Madonna's Malawi connection
Madonna feels a ''close connection'' to Malawian orphans because her own mother died when she was so young, something which has inspired her to help underprivileged children in the poverty-stricken country
Madonna feels a "close connection" to Malawian orphans.
The '4 Minutes' singer - whose mother died of breast cancer when she was five years old - is currently visiting the African nation with her children, Lourdes, 13 and Rocco, nine, and adopted Mercy, five, and David, four, who are both from the country, and admits she is delighted to be able to help young women with the Raising Malawi Academy for Girls school.
In a blog about laying the first bricks for the educational institute, she wrote: "On my first visit to Malawi, I was devastated to meet child after child who had been orphaned by AIDS. Having lost my mother at such a young age, I felt a close connection to these children. Their stories had touched my own.
"In a country of 14 million, a staggering one million children have been left alone with the responsibility of raising each other. I returned home knowing the future of Malawi was resting on the shoulders of these orphaned children, and I had to act.
"So it is with tremendous joy that I return to Malawi to lay the first brick in the Raising Malawi Academy for Girls. By educating girls we will rebuild this community and raise this nation.
"It is with hope for a bright future that I am here. Tomorrow the brick I will lay is not just the bedrock to a school - it is the foundation for our shared future."
Meanwhile, the 51-year-old singer's hopes to reunite David and Mercy with their natural families have suffered a set back after it was claimed Mercy's father James Kambewa, 25, has fled the country.
James is said to have made a bid to escape attention he was receiving over allegation's he got the youngster's mother Mwandida - who died weeks after giving birth to Mercy - pregnant when she was just 14 years old.
Lawyer Emmie Chanike said: "She could have died because she was too young to give birth."
However, David's father, Yohane Banda, can't wait to reunite with his son.
He said: "I am excited David is coming. I want him to meet his stepmother and new sister and brother."