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Madonna News Archives for June 2007

Interview with Madonna (Vanity Fair)

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Saving Malawi’s Children

Madonna first visited Malawi in April 2006. She’s been there twice since, including a trip last October to adopt her son, David, who was then suffering from malaria and pneumonia. Through her Raising Malawi organization, Madonna is helping to foster sustainable solutions for the Malawian people, especially its most defenseless children. She’s also working on a documentary about the orphans of Malawi.

Below are excerpts from her conversation with Dr. Jim Yong Kim, a founder of Partners in Health, which provides medical care and social services to the world’s poorest patients. Dr. Kim is currently based at Brigham and Women’s Hospital and Harvard University. He works to bring good medicine to people without access; his campaigns have helped increase aids treatment in Africa eightfold.

Madonna: A lot of people ask me, “Why did you choose Malawi?” I always say that Malawi chose me. Victoria Keelan, a businesswoman who was born and raised in Malawi, contacted me through a mutual friend and said, “Look, if you’re in the business of helping children, we have over a million orphans here in Malawi, and the problem is insane. It’s an emergency. They need your help.” She reached out to me because I do a lot of fund-raising for an organization called Spirituality for Kids, which helps children in impoverished conditions everywhere in the world, whether it’s Palestine, or East L.A., or New Orleans after Hurricane Katrina, or the Bronx, Miami, Mexico Cityall over the place.

I must admit that I didn’t really know where Malawi was when I first heard about the situation there. I had certainly heard about the aids pandemic in sub-Saharan Africa, and in more well-known countries like Ethiopia and Rwanda. But not Malawi. So I educated myself, and I couldn’t say no, and it just seemed like a good idea. I sort of dove in.

Dr. Kim: When was your first trip?

Madonna: A year ago April. I’ve only been there three times, but so much has happened in a year. I’m thrilled because, as you know, it takes a lot of time and a lot of work to get things done. It was great to go back and see so many things manifested. But once you start turning over rocks and reaching out to help people, there’s a whole avalanche coming right behind it. And it seems never-ending. But when you see the fruits of your labor, you feel like it’s possible.

Dr. Kim: One of the things we’ve learned is that you’ve got to take lots of joy out of small victories. That’s what keeps you going.

Madonna: Yes, and you have to stop fixating on things, too. I found myself getting really angry when I went into [the slums] and was visiting families or single people living with aids who we’re supposed to be helping with home-based care. I would talk to people through translators and find out that they were getting all the wrong medication. That drove me bonkers, and I almost ripped my hair out. Those little things get me down, but then you realize there are all these other great things happening: the Millennium Villages have surplus crops, and orphan-care centers are being built. So you have to focus on the things that are getting done.

There are some kids you can help by building orphan-care centers they can visit during the day. It’s a place to go, and there’s food; they can have their health needs taken care of, and they can get an education. And then they can go home and sleep with their extended family. There are other orphans who are in such dire straitsthey’re living on the streets, and you need to find foster homes for them, or you need to send them to private schools. And some kids just need psychosocial support to deal with the fact that they’re living with their extended family. But no one’s addressing what it feels like to lose your parents, and what’s going on in the heads and hearts of these kids. If they’re the future of the country, then we need to do something about it.

I know that you’re dealing with everything from alcoholism to orphans. There are just so many issues that need to be dealt with to raise up the level of someone’s existence.

Dr. Kim: You mentioned alcoholism. We deal with that a lot in Russiait happens to be one of the biggest complications in treating TB there. We’re doing a lot of research on alcoholism and TB.

Madonna: I think there’s very little difference between Moscow and Africa in some respects. Have you heard about the orphanages there?

Dr. Kim: Oh, God. They’re just terrible.

Madonna:
It’s way more depressing in a way.

Dr. Kim: When I was at W.H.O. [the World Health Organization], the director general had been to every single depressing place in the world. And the one place that just ripped his heart out was an aids orphanage in Moscow. It was the most emotionally troubling place he’d ever been to. He started a fund-raising campaignhe sold all the gifts that had been given to him by all these different presidents. He put all the money into a Russian orphanage.

