Madonna is under scrutiny for the way her Malawi charitable foundation, highly publicized at its inception, has spent $8 million in donations yet has virtually nothing to show for. No promised school, and eight workers suing the pop star for unfair dismissal and non-payment of benefits. Madonna has adopted two children from Malawi, but after massive criticism of her motives, she set up a charitable foundation in Malawi to prove she was serious about helping the country. However, it seems her efforts have come to nothing so far.
Raising Malawi, Inc., is a charity set up by Madonna and her friends in the Kabbalah movement, with an initial plan to build a school for impoverished girls in Malawi. Yet there is no school, and the organization’s tax return shows sundry expenses way in excess of what one might expect with no school to show for it.
Last week, Madonna saw to it that the board of directors was fired and the charity is now being guided by an interim board. Madonna and her manager now sit on this interim board.
Construction of the school has been scrapped. It was to have been built near Lilongwe, the capital city of Malawi. With virtually nothing to show for having spent $3.8 million, the school building plan, which would have educated up to 400 girls, has been abandoned.
The tax returns of Raising Malawi, Inc., which were submitted to the IRS last November, show that through 2009, $3.382 million was paid out to various recipients for expenses which included construction, operating costs and staff salaries. So where is the school? No-one seems to know, but $1,736,828 was reported in the tax return to have been spent on the school’s construction. It’s strange. Then, that a spade of land was never turned over and the charity never actually secured a title to the land on which they were reportedly going to build the school!
Almost another one million dollars went on incidental expenses such as travel, legal fees, advertising and promotion. Of what, you may ask? We certainly want to know.
One man has done quite well out of the charity. At least $84,054 (sometimes more) was given in an annual salary to Philippe van den Bossche, the organization’s executive director. He also happens to be the boyfriend of Madonna’s former trainer, Tracy Anderson. He has now stepped down as an audit revealed outrageous expenditure with nothing positive to show for it.
Madonna has now promised to sort out the Raising Malawi, Inc. charity and make sure that the money raised, largely from Hollywood, will go towards helping people in Malawi, through as yet unspecified charities. OK, let’s see that happens, Madonna! Her problems aren’t over yet, either. Eight of the charity’s workers have taken out a law suit on the pop star for unfair dismissal and non-payment of their benefits. That could be an interesting court case – I wonder what they did, exactly?