to fire the board members of Raising Malawi, after the charity spent $3.8 million on the project and produced no results.

Madonna said that this year, Raising Malawi will keep its promise to educate Malawi’s children thanks to its new partner buildOn. The organization buildOn, founded by Jim Ziolkowski in 1991, has already constructed 54 primary schools in Malawi in the last 19 years.

Madonna hopes the ten schools which will be built by the two organizations will be able to educate at least 1,000 children every year, half of which will be girls. This is double the number of children she planned to help in her earlier project.

The singer also added that constructing smaller schools with buildOn has restored her belief that she and Raising Malawi can accomplish the goal of educating children, especially young girls in the impoverished country.

Situated in Southeast Africa, Malawi is ranked by the United Nations as one of the 20 poorest countries in the world. More than half a million children in Malawi have lost their parents due to the rampant spread of HIV/AIDS in the country.

Madonna, who has adopted two children from Malawi, continues to help children in the country despite her busy schedule. The pop star has so far lent $11 million to her Raising Malawi charity.

Viewpoint Discussion
Enjoy a discussion with your tutor. 

Discussion A

·         How do you feel about celebrities who are involved in charitable work?
·         If you can help anyone in the world, who would you choose to support? Why?

Discussion B

·         Why do you think some countries suffer from poverty?
·         How can education help countries rise above poverty?


March 2, 2012