As a result of a partnership between pop star Madonna’s charity Raising Malawi and the global nonprofit buildOn, 10 new schools have been built in rural villages across Malawi over the past 18 months – six months ahead of schedule.
The schools will serve to educate 4,871 children, with six already in use, and the remainder to be up and running in this month.
“I am overjoyed that my commitment along with buildOn’s to help educate the children of Malawi has come to fruition,” Madonna said in a released statement. “In a country where girls have little opportunity for education, it’s additionally inspiring to know that more than half the students attending will be young girls. The fact that more than 4,800 children in Malawi will get to go to school next year is a tremendous step forward for their individual growth and the growth of Malawi.”
The project was originally announced early in 2012 year as a major initiative of Raising Malawi, which has already provided millions of dollars in support of orphanages, a network of orphan care service providers, health clinics, a scholarship program for girls, and the schools with buildOn.
The location for each school was chosen from a list of communities in need of new infrastructure. The Ministry of Education Office in the Kasungu District was an important partner, providing both the teachers and curriculum after each school was completed.
Consistently ranked among the world’s 20 least developed countries on the UN’s Human Development Index, Malawi has long been challenged by economic stagnation and a lack of access to education. With support from Madonna and Raising Malawi, buildOn was able double the reach of its school construction program within a year.
“Madonna’s commitment to the children of Malawi is inspiring,” said Jim Ziolkowski , founder and CEO of buildOn. “Through Raising Malawi’s support we were able to build 10 schools that will educate literally generations of children who need it the most.”