Madonna has announced a video shoot and groundbreaking ceremony to signal the start of the construction of four school blocks in Kasungu.
The project is part of the American pop star’s drive to improve education infrastructure in the country.
The video shoot is scheduled to take place on Monday March 12 and will be presided over by Robert Louglin, country director for Build On Malawi, which is working under Madonna’s local non-governmental organisation (NGO) Raising Malawi Initiative.
In an interview, Loughlin said the aim of the initiative, which has already seen 10 school blocks being constructed since 2012, is to provide quality learning infrastructure to the 260 000 primary school learners from the district.
He said: “Currently, Kasungu has only 2000 classrooms but our aim is to assist the Ministry of Education by adding to this number as much as possible.”
According to Loughlin, who starred as Richard in a local award-winning movie The Last Fishing Boat, the approximate total value for the four blocks is K80 million and the project is expected to be completed by May this year.
He said the methodology of their investments and projects is unique in such a way that they involve community members before the project begins through to every stage which ensures maximum community ownership.
“All we do is to provide a project manager, foreman, skilled workers such as carpenters, masons and painters. The rest remaining human capital are community members themselves,” he said.
On her Instagram account, Madonna posted a video of some locals working on the project.
She captioned the video: “Knowledge is power. Happiness is contagious! @Raising Malawi @Buildon#blessed#honoured to be part of this. Do the happy dance#Raising Malawi.”
In another message she wrote: “So exciting! Ground breaking ceremony in Kasungu District in Malawi. Building four more schools with @buildon# knowledgeispower# raising Malawi# Education# Build on.”
Madonna continues to solidify her ties with Malawi from where she has previously adopted four children; David, Mercy James and twins Stella and Esther.
Last year, she presided over the opening of the state-of-the-art Mercy James Paediatric Hospital at Queens Elizabeth Central Hospital in Blantyre. n