03/30/09 - Madonna arrived in the African nation of Malawi on Sunday to adopt a four-year-old girl. If the adoption is approved by local authorities, the girl would be Madonna's second adopted Malawian child. In 2006 she adopted a son, David Banda, now three years old. Both children are from the same Malawian orphanage. Madonna is currently a single mother of three children.
According to British media sources, Madonna is expected within days to sign adoption papers in the capital Lilongwe. The adopted girl's mother is reported to be an unmarried 18-year-old who died a few months after giving birth to a daughter, Mercy James.
Madonna says that her adoption of Mercy James is motivated by her desire to provide a Malawian sister for her son David. The singer was criticized for that first adoption because she sidestepped Malawian laws requiring an 18- to 24-month pre-adoption assessment process. She also met with disapproval from some foreign aid groups that believe orphans are better off raised by extended family within their home country. Other groups argue that foreign adoption is a better alternative to in-country institutional care.
SOS Children's Villages Saves Children's Lives in Malawi
Children at the SOS Children's Village Lilongwe in Malawi
Malawi, in southeastern Africa, is one of the world's poorest nations. Its HIV/AIDS rate is very high. AIDS has produced one million Malawian orphans, most living hungry on the streets. That staggering number of orphans in a country of twelve million people is too many to be cared for by the country’s orphanages. Only 1 percent of the world’s orphans are ever adopted, and in Malawi that statistic is likely lower.
Efforts to adopt individual children are important, but are not enough. SOS Children's Villages, the world's largest charity devoted to providing loving homes for orphaned and neglected children, offers an alternative to foreign adoptions and orphanage care.
Children smiling at the SOS Children's Village Mzuzu in Malawi
SOS Children's Villages raises orphaned and abandoned children within their own community and cultural context. Operating in Malawi since 1994, SOS literally builds villages for these children. It offers warm homes, professionally trained local mothers, and stable communities for children whose life prospects would otherwise be very bleak. SOS Children’s Villages keeps biological siblings together whenever possible.
SOS runs three SOS Children's Villages in Malawi — in Lilongwe, Mzuzu, and Blantyre. The organization also operates an SOS youth facility, three SOS kindergartens, four SOS schools, an SOS vocational training center, two SOS medical centers, and three SOS social centers. Malawi has great need for education and health care. Therefore, most of these facilities serve local families, not only the children raised in SOS Children's Villages.
If you would like to help a Malawian child secure a warm home and a bright future, consider sponsoring a child.