Madonna recently visited the construction of a children’s care unit funded by her charity in Blantyre, Malawi.
While shrugging off past controversies about her relationship with Malawi, the homeland of her two adopted children, the 57-year-old pop star inspected the progress of a 50-bed pediatric surgery and intensive care unit. The project is funded by her Raising Malawi charity at the Queen Elizabeth hospital in the commercial capital, with plans to open in early 2017.
“We certainly have the support of the government, morally, but in terms of funding and fundraising I am not going to do it by myself,” Madonna says of the project. “I am going to have lots of fundraising events and we have other donors and we’re going to continue to do fundraising.”
Now, after two years of construction, Madonna has announced that the children’s wing at the hospital will officially open on July 11. The wing just completed its first surgery last week after a soft opening.
The Mercy James Institute for Pediatric Surgery and Intensive Care, which is located in Blantyre at the Queen Elizabeth Central Hospital, features three operating rooms, a day clinic, 45-bed ward, playroom, and inspirational murals curated by Madonna herself.
Madonna opened up to The Associated Press about the wing and how, after first visiting Malawi, she became committed to doing whatever she could to help. “When you look into the eyes of children in need, wherever they may be, a human being wants to do anything and everything they can to help, and on my first visit to Malawi, I made a commitment that I would do just that,” she said.
“I’d like to thank everyone who has joined me on this unbelievable journey. What started out as a dream for Malawi and her children has become a reality, and we couldn’t have done it without your support,” the singer added.
“Hundreds of thousands, if not millions of lives, will be saved by the hospital in the course of it operating,” Trevor Neilson of Charity Network said.