Madonna: Oh, well, God bless him.

Dr. Kim: Orphanages in general, Madonna, I have to tell you “

Norton: ‘I want to interview Madonna’

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Graham Norton has admitted that he is desperate to interview pop queen Madonna.

The Irish comedian has grilled female pop stars including Cher, Mariah Carey and Britney Spears during his nine-year chat show career, but has yet to meet the ‘Ray of Light’ star.

He told Heat: “I’m now with the same publicist (as Madonna) and I’ve named my dog after her – what more do I have to do? Jesus, I pay to see her in concert, I buy the albums…OK, I don’t see the movies.

“Maybe if I’d seen Swept Away she’d do it. That would be the ultimate sacrifice.”

source : digitalspy

Madonna on covers of new Vanity Fair

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The 21 people who put their famous faces to work for July issue say it all. Annie Leibovitz paired them up on 20 different covers – shout outs for the challenge, the promise, and the future of Africa.

Madonna is featured on two covers (#10 & #11). Photos courtesy of Amazon.com :

Madonna on covers of new Vanity FairMadonna on covers of new Vanity Fair

Raising Malawi
Madonna lends a hand.
by Punch Hutton July 2007

Madonna has done her homework. And her fieldwork. She first visited Malawi in April 2006 after Victoria Keelan, a native Malawian businesswoman, reached out to her because of the work Madonna has done with Spirituality for Kids, a nonprofit organization which aids children in impoverished and devastated areas across the globe. Madonna recalls that Keelan advised, “Look, if you’re in the business of helping children, we have over a million orphans here in Malawi and the problem is insane. It’s an emergency. And they need your help.”

This past October, Madonna took her second trip to Malawione of the poorest countries in the world, with 42 percent of its citizens living on less than a dollar a dayand adopted her son David, almost two, who, at the time, was suffering from malaria and pneumonia. In this nation of about 13 million, one million are children who have lost at least one parent to aids.

Madonna was spurred to action. She met with medical anthropologist Dr. Paul Farmer, who has dedicated his life to raising the standard of health care for the world’s destitute, and had conversations with Dr. Jim Yong Kim, the director of the FXB Center for Health and Human Rights, at the Harvard School of Public Health. Through her Raising Malawi organization, she joined a team that began setting up Millennium Villages, which provide maize seed and fertilizer to households, build water and sanitation infrastructures, help start schools, and make medicine more accessible.

Currently, she is working with film director Nathan Rissman on a documentary which aims not only to heighten awareness and effect change in Africa but also to explore what goes on in the heads and hearts of orphaned children. “I’m making my own discoveries as I go,” she says. “You have those great moments of despair and inspiration simultaneously.”

source : vanityfair.com

Madge Gogos mad for Eugene

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Madonna seems to be mightily impressed with the talents of gypsy punk band Gogol Bordello.

The Material Girl offered moustached frontman Eugene Hutz a lead role in her new movie project Filth And Wisdom. Eugene spent the last week shooting with Madonna on location in London before heading back out on the road.

A source said: “He was thrilled and surprised when she asked him to join the cast. It was an offer that you can’t really turn down.”?

Madge is directing the low-budget comedy, about a pop star on the make. Old pal Richard E Grant is among the cast, playing a blind writer.

Richard reckoned the Queen of Pop was coping well in her first stint at the helm of a film.

He said of the tale: “It’s autobiographical to her own experience, but there is no lookalike wannabe Madonna in it as there was in the film version of my early life.

“She was very exact and particular about what she wanted as a director and she was very impressive.”?

source : thesun.co.uk

Madonna attends Gogol Bordello concert

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From TheSun.co.uk :
… Madonna dragged Guy Ritchie out for a date to see her new favorite band Gogol Bordello at Electric Ballroom in Camden, London. I had no idea Madge was a fan of gypsy punk. Maybe she is looking for some inspiration for her next project.

